At Cathal Armstrong's flagship Restaurant Eve, they always serve a composed platter of Irish cheeses. One of Armstrong's favorites is Cashel Blue, a creamy and salty sheep's milk blue. In his new cookbook, My Irish Table, Armstrong shares his restaurant's recipe for a simple terrine made from this cheese and toasted chopped pecans. He pairs the cheese with a simple tangy apple jam and barely dressed frisée salad. It's a great example of how a restaurant-style dish can elevate an ordinary party platter—each component on the plate is something I'd put out with cheese, but I normally wouldn't take the extra steps to refine the dish.
Why I picked this recipe: I wanted to sample a recipe from Restaurant Eve without committing myself to days of extra cooking.
What worked: On their own, each of these components are a little dull, but combined into one bite, each begins to sing—the blue cheese's funky bite is brought in check by the tangy-sweet jam and the crunchy bitterness of the frisée prevents a sugar rush.
What didn't: I needed to cook the jam for another five minutes in order for it to turn jammy. I also thought the pecans could have benefitted from a finer chop; as written, their larger pieces cause the terrine to crumble when sliced.
Suggested tweaks: If you can't find Cashel Blue cheese, you can substitute another sheep's milk blue cheese like Roquefort or else English Stilton. You can mold the terrine in just about any shape you'd like—I used a medium-sized bowl.
Reprinted with permission from My Irish Table: Recipes from the Homeland and Restaurant Eve by Cathal Armstrong and David Hagedom. Copyright 2014. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House. All rights reserved. Available wherever books are sold.
- Yield:Serves 12
- Active time: 30 minutes
- Total time:40 minutes, plus an overnight rest for the terrine
- 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
- 1 pound Cashel Blue cheese, crumbled
- 2 small apples, such as Bramley, Ida Red, Granny Smith, or Pink Lady, peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 6 ounces (about 8 cups) frisée
- 2 tablespoons finely minced shallot
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Toast the pecans: Preheat the oven to 300°F. Line a 9-inch loaf pan with plastic wrap, leaving a generous overlap. Spread the pecans on a pie pan and lightly toast them in the oven for 10 minutes, then
allow them to cool.
Make the terrine: Combine the cheese and pecans in a large bowl and pack the mixture firmly into the loaf pan. Fold the overlapping plastic wrap over to cover completely and refrigerate overnight or for up to 3 days.
Make the jam: Combine the apples, sugar, honey, and lemon juice in a saucepan and cook over medium-high heat until the apples are syrupy, about 5 minutes. Lower the heat to medium and continue cooking for another 10 minutes, stirring often, until the apples are completely soft and caramelized. Remove from the heat and mash the apples into jam with the back of a fork. Let cool.
Present the dish: Unmold the terrine and cut it into 12 half-inch slices. Gently separate the frisée leaves and put them in a small bowl. Add the shallot, olive oil, and salt and toss to mix. For each serving, center a slice of terrine on a dinner plate and place a small mound of salad and a dollop of apple jam next to it.