The sun is out, it's Friday and it's time for an excuse to drink rosé in the back garden to relax and unwind after a hard week at work.
I've come up with this lazy recipe, it doesn't really involve any cooking other than an oven, but you can embellish by making your own bread
if you really want to impress, but if it's Friday lazy recipe you're after then look no further.
Baked Epoisses with roasted asparagus
[caption id="attachment_1376" align="alignnone" width="240"]
Nice and runny (and this is before baking)[/caption]
Bunch of asparagus
Olive or other oil
Pre-heat the oven to about 180 degrees, unwrap the cheese, remove from the box and place in a round dish, cover with foil and put the dish on a baking tray. Put it in the oven. Set the timer for 10 minutes. Pour yourself a glass of wine and enjoy (see below for wine suggestions).
Trim the ends off the asparagus if they look a bit woody, place on baking tray and drizzle with oil. Pop these in the oven. Put the timer on for another 10 minutes.
After 20 minutes has elapsed, check the Époisses, the desired consistency is runny and bubbling with the top floating. Like a washed rind life raft in a sea of choppy melted cheese. When it looks like this remove the foil and bake for a further five minutes to crisp it up a little.
By now the asparagus should be cooked, you can check it with a knife, it should be soft but not too floppy for dipping. Roasting removed the bitterness, but no need to add salt as the cheese is salty enough. Place both the cheese in the dish and the asparagus on a board or large serving plate.
Cut the bread into chunks and serve alongside. Dip away and enjoy. No need for cutlery which saves on washing up! An even lazier recipe than you thought.
Wine pairings and washed-rind cheeses
Washed rind cheeses are basically any cheese that is periodically brushed or washed, in a solution. Traditionally this has been a brine based solution with any agent that carries bacteria, such as beer or cider. The bacteria is what generates a rind and causes the pungency of this style of cheese.
Époisses is washed with Marc de Bourgogne a local brandy from Burgundy and is often thought of a tough cheese to pair as it is so stinky. Baking a cheese also intensifies its flavour. The classic pairing would be to go for a pinot noir, preferably a Burgundy
, because this adheres to the "go regional" rule of food pairings. This would work, but its sunny, let's try something a little different.
Remember the brandy the Époisses is brushed in? It gives the cheese a sweetness in aftertaste. The kind of sweetness that is a perfect pair for a dry Provençal rose. Chateau d’Ollieres
is a great more traditional style of rose that will go perfectly with the cheese and the asparagus. It has spice and floral notes that will transcend the rich melted cheese and lift the freshness of the asparagus to spring up the dish.
If you want something a bit sweater and a bit more adventurous then give the Mas Amiel 15 Ans d'Age
a go, a real treat but a great way to go from early evening to night time as the sun sets with some contemplative sipping.