Skip to Navigation Skip to Content

A Giveaway for Cheeseheads (From Chronicle Books)

It's time for another foodie giveaway from our friends over at sister company, Chronicle Books. This time, it involves cheese.  Just use the comments to let us know your favorite cheese and wine pairing for dinner party guests, and two lucky winners will receive the following: Cheese and Wine: A Guide to Selecting, Pairing and Enjoying, The Cheese Course, and the brand new Cheese Plate iPhone app!  The books and app are all authored by noted food journalist (and cheese expert) Janet Fletcher. 

Janet's new iPhone app includes 25 themed cheese plates featuring stunning photography and in-depth descriptions, as well as helpful tips on cheese terms, how to pair cheese and wine, how to taste and handle cheese and more.  Budding cheese connoisseurs will learn how to pronounce the cheese, who makes it, what type of milk is used, the country of origin, and which three adjectives (e.g. mellow, nutty, sweet) most aptly describe it.

Read on for her recipe for Stilton with Port-Glazed Pears:

Stilton with Port-Glazed Pears
From "The Cheese Course: Enjoying the World's Best Cheeses at Your Table," published by Chronicle Books

As these poached pears rest in their Port poaching syrup, they turn a rich garnet color. I serve them halved, sliced, and fanned with some of the ruby syrup, with Stilton alongside. If you can get your hands on the superb Colston Basset Stilton, you are in for a treat.

1 cup ruby Port
1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
4 strips lemon zest
2 ripe but firm pears
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice
6 to 8 ounces Stilton cheese
(serves 4)

In a small saucepan, bring the Port, water, sugar, and lemon zest to a boil over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. While the mixture heats, peel the pears. Add the pears to the simmering liquid, setting them on their sides. Cover with a round of parchment paper that just fits over the pears, tucking it around them. Adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook for 15 minutes.

Lift the parchment and turn the pears over in the liquid so they cook evenly. Re-cover and continue cooking until they are just tender when pierced, 10 to 12 more minutes. Remember that they will continue to cook as they cool.

Transfer the pears with a slotted spoon to a refrigerator container. Simmer the poaching liquid over medium heat until reduced to 1/2 cup. Let cool completely, then add the 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Pour over pears, cover, and refrigerate for at least 8 hours. Turn the pears in the syrup every couple of hours so they develop a deep burgundy color.

To serve, cut the pears in half lengthwise and core with a melon baller. Put each pear half on a cutting board, cut side down. Thinly slice lengthwise, leaving the slices attached at the stem end. Gently press on the pear to fan the slices. Put a generous tablespoon of Port syrup on each of 4 dessert plates. With a metal spatula, transfer a pear fan to each plate, placing it over the sauce. Place a slice of Stilton on each plate.