I meet with Tiago, my personal trainer, once a week. He’s not just interested in sculpting me, he’s also obsessed with my diet.
When I met with him last Friday he asked, ‘What did you have for dinner last night?’
I said, ‘Champagne’.
And he looked at me like he had misheard me, (because sometimes there’s a language barrier because English isn’t his first language), and so I repeated myself more loudly and said, ‘Champagne. Oh and a box of popcorn as well’.
I saw a look on his face that was like, ‘I wonder why I bother’.
In my defence, it wasn’t my fault. I’d been to an advanced screening of a film and there was champagne before the screening, popcorn during the screening, and of course, I stayed after the screening for a repeat of the champagne service. I could have switched to coffee martinis but I didn’t; I don’t mix my drinks.
Anyway, then Tiago said, ‘You need calcium; do you eat cheese?’
And I said, ‘Yes, I love cheese and in fact, I have a fridge full of it’. And that’s because I was sent a cheese pack by Frico, a company from the Netherlands. Cheeses from Frico are made from milk from Friesian cows (the black and white cows), and contain no additives or preservatives.
The cheese I was asked to sample is called Frico Landkaas and the cheese is a Swiss-styled, holy semi-hard cheese that is quite like Jarlsberg. If you like Jarlsberg, you’ll love Frico Landkaas. The cheese is available at Woolworths stores and costs around $35/kilo and is sold in 280g packets.
Remembering the instructions from my personal trainer, I came home from the gym and had the Frico Landkaas cheese on salted crackers for lunch – without any champagne. Moving on from a lunch of just cheese and crackers, this creamy and Swiss-styled cheese would be lovely in a sandwich with a variety of fillings like ham and tomatoes.
And let’s not forget about pre or post dinner snacks. Being a semi-hard cheese, it’s the type of cheese that should always be included on a cheese and fruit platter.
Above and beyond being eaten in a sandwich or included on a cheese platter, Frico Landkaas cheese is a cheese that’s wonderful to cook with. It grates quickly and easily, and is a very creamy cheese with mild flavours and a lovely savoury finish. I used it to make a roasted tomato and leek quiche.
This quiche is vegetarian and would work well for a lunch with the girls or a casual mid-week meal. I made the quiche during the day then after returning home from Alfie’s swim squads at 7pm, gently re-heated it in the oven and served it with a green salad. As soon as the little guy saw his dinner he said, ‘Oh yum’. He’s a delight!
- 30g butter + 60g butter
- 5 sheets filo pastry
- 2 leeks sliced and rinsed well
- 4 shallots, sliced
- 4 eggs
- 300m pouring cream
- 1 cup Frico Landkaas cheese, grated
- 1 bunch chives, chopped with 1 tbs put aside
- 500g cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 1 tbs vino cotto
- Pre-heat the oven to 180C (375F).
- Melt 30g butter then grease a 28cm (11 inch) quiche dish. Brush filo pastry sheets with butter, fold in halve then line the quiche dish.
- Melt 60g butter in a large saucepan. Add leeks and cook until tender. Add shallots and cook until softened. Add chives. Pour into quiche dish.
- In a large bowl, whisk eggs. Add cream and cheese and stir to combine. Season. Pour over leek mixture.
- Place quiche in oven for 30 minutes or until just set.
- Remove from oven and set aside.
- Line a baking tray with baking paper. Place tomatoes on baking paper. Pour over olive oil then vino cotto.
- Place tomatoes in oven for 15 minutes or until cooked.
- Remove from oven then spoon over the top of the quiche. Sprinkle with extra chives.
- Slice quiche then serve with a green salad and some crusty bread if desired.