Cookbook 107: Cheese

Apologies for the hiatus, I’ve been busy (mostly job hunting) and then away overseas on holiday.  I am three books behind and hope to get up to date with those asap, and to resume cooking regularly.

This tiny cookbook was purchased second hand as a joke, because Scott likes cheese, and liked to answer “cheese” when I’d ask him semi-serious questions.  A Pocket Book on Cheese: A natural food and a versatile ingredient by Shirly Gill as is stated on the cover, a book about cheese, and some recipes about cheese.  There were only a couple of us around for dinner the evening we cooked from this book so I only made two dishes. I did consider making some more, but many of them required the oven and I only have one of those.

The instructions are straight forward, the recipes were tasty and overall not a bad book to have.  All of the recipes are done somewhere else though, so not one you need to rush out and find.  Overall, 3 out of 5 stars.



  • 500g chopped cooked spinach
  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 250g feta cheese, crumbled
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 75g butter, melted
  • 500g filo pastry


  1. Place spinach in a bowl with the eggs and cheese.  Mix well and add salt and pepper to taste.  Heat the oil in a large saucepan and saute the onion for about 5 minutes until soft but not coloured.  Remove from the heat and add the spinach mixture and oregano, stirring well.  Reserve.
  2. Generously butter a 23x33cm baking tin (pan).  Reserve 4 sheets of filo pastry and fit the remainder into the tin, buttering each sheet well.  The sheets will overhang the edges of the tin.  Pour in the filling, then fold over the ends of the pastry sheets to cover it.  Butt the reserved sheets of pasty and fold over to fit the dish.  Place on top of the dish and brush with butter.  Make 3 slits in the pastry with a sharp knife.  Cook in a preheated moderately hot oven (190C) for 45 – 50 minutes until the pastry is crisp and golden brown.  Cut into squares to serve.

Notes on this recipe

  • I used frozen spinach which I thawed and thoroughly drained before adding to the cheese.  It saved a lot of time.
  • This recipe is quite tasty, but you’ll probably need to use more than the 75g of melted butter (I know I did)

Macaroni Bake


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 225g minced beef
  • 1 x 225g tin tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 50g wholewheat macaroni

Cheese sauce

  • 25g butter or margarine
  • 25g plain flour
  • 300ml milk
  • 75g grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 teaspoon mustard


  • 25g grated cheddar cheese
  • 25g dried breadcrumbs


  1. Heat the oil in a pan, add the onion and fry gently until soft.  Add the beef and fry until browned, breaking up any lumps with a wooden spoon.  Stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste, basil and salt and pepper to taste.  Bring to the boil, stirring constantly to break up the tomatoes, then simmer for 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the macaroni in boiling salted water for 15 minutes until just tender.  Drain, then fold the macaroni into the meat sauce, mixing well.  Turn into a casserole dish and set aside.
  3. To make the cheese sauce, melt the butter or margarine in a pan, add the flour and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.  Remove from the heat and gradually add the milk, beating constantly.  Return to the heat and bring to the boil, stirring then add the grated cheese, mustard and salt and pepper to taste.  Simmer until thick.
  4. Pour the cheese sauce over the meat and macaroni.  Mix together the topping ingredients and sprinkle them over the cheese sauce.  Bake uncovered in a preheated oven (180C) for 30 minutes.

Notes on this recipe:

  • We used a tin of crushed tomatoes because that was easier.  We also used regular and not wholemeal macaroni because I had that in the cupboard.
  • This recipe was ok, but I’ve had better.  The cheese sauce was good.