Cocktail Recipes, Spirits, and Local Bars

Manchego with Quince Paste

Manchego with Quince Paste

6 Servings

Ingredients

  • 4-ounce wedge Manchego cheese, room temperature

  • 4-ounce piece quince paste

Recipe Preparation

  • Trim the rind from the Manchego cheese; cut into 6 wedges and place 1 cheese wedge on each of 6 plates. Cut quince paste into 6 slices; place 1 slice atop each wedge of cheese.

Recipe by Penelope Casas

,

Photos by Mark Thomas

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Cooking With Rania: Spanish Cheese Board With White Wine Sangria

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Rania Harris, of Rania’s Catering, is giving us a tour of Spanish cuisine all through the month of June!

Spanish Cheese Board

  • ½ cup marinated mixed olives
  • ½ cup large green Spanish olives
  • ½ cup Spiced Marcona Almonds, recipe follows
  • 1 soft Spanish cheese
  • 1 wedge Manchego cheese
  • 4 ounces sliced Jamon Serrano
  • 1 wedge Spanish blue cheese
  • 1/4 cup quince paste or honey (or both)
  • Assorted crackers, for serving
  • 3 cups Marcona almonds
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

On a large serving board, arrange both varieties of the olives and almonds next to the soft cheese, the Jamon next to the mild cheese, and the quince paste next to the blue cheese. Serve with crackers on the side.

Spiced Marcona Almonds:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the almonds, olive oil, paprika, rosemary and salt on a rimmed baking sheet and toss until evenly combined. Bake until lightly browned and fragrant, tossing halfway through, about 10 minutes. Transfer the almonds to a bowl and let cool completely. Store in an airtight container until ready to use.

White Wine Sangria

  • 1 bottle white wine (Spanish table wine)
  • 3 ounces brandy
  • 2 ounces triple sec
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 cup fresh pineapple juice
  • 2 ounces simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water brought to a boil for 2 minutes in a small saucepan) and cooled (leftover syrup can be stored in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator for 1 month)
  • 3 ounces peach nectar
  • Fresh peaches, oranges, and apples sliced

Directions:
Place all ingredients in a pitcher and stir to mix. Refrigerate at least 8 hours or up to 48 hours. Serve over ice.


Spanish Cheese Board

½ cup marinated mixed olives
½ cup large green Spanish olives
½ cup Spiced Marcona Almonds, recipe follows
1 soft Spanish cheese
1 wedge Manchego cheese
4 ounces sliced Jamon Serrano
1 wedge Spanish blue cheese
1/4 cup quince paste or honey (or both)
Assorted crackers, for serving

3 cups Marcona almonds
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons kosher salt

On a large serving board, arrange both varieties of the olives and almonds next to the soft cheese, the Jamon next to the mild cheese, and the quince paste next to the blue cheese. Serve with crackers on the side.

Spiced Marcona Almonds:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the almonds, olive oil, paprika, rosemary and salt on a rimmed baking sheet and toss until evenly combined. Bake until lightly browned and fragrant, tossing halfway through, about 10 minutes. Transfer the almonds to a bowl and let cool completely. Store in an airtight container until ready to use.


Manchego with Quince Paste - Recipes

The perfect cheese for tapas, Manchego is traditionally cut into thin triangles and accompanied by quince paste to provide a sweet contrast to the cheese’s salty bite. A highly versatile cheese, Manchego can be enjoyed alone with bread, grated over soups, melted in sandwiches and in a variety of other easy, delicious recipes.

Strong red wines such as Crianza Rioja and Ribera del Duero from Spain, a Coteaux du Languedoc from France or a California Pinot Noir.
Hoppy Pale Ales and Wheat Beers.

  • 1/2 -3/4 cups Don Bernardo® Manchego, coarsely grated
  • 2 oz quince paste, thinly sliced
  • 4 slices walnut bread or your favorite bread
  • 4 slices Serrano ham
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp butter, softened
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped

1. Butter 4 slices of bread. Layer the Don Bernardo® grated Manchego, quince paste slices, Serrano ham slices and chopped thyme on 2 slices, top with other 2 slices and press lightly.
2. Brush outside of sandwich with olive oil and both sides over medium/high heat in skillet or panini press until bread is crisp. Cut in halves and serve.
3. Add a little thyme for decoration on top.

  • 1/2 lb Don Bernardo® Manchego, grated plus shavings to serve
  • 3 medium white onions, thinly sliced
  • Salt
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped
  • 1 lb pizza dough
  • 1 tbsp cornmeal
  • 1/2 lb raw chorizo or spicy sausage
  • 1/2 cup green olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh arugula, chopped
  • Sliced cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1. Sauté onions, garlic and salt in 2 tsp of olive oil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring frequently, until onions are caramelized.
2. Remove casing and cook chorizo in a sauté pan over low/medium heat until all fat has rendered. Pat dry on a paper towel.
3. Stretch and shape dough. Place on a pizza stone sprinkled with cornmeal.
4. Brush dough with olive oil. Spread the caramelized onions and top with chorizo, olives, grated Don Bernardo® Manchego and fresh thyme.
5. Bake at 375°F until the crust is golden. Sprinkle with Don Bernardo® Manchego shavings, sliced cherry tomatoes and arugula.

  • 7 oz Don Bernardo® Manchego, cubed
  • 4 oz cured chorizo or spicy sausage, sliced in half circles
  • 6 fresh or dry figs, halved
  • A few leaves of fresh basil
  • Drizzle of basil flavored oil
  • Wooden skewers

1. Thread each skewer with ingredients placing Don Bernardo® Manchego at each end.
2. Drizzle a few drops of basil flavored oil over skewers.
3. Serve with green olives and other tapas.

  • 7 oz Don Bernardo® Manchego, cubed
  • 2 lb fingerling potatoes, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup celery, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup pitted Cerignola (or your favorite green olives), chopped
  • 1 head Bibb or butter lettuce (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp capers, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup gherkins, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp chives, chopped
  • 1/2 cup parsley, finely chopped

1. Steam the potatoes until tender and cool at room temp.
2. Slice the potatoes and combine with the olives and celery.
3. Combine the potatoes, celery and olives with the Don Bernardo® Manchego.
4. For the Salsa Verde: whisk the vinegar, mustard and olive oil. Combine with remaining ingredients.
5. Add the desired amount of salsa verde and toss gently. Serve in lettuce bowls and garnish with parsley. Serve at room temp.

  • 7 oz Don Bernardo® Manchego, sliced
  • 1 cup arugula or watercress
  • 1 pt strawberries, halved Drizzle of balsamic glaze
  • 4 tbsp black cherry preserve

1. Arrange the Don Bernardo® Manchego slices and other ingredients on 4 plates.
2. Drizzle with balsamic glaze and serve with bread or crackers.


Manchego and Quince–dessert or appetizer?

Manchego and quince — salty, slightly tart cheese and sweet fruity quince paste. Stack the flavorful combination for a simple elegant dessert, or as a welcome palate pleasing appetizer. Either way, pairing manchego cheese with quince paste makes for easy unexpected nibbles.

In my mind the sweet and savory duo always belonged at the end of a meal. When guests think they’re going to be served a rich dessert on top of a rich meal, they will be surprised and delighted with this simple elegant treat.

Because the cheese and fruit pairing sparks the taste buds so nicely, I’ve expanded my way of thinking–the combo is more than dessert! When guests first come in the door, serve bites of manchego and quince. They make a perfect appetizer with drinks!

All you do is cut each of the two in matching rounds or rough rectangles and place the pink fruity on top of the pale yellow salty. Manchego and quince make a perfect holiday duo, both a super-easy surprise dessert or a fun appetizer!

Manchego and Quince ingredient details:

  • The flavorful buttery sheep’s milk cheese comes from La Mancha Spain, therefore the name Manchego.
  • Quince the fruit, like apples, has a lot of natural pectin. Simmered with sugar, quince boils down into a rosy-red thick jelly, a paste that forms into an easily sliceable block of fruity heaven that goes really well with salty manchego cheese!
  • The Spanish translation of quince is membrillo. Could it be the shared Spanish heritage of Manchego and quince is the reason the flavors ard so enjoyable together?
  • Membrillo, quince paste, used to be hard to find but now you can find quince paste at Trader Joes, only an aisle away from the cheese display. Or you can order quince paste online via my Amazon affiliate link.
  • If you can’t find Manchego cheese, swap it out for a sharp white Cheddar cheese whick is also delicious with quince paste.

Make it a fabulous week–get in the kitchen and cook something delicious!

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  • Find daily vegetarian and healthy living ideas on my Facebook page.

The quince paste link is an Amazon affiliate. If you purchase a product via my link, it doesn’t cost you anything and I earn a tiny commission, which helps defray the costs of Letty’s Kitchen blog. Thank you for supporting Letty’s Kitchen.


Membrillo (Quince Paste)

Ingredients

  • 4 pounds quince, washed, peeled, cored, roughly chopped
  • 1 vanilla pod, split
  • 2 strips (1/2 inch by 2 inches each) of lemon zest (only the yellow peel, no white pith)
  • 3 Tbsp lemon juice
  • About 4 cups of granulated sugar, exact amount will be determined during cooking

Method

Place quince pieces in a large saucepan (6-8 quarts) and cover with water. Add the vanilla pod and lemon peel and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and let cook until the quince pieces are fork tender (30-40 minutes).

Strain the water from the quince pieces. Discard the vanilla pod but keep the lemon peel with the quince. Purée the quince pieces in a food processor, blender, or by using a food mill.

Measure the quince purée. Whatever amount of quince purée you have, that's how much sugar you will need. So if you have 4 cups of purée, you'll need 4 cups of sugar.

Return the quince purée to the large pan. Heat to medium-low. Add the sugar. Stir with a wooden spoon until the sugar has completely dissolved. Add the lemon juice.

Continue to cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally, for 1-1 1/2 hours, until the quince paste is very thick and has a deep orange pink color.

Preheat oven to a low 125°F (52°C). Line a 8x8 baking pan with parchment paper (do not use wax paper, it will melt!). Grease the parchment paper with a thin coating of butter. Pour the cooked quince paste into the parchment paper-lined baking pan. Smooth out the top of the paste so it is even.

Place the membrillo paste in the 125°F oven for an hour or longer to help it dry out. (If you have a convection or fan setting for your oven, use it.) Remove from oven and let cool.

To serve, cut into squares or wedges and present with Manchego cheese. To eat, take a small slice of the membrillo and spread it on top of a slice of the cheese. Store by wrapping in foil or plastic wrap, an keeping in the refrigerator.

Note: The first time I made this the top part set, but the bottom had not. To fix, I emptied the quince paste into a large pyrex bowl and put in the microwave. I cooked it on high in 5 minute increments for 20 minutes. During the last minute one of the edges started to caramelize and turn brown. This you don't want to have happen, as the caramelized parts destroy the flavor, but in this case it was a good indication that the rest of the quince paste was ready. I discarded the browned parts and returned the rest to a newly lined baking dish. Back into the oven for an hour and it was done to perfection.


How to cook with quince and two quince recipes: Quince paste and quince chutney

Once upon a time, in the good old days, everyone wanted to get their hands on some of these tough knobbly fruit. Quinces were a much sought-after delicacy, originating in Turkey, but you’ve always had to believe in a little bit of magic to truly discover their secret. Unfortunately the humble quince seems to have gone out of fashion, fallen from the tree as it were, to be usurped by its much tastier and versatile cousins, apples and pears.

But hang on a minute. Before you give up and turn the page to see what Murray Grimwood has to say this month about the state of the world, give quinces another chance. All it takes is a little heat and you will start to understand and appreciate why the Greeks regarded the quince as a symbol of fertility and dedicated it to the goddess, Aphrodite.

The exquisite fragrance of the fruit is the primary reason that it was celebrated in this way. Leave just one quince in a fruit bowl or on a windowsill, and it won’t be long before you notice a delicate fragrance of vanilla, citrus, and apple wafting into your kitchen. Fortunately when you cook quinces, they retain their delightful fragrance but the best is yet to come.

The real alchemy is all about colour cook quinces and you’ll watch the yellowy-white flesh turn either a glorious deep rosy pink or a muted sunset orange. Doesn’t that make you just want to race out and find a tree and stew up a few?

I am lucky to have a generous friend who has a beautiful old quince tree. Every year, Steve faithfully contacts me to see if I want any, and I say yes please! He gets a jar or two of jam out of the deal so it works both ways.

Quinces are often to be found on ancient, gnarly-branched trees in a neglected or deserted orchard as they’re not popular in modern gardens. One tree that I routinely check every year is in a horse paddock way out in the middle of nowhere on the back road from Motueka to Nelson. The horses make a half-hearted attempt at eating the ones that fall on their side of the fence, and the bees and wasps help out, but on the roadside there are always plenty just going to waste until someone like me comes along and picks them up.

3 UPS AND DOWNS OF QUINCES

Quinces are very high in pectin which makes them perfect candidates for jams, jellies and membrillo. However, they do bruise very easily. I have also had what look like perfectly good quinces on the outside turn out to be all brown and rotten on the inside. If they start to show any signs of brown on the skin, use them quickly or you’ll lose them.

Quinces are very nice just stewed in water or white wine with a wee bit of sugar or honey thrown in. Add a dash of nutmeg and you’ve just created something divine as far as I am concerned.

3 FUN FACTS ABOUT QUINCES

1. Historically, marmalade was made from quinces. The English word ‘marmalade’ comes from the Portugese word marmelada which means ‘quince preparation’.

2. Shakespeare wrote that quince was the ‘stomach’s comforter’ and it turns out that medieval quince sweetmeats were once regarded as both an aid to digestion and a preventative against sickness.

3. According to the Greeks, pregnant women who eat lots of quinces will give birth to highly intelligent children.

Recipe: Quince Chutney

The variety of chilies that you use to make this chutney will determine both the heat and flavour. If you like yours hot, then seranos might be the chilli for you. I like flavour and heat so I like to use habeneros as they tend to impart a deliciously deep heat that is more of an aftertaste than an assault to the palate. Makes 5½ cups or so.

INGREDIENTS

3 large quinces
2 apples
2 onions
1 tbsp coarsely chopped ginger
2 chillies
3 cups white wine vinegar
1 ½ cups sugar
1 cinnamon stick
3 cloves

Peel the quinces and the apples, chop into chunks and pop into a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Put the peeled onions and ginger in a food processor and blend, then add to the pan along with the vinegar. Simmer until the fruit is soft. Add remaining ingredients. Continue to simmer until the chutney is thick (approx 45-50 mins). Take out the cinnamon stick and cloves and spoon the mix into sterilised jars. Seal. Wait a few weeks before you tuck in to let the flavours mingle.

Recipe: Quince Paste (Quince Membrillo)

This is also called ‘fruit cheese’ or ‘quince cheese’, and is a very special way to preserve quinces. A Hungarian friend of mine told me once that it was her favourite thing ever because of its fragrant flavour, grainy texture, beautiful sunrise hue and the way it went perfectly with the goat cheeses that she used to make back in Hungary. In Spain, membrillo is typically paired with a cheese called manchego but I find it goes well with a good feta, blue vein cheese or a brie.


Walnut, Quince & Manchego Bites

In Spain, quince paste is commonly paired with manchego cheese, made from raw goat’s milk, as a breakfast item or snack.

A Fast Food Good Food exclusive! Quince paste, known as dulce do membrillo in Spanish-speaking countries, is made by cooking the hard, tart flesh of this fruit (a relative of apples and pears) with water and sugar until it turns red and sticky and holds its shape. It’s available in specialty grocery stores and online. In Spain, quince paste is commonly paired with manchego cheese, made from raw goat’s milk, as a breakfast item or snack. This recipe fancies up the combination with toasted spiced walnuts and chopped parsley and it works as a breakfast dish.

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups raw walnuts, toasted
Pinch of sea salt
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 /12 pounds quince paste, cubed
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 1/2 pounds manchego cheese, cubed, at room temperature

Instructions

1. Place the walnuts in a food processor and add a pinch of salt and the paprika. Pulse until the nuts are very finely chopped, then pour out onto a plate.

2. Roll and press each cube of quince paste in the walnuts until it is nicely coated. Thread onto a toothpick, place a leaf of parsely on top, and add a cube of manchego last. Thread the remaining quince paste, parsley, and cheese on toothpicks in the same way and serve.


The Secret Ingredient (Membrillo): Grilled Cheese with Serrano and Membrillo Recipe

One of my favorite memories of my trip to Spain a year ago was breakfast. Around the corner from our hotel in Barcelona was a little sandwich shop where, for breakfast, you could order a sandwich of crusty bread toasted and rubbed with garlic and tomato, anointed with olive oil and robed around either queso (Manchego) or ham.

For this sandwich, I take the traditional idea of a grilled cheese and fly it back to Spain, pairing the Spanish cheese of Manchego and the softer, more yielding Campo de Montalban with the famed Serrano ham and membrillo (quince paste) and olive oil. The salinity from the cheeses and ham pair perfectly—no surprise—with that traditional cheese coupling of membrillo, which adds a fruity sweetness that's not too overwhelmingly sugary or watery. In this case, the membrillo acts as a spread, just like mustard in a usual ham and cheese.


Manchego Cheese with Quince Jam, Agave, and Pecans

If you’re still scrambling for ideas on what to make or take as an appetizer this Thanksgiving, today I’m sharing one of my favorite recipes of all time. It takes a whole three minutes to prepare and quite frankly, it’s a recipe that doesn’t even require a recipe, but every time someone tastes this delectable treat, they always marvel in delight and ask me how it’s made.

This is my go-to appetizer when someone invites me over or if I have guests show up unexpectedly. With four simple ingredients, you’ll knock off your amigos‘ socks from here to next Thanksgiving. Happiest of holidays to you and your loved ones!

Ingredients:
¼ pound Manchego cheese
Quince jam or quince paste (good quality guava paste, apricot jam, and fig jam are also good substitutes)
Crushed pecans
Organic agave syrup


Manchego Cheese with Membrillo/Quince Paste

Walter and I visited Bilbao during our last trip to Spain, and even though the Guggenheim Museum was on top of our list of places to see and visit, walking thru the city and eating well ranked a really closed second.

We decided Bilbao was not as big and we would walk it out and during our walk we found the Plaza or the city market and we had to go in. There were the most awesome variety of Spanish produce and some gorgeous stained window treatments.

As a snack we wanted something we could carry around, would not spoil easily and that it was typical Spanish… Walter decided out of all the cheeses available he wanted manchego. Why?? I still do not know because you can get manchego super easily here in Puerto Rico, but he wanted manchego, so we bought manchego. So I decided to accompany that with something a bit more local and that is not readily available where we live – Membrillo paste.

Photo Courtesy of nami-nami.blogspot.com

Membrillo is known as quince in English… a sweet fruit that looks like a cross between a pear and a guava. Membrillo is not commonly eaten in Puerto Rico, so for the purposes of our Spanish-inspired dinner we had to make do with guava paste. Very delicious too, but not quite the same. I guess this would be the Spanish equivalent to the Cuban – guava paste and cream cheese I grew up eating.


Watch the video: Spanish Tapas Recipes: Crispy Manchego Cheese with Quince Paste (January 2022).