Cheese and Gherkin Delight

cheese and gherkin delight

Sometimes the difference between party food, and exceptional party food is just a few minutes of care and attention.

Take a jar of sweet gherkins . Select a couple of suitably well shaped gherkins and slice to 5mm thickness, much thicker and the gherkin taste will be overly dominant. You may need to adjust as the gherkin thins (overly thin parts can later be added to a gherkin dip). Cut a block of processed cheese, mild cheddar or colby, to a similar thickness but you may vary the shape. Guests can then select according to their preference to cheese. Aim to achieves a rough balance of dimensions with the gherkin piece. Choose a well coloured and nicely shaped orange and cut off a third to provide a base. Doing this will prevent the orange toppling over during service. To assemble place a piece of cheese (centred) on top of a piece of gherkin and then pierce in the middle with a toothpick. Some cooks will place the cheese and gherkin on the toothpick, but I find this can lead to “running through”, not only unsightly but a source of potential injury. Place the toothpicks, food outwards in a radiating fashion until the orange is filled. Be careful not to crowd the orange as it will not only ruin the effect but make the toothpicks more difficult to remove for guests. While the pattern is pretty, I feel there is a need for a dominant central statement and this I’ve done with the top 4/5th of a gherkin placed proudly on a satay stick.

Enjoy, but be quick.

18 comments

  1. deborah’s avatar

    So many feelings, so many words. But I like this for its, 70’s, Woman’s Day, phallus sensibility. If there could be one. And what I really mean to say is; I like it. Very much :)

  2. Helen (AugustusGloop)’s avatar

    A perfect sidedish to the fruitbowl of car keys too…

  3. Clare Eats’s avatar

    it goes perfectly with a bowl of cabanosi rings ;)

  4. Reid’s avatar

    Hi Anthony,

    This look super retro, like a reverse fondue of some sort. Where’s all the gooey stuff?

    BTW…how do gherkins and cheese taste together? =P

  5. Anthony’s avatar

    Saffron
    -On one level it’s a tasty treat yet now I’ve come to think it’s almost an essay on phallic triumphalism over the nuturing breast. As with the 70’s in Australia all were part of the process of reversing this.
    Augustus
    -Indeed indeed, it would be wrong to ingnore the liberating effects of libertinism and it’s role in restoring choice and chance.
    Clare
    -A searing side dish of feminine revenge.
    Reid
    -Sharply noticed , a complete inversion with the sticks on the outside. Why is there antagonism when there could be communality? The gooiness comes from warmth.
    The sour-sweet of the pickles contrasts so nicely with the inoffensiveness of the cheese, one almost forgets about the stunning dialogue between the textures.

  6. deborah’s avatar

    The gherkins have gone to your head Spicey.

  7. Reid’s avatar

    Hi Anthony,

    I forgot that winter was headed your way…or is it already upon you?

  8. Manas’s avatar

    I choose to ignore that phallic monstrosity while I mention that in highschool, one of my favourite ‘default’ sandwich combinations was cheese, salami and gherkin spread. You just can’t go past gherkins, I reckon.

    Until I noticed the…ahem, thing, atop your creation I was overcome by flashbacks to 70s-orange crock pots, mod dresses and outrageous wallpaper. It’s quite a statement, those colours together. And using the orange to hold it all up is a great idea for decoration – looks way better than resting all the food, toothpicks in the air, spread out on a plate!

  9. Anthony’s avatar

    Saffy
    Just workin’ the gherkin

    Reid
    Mother Winter is upon us but seems to have just popped out for a day or two.

    Manas
    You can bypass the phallic monstrosity [gherkin blushes] by using gherkin relish and cream cheese for a tasty dip.

    The plate came out browner than it really is which nicely completed the 70’s colour palette. The “thing” is crucial to the era. Led Zepellin live DVD will be given for homework. The orange can be eaten later as well and is a good source of vitamin see.

  10. Stephanie’s avatar

    Oh, that is hilarious! I love it!

  11. Sal’s avatar

    Outback here at Munty, sometimes that’s all we have at the end of the week when the pantry is nearly bare. On account of their long life qualities, the old c&g are great standbys for nibbles or sangas! You’d be pleased to know that I planned ahead for bookclub at my place and presented the group with baked, herbed ricotta served warm with biscuits. We ate it with wine in front of a warm hearth.
    A great presentation, representative of your roots!

  12. Kate’s avatar

    I think it would also make a lovely accompanient for that dip made with spinach, sour cream and french onion soup mix, which is then served in the hollowed out loaf of bread.
    Ahh, the memories…

  13. Anthony’s avatar

    Stephanie
    Vitamin see?

    Outback Sal!
    I’m surprised Mick can’t expertly butcher you a up a tasty two tooth to get you to the weekend. The gherkin jar is never empty. But Herbed ricotta!? Wine!? Books!? How am I supposed to keep country life as a vast unchanging memorial of my childhood? Next thing you’ll be telling me the tractors drive themselves.
    My roots? Can’t remember ever having any.

    Kate
    Spinach and hollowed out loaf of bread? I don’t think I managed to get memories that flash until about 1987.

  14. Waz’s avatar

    Sorry mate, but you can’t just appropriate one of my mum’s recipes, substitute gherkin slices for those wee cocktail onions of various colours and then claim it as your own.

    From memory we had a wooden giraffe figurine that served as the centrepiece at Xmas or birthdays, and it had pre-drilled holes for the toothpicks upon which my mum had impaled cocktail onions and nuggets of Coon. Your substitution of a flat-bottomed orange is entirely transparent and does nothing to conceal this blatant breach of my mum’s intellectual property rights.

    I’m dobbing.

  15. Anthony’s avatar

    Hi Waz

    Don’t want to take anything away from your Mum, but the origins of this dish go back much further. And, like the seemingly innocent Children’s song Ring o’ Roses, is of a medieval and sinister nature.

    They were first made in Romania to celebrate Vladislav Basarab’s victory over the invading Turkish army at Turgoviste in the 15th century. The invading forces fled in horror after seeing a forest of Bulgarian and Turkish prisoners, still alive, impaled on long stakes. The dish is a tribute to that. Romanians used onions at the time, as that was all that was available, but as Catholic priests fled from Vlad the Impaler to Germany, they brought with them news of the dish. The Germans, wisely I think, replaced the onions with pickles and cheese and the rest is history.

  16. The Daily Magnet’s avatar

    This food sculpture brings back fond memories of many fabulous school artworks I have been the recipient of, it really has an alien quality to it, maybe Lost in Space vintage. That’s so awesome – how creative, I have to present one of these to my kids.

  17. Anthony’s avatar

    It is very futuristic as were many of the dreams of the time. The world is a poorer place without hopes of undersea communities and a life amongst the stars. Present it to the kids and share the dreams with them. Make sure they don’t run with it, could be nasty if they tripped.

  18. kitekato’s avatar

    righto. firstly, I have been known to serve this particular dish at a soiree as it take smy fance.

    However, such a dish is not complete without the addition of cocktail onioins(duly noted in an earlier comment) or kabana. From time to time, peices of tinned pineapple may also make an appearance.

    Always a winner, particulalry when served along side a plate of Arnotts savoury shapes and french onion dip (homebrand french onion packet soup mix (itself becoming increasingly rare)mixed into philly cream cheese.

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