Stotty Cakes & Geordie Ploughman’s Lunches!
Cheese Savoury (Sandwich Filling) Recipe
I love a good stotty cake, and remember my grandmother making them in her Northumberland cottage when I used to stay with her and my grandfather, when I was little. There has been a revival in traditional North Eastern food lately, with lots of “trends” for Geordie grub being served in “posh” London restaurants; but, in reality, most of the recipes I know and love from Sunderland and Newcastle-upon-Tyne never fell out of fashion, they are still made and served to families every day of the week. Stotty cakes are well-known to many out of the region, courtesy of Greggs the Baker, but, nice though they are in Greggs, they are nowhere near as tasty as my grandmother’s or even mine! I find commercial stotty cakes too spongy and soft – a real home-made stotty has a nice crust and it almost chewy with a lovely yeasty flavour. The perfect stotty needs little to enhance it, although pease pudding and ham is a “must have” filling, as is cheese savoury too. And, it’s my family recipe, such as it is, that I am sharing today for Cheese Savoury, which is a sandwich filling.
I will share my recipe for Stotty Cake in another post, but for now I am sharing ideas for a fabulous ploughman’s lunch idea, Geordie style, or a Mackem style lunch, as my grandmother was from Sunderland. I made a batch of cheese savoury last week and we both enjoyed it as part of a “make-it-yourself-sandwich-lunch” along with some fresh tomatoes and spring onions – a sort of ploughman’s lunch. Being a bit posh, and not having a stotty cake to hand, I served my cheese savoury with some freshly baked seeded bread rolls, but, next time I bake a stotty cake, I will of course be sandwiching them with some of this tangy cheese spread. All that was needed to complete the lunch, was a little bit of salt, to dip the tomatoes and spring onions in, and a glass of Newcastle Brown Ale or a Mackeson Stout, although I had neither in my home in France, so wine it was!
The stotties shown in my photos from last year are NOT quite right, they are a BIT too fat and need to be thinner; however, the crust and texture were spot on and I think my grandmother would have been proud of me! MY cheese savoury on the other hand was perfect with a lovely thick and creamy consistency and a really tangy flavour. It’s also a great way of sneaking some vegetables into your little one’s lunch box, if you make sandwiches with this filling. The filling is also perfect for picnics, suppers, high tea and cricket teas too. Once made, it will keep in the fridge for nearly a week, if it lasts that long, and it is also great when spread on toast.
Before I end my post for today, I must recommend a wonderful book called Stotty’ n ‘Spice Cakes, by Bill Griffiths. which is all about North Eastern food in England and is a fascinating read. “Renowned North East linguist and historian, Bill Griffiths, takes the reader on a journey through the cooking history of the North East. He takes us back in time to the way North East kitchens used to be – from the griddle on an open fire, via the ‘beehive’ oven and polished kitchen range, right through to the modern-day microwave oven. He also takes a fascinating look at traditional North East fare and cooking skills – including changing tastes and supply of foods – peppered with recipes for traditional favourites such as pease pudding, pikelets and panackelty. And of course, all of this is served up with generous helpings of dialect, stories, poems and humour, alongside nostalgic pictures and drawings. Bill says: Stotty is more than a regional recipe book – it’s a trip down memory lane to be enjoyed across generations.”
Watch out for my other North East posts over the next few weeks, and the recipe for the BEST sandwich filling on the world (!!) is shared below! See you later, Karen
Other interesting links to Stotty Cakes:
British Cheese Week
Saturday 7th – Sunday 15th September 2013
British Cheese Week is a nation wide campaign designed to raise the profile of British cheese and celebrate this years winners, announced at the Awards Dinner on Friday 6th September.
It kicks off with CHEESES ON THE GREEN – 2 events created to make sure Cheese Lovers got to see and taste the 900 or so cheeses entered in the Awards.
Although the winners are the focal point of the campaign it is in fact designed to promote all British Cheese.