Smoked Haddock & Mature Coolea Pot with Dippy Soldier

Ali Honour of Ali’s Kitchen in Cork is a great champion of Irish produce and particular Irish Farmhouse Cheeses. When asked if she would like to write a recipe for CAIS using cheese, we had the choice between Mature Ballinrostig or Mature Coolea. As we had already featured a recipe with Ballinrostig, the choice using Coolea was an easy one. Here she pairs the cheese with smoked haddock, saying the cheese is bold enough to stand up to the smoked fish.

Photo Credit: Bia Sasta, Elke O’Mahony

You will need:

  • Butter 50g
  • 200g Skinless smoked haddock, cut into little chunks
  • 4 tsp dry white wine
  • 75g Peas/spinach or both
  • 100g diced cooked potato
  • 80g Coolea Mature, grated
  • 200ml double cream
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • Pepper & Salt to taste
  • 4 medium eggs
  • small bunch chives, chopped
  • sourdough toast (2 slices per person)


Heat the oven to 180 fan 160 c or gas 5.

Butter 4 small ovenproof dishes and put them in a small roasting tin. Divide the haddock, potato, peas/spinach & chives between the dishes.
Beat the cream, wine & mustard, lots of pepper and a little salt. Break an egg into each dish and pour over the cream mixture until all the yolks are just covered. Add another small knob of butter & sprinkle the cheese over each pot.

Pour hot water from a kettle into the roasting tin so it comes 2cm up the sides of the ramekins. Carefully place in the oven and bake for around 20-25 minutes or until the eggs are just set.

Have the toasted sourdough at the ready and dip away!

Irish Cheese Awards 2017

Our biennial awards ceremony took place in Ballymaloe Grainstore on Thursday, 2nd November 2017. The gala dinner was was a sold out affair and the atmosphere in the room was relaxed and amused as our MC, Ross Golden-Bannon, announced the winners (with a few hiccups)of this year’s Irish Cheese Awards. 160 cheeses were entered with 17 new cheeses – proof that the Irish artisan cheese industry is thriving. This year’s Lifetime Achievement Award went to Jane & Louis Grubb of Cashel Blue Farmhouse Cheese – a worthy winner of a family business that has grown naturally and includes now the second generation (and hopefully soon, the third generation. Louis Grubb is also acting chairman of CAIS and has contributed not only his expertise but also his passion and love for the industry. When Jane & Louis received their award on stage, they were greeted by standing ovations – a true sign of the love and respect they both have in the industry.

We extend a warm thank you and gratitude to our sponsors – we would not have been able to celebrate the awards if not for the support of Bord Bia, Pallas Foods, Horgan’s Delicatessen, Traditional Cheese, Sheridan’s Cheesemongers and Gleneely Foods. Over the years, these companies have supported and promoted Irish cheesemakers here at home and abroad.

Congratulations to all winners of the 2017 Irish Cheese Awards:

Supreme Champion
Mount Leinster Clothbound’ Coolattin Cheddar made by Tom Burgess

Reserve Champions
Best Cow’s Milk Cheese
‘Mount Leinster Clothbound’ Coolattin Cheddar made by Tom Burgess

Best Goat’s Milk Cheese
St. Tola Ash Log made by Inagh Farmhouse Cheese

Best Other Milk Cheese
Cashel Crozier Blue made by Cashel Farmhouse Cheesemakers

Best in Retailer Class
Aldi Specially Selected Tipperary Blue entered by Aldi Stores Ireland Ltd

Class Winners
No winners in Class 1 & Class 2

Class 3 – Soft, Fresh Cheese, All Milks
No Gold & Silver
Bronze & Best in Class – Bluebell Falls Original

Class 4 – Soft, Fresh Cheese, Flavour Added, All Milks
Best in Class – Ardsallagh Cranberry Roulade

Class 5 – White Rind Cheese, All Milks
Gold & Best in Class – St Tola Ash Log
Silver – St Tola Aged Log

Class 6 – Wahsed Rind Cheese, All Milks
Gold & Best in Class – Gubbeen
Gold – Durrus
Bronze – Milleens Dote

Class 7 – Blue Cheese, All Milks
Gold & Best in Class – Crozier Blue
Silver – Cashel Blue
Silver – Boyne Valley Blue

Class 8 – Pressed Cheese, Up to 3 Months, All Milks
Gold & Best in Class – Boyne Valley Bán
Silver – Killeen Goat
Bronze – Cáis na Tíre Gouda Young

Class 9 – Pressed Cheese, Aged 3 Months +, All Milks
Gold & Best in Class – Coolatting Mount Leinster Clothbound
Silver – Derg Cheddar
Silver – Sheridans Cheesemongers 15 Fields
Bronze – Mature Coolattin
Bronze – Coolea Matured

Class 10 – Pressed Cheese, Flavour Added, All Milks
Silver & Best in Class – Burren Gold Piri Piri
Bronze – Coolea Cumin

Class 11 – Smoked Cheese, All Milks
Silver & Best in Class – Smoked Durrus
Silver – Burren Gold Smoked
Silver – Milleens Smoked Céad
Bronze – Extra Mature Smoked Gubbeen

Class 12 – Best New Cheese in last 24 months, All Milks
Gold & Best in Class – Ardsallagh Corabbey-Romano
Gold – Organic Cashel Blue
Silver – Boyne Valley Bán
Bronze – Bó Rua Farm Cheddar

Class 13 – Retailer’s Class Creamery
Bronze & Best in Class – Horgan’s 1921 Vintage Cheddar

Class 14 – Retailer’s Class Fresh Washed Rind, White Rind & Blue Cheeses
Gold & Best in Class – Dunnes Stores Basil Pesto Irish Cream Cheese
Gold – Aldi Specially Selected Tipperary Blue
Silver – Dunnes Stores Milleens
Silver – Tesco St Tola Original
Silver – SuperValu Cashel Blue
Bronze – Dunnes Stores Wicklow Blue
Bronze – SuperValu Colleeney
Bronze – SuperValu Gubbeen

Class 15 – Retailer’s Class Pressed & Smoked Cheeses
Bronze & Best in Class – Tesco Cheddar with Walnut