Tag Archive for: cheese

Green wet garlic, red meat and blue cheese…

Sirloin with shallot and wet garlic, finished with Blacksticks Blue

As part of Miss South’s trip north at the end of March I wanted to ensure we could enjoy what is rapidly becoming a prerequisite for our family gatherings: excellent beef steak. As usual the wonderful Stansfield’s of Tod market was able to supply the required cuts, in this case two glorious Yorkshire sirloins. Once I’d bought these I picked up a brace of oh-so-fresh wet garlic bulbs from Alex Med – the first of the year – and decided that this, alongside a few rogue shallots which were crying out to be used, could provide the basis of a very pleasant main course. With a starter of Woodcock and a dessert of Buckfast sorbet this was shaping up to a helluva meal… Read more

Frittata? That’d be lovely, ta…

Onion, potato and tomato frittata

“Frittata, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Free-ta-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Free. Ta. Ta.”*

A long time ago I was deeply influenced by the writing of Marcella Hazan. She was, and remains, one of my favourite food writers; not just for her playful tone and homely style, but also for her authoritative standing on all things Italian-American. Our family used to holiday regularly in Italy when we were growing up, so the palates of Miss South and myself were honed through years of exposure to appreciate in simple yet perfect Mediterranean staples and delicacies. A Marcella cookbook or two always stood, well thumbed, on the kitchen bookshelf, and I’ve upheld this tradition since living here in England. I was given “Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking” many moons ago, and almost immediately alighted on the chapter on frittate. I fell in love and I’ve not looked back since.

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rabbit with morcilla and chocolate

Morcilla and chocolate rabbit with a fluffy mash tail

Conejo En Salsa De Chocolate Con Morcilla

This is a recipe which perfectly chimes with the Easter theme for me –  a chocolate rabbit –  although I actually cooked this in November last year. I found the recipe online when I was trying to pair up rabbit and morcilla (Spanish black pudding) after I found I was in possession of both elements. I believe it originally featured in “The Art of South American Cooking,” by Felipe Rojas-Lombardi, and was republished by Jayne Benet writing in the San Francisco Chronicle in 1992. It’s absolutely fantastic! Read more

A taste of Eritrea in Brixton…

Mister North was London-bound again this week and I decided to introduce him to one of my favourite neighbourhood restaurants, Asmara on Coldharbour Lane. This is an Eritrean restaurant serving delicious food at extremely good prices. It’s also within walking distance of my house making it perfect for a casual Tuesday evening dinner.

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A little slice of Pexommier cheese…

Sometimes the simplest things bring the greatest pleasure. This evening’s meal was based around local food: incredible fresh bread from the Height Top Barn Company, and gloriously melting Pexommier cheese from the Pextenement Cheese Company.

This is the latest offering from this local start-up producer, coming hot on the heels of their wonderfully fresh East Lee soft cheeses. Having sat at room temperature for some days, this cheese was just starting to ooze runnily when I cut it open: the mild aroma did little to alert me to the fantastically rich, smooth taste and texture. One might lazily start by comparing it to a good cambembert, though without the slightly ammonia-esque tang you might expect of that more matured cheese. However that comparison doesn’t aid in highlighting the slight sweetness of the cheese, the oh-so-soft skin and the harmonious pairing with some really good bread and local butter. All washed down with a great beer (in this case a Trippel from Chimay… the one with the white label).

Pextenement recommend aging it for four weeks after purchase… I managed ten days before the temptation became too much to bear. My excuse? Well, I’d not had it before and my anticipation was heightened after spending some time with the producers in my local the previous evening. Oh, and it was the perfect quick meal solution after a long day in the office. Sometimes the best fast food is really just slow food in disguise…