Tag Archives: Cheese

Thursday CANNOT come soon enough (i.e. drooooling over my cheese board)

At work… and there is a lot of it. In order to stop bouncing on my chair and googling ideal wine pairings for my cheese, I thought I’d share my cheeses for Thursday night’s cheese board. Figure I’d try and get it out of my system (so that I can go back to work).

First of all… I heart the cheese room at Jones the Grocer. I also heart the one at Galleries Lafayette BUT the Jones the Grocer one is bigger and their staff (at least the ones I’ve met) are very knowledgeable.

Yesterday after the gym – first time in weeks… because well all the christmas eating and drinking is definitely taking it’s toll šŸ˜¦ – I headed to Jones at night. Good call, because parking was easy and I had the cheese lady all to myself!

Ended up coming away with:

– Stilton

– Truffled Brie de Meaux (can I just say that as she cut my piece and I could see all the ooooozzzzyyy goodness, it took A LOT of willpower not to eat it right then and there. This cheese will taunt me in my fridge until Thursday)

– Cantal (a very young one)

– Ossau-Iraty

Gah… I cannot wait to eat these.

Also, took A LOT of willpower not to buy out the room.

Fact: If I was rich, I’d be the size of a house. Then again…if I was rich, I wouldn’t have to work and I could spend 2 hours a day in the gym.. and eat… hmmmm…. anyways. :-p

Bring on the Christmas celebrations!! x


Burrata with Bread from the Farmer’s Market

Burrata cheese is SO good it doesn’t need much, so this is less a recipe and more a PSA. IF you haven’t tried Burrata go and get some. If you’re in Dubai… the farmer’s market (Saturday’s at Garden Center) now sells freshly made burrata. (Thanks Foodiva for the tip!).

So in case burrata is new to you it’s basically buffalo mozarella with a creamy and curdy center – which is so yummy!

What I did for my lunch/dinner was to lightly grill some beautiful Italian potato bread (also bought at the Farmer’s market). I then brushed the bread with some quick homemade basil oil – which I made by pounding together a bunch of basil with some garlic, a green chili, sea salt and olive oil. I then topped the bread with some tomato slices.

I used the bread to scoop out the creamy center. YUM!!!


Gruyere and scamorza flat bread pizza

This is another dish I threw together with what was already in the house. (To be fair though, usually when I go grocery shopping, if I see something interesting (like scamorza – smoked mozzarella) I’ll buy it with the intent to figure out what I will make later.)

For lunch I decided to make pizza. As I couldn’t be bothered to make pizza dough, I just used a large flat bread instead. I used a large pita bread… well more accurately a large white flour Lebanese bread that I bought at Waitrose (same one that can be bought EVERYWHERE).

Anyways I made it using: home-made tomato sauce, grated gruyere, scamorza, mushrooms, semi-dried tomatoes, and green olives.

 

Tomato sauce

Saute some chopped onions and garlic in a little butter. Then add in some chopped fresh tomatoes. Season with salt, pepper, and oregano. Put in a squeeze or two of tomato paste and a splash of red wine. Then pour in a little boiling water and let the sauce reduce until almost all the liquid is gone. Then finish with a little truffle oil.

Building the pizza

Spread a thin layer of the tomato sauce all over the bread. Then spread a thin layer of the grated gruyere all over the pizza. Add sliced mushrooms, sliced olives, and semi-dried tomatoes. Then add small pieces of the scamorza all over the pizza.

Bake in the oven until everything is melty and the base is a little crisp.

Slice up and eat (with a salad).

Enjoy x


Mushroom and feta quiche (egg white only)

I have beenĀ askedĀ before why I don’t putĀ measurementsĀ and exact figures into my recipes and this is why. This recipe I totally made up. No previousĀ skimming of recipe books or googling. I just had an idea and made it up as I went along. Cooking should be like that… take an idea and make it your own. Hence why I think precise measurements aren’t a requirement.

As to why quiche: when I as in Barcelona I ate at this one place in La Boqueria where they had the most yummy quiches ever. Usually I hate quiche, but these ones I loved. I figured it was because they didn’t use egg yolks (I hate egg yolks). So IĀ set out (when I got home) to re-create the dish (an egg-white only quiche).

I have never made a quiche before, I barely ever eat them, but with at least the idea in mind that it’s an egg and pastry dish, I made up my own, the below is what I did. (It was pretty delish as well… though I say so myself!)

Mushroom and Feta Quiche

What you will need:

  • puff pastry squares
  • eggs
  • skim milk
  • mushrooms
  • crumbly feta
  • parmesan
  • onion
  • garlic
  • coriander
  • olive oil
  • salt, pepper, tabasco
  • deep muffin pan
Spray your muffin pan with a light baking spray and take your puff pastry squares out to thaw.
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SauteĀ your mushrooms and onion (there should be way more mushrooms than onion) in a pan with some butter and a little finely chopped garlic. Season. Once cooked through (translucent not burned) take off the heat and set aside to cool.
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In a bowl whip your egg whites up with a some milk and a splash of olive oil. You want to aerate the mixture, so put some muscle behind the fork! Then add in chopped coriander, a little crumbly feta, a little parmesan, and your cooled mushroom mixture. Season with salt, pepper, and tabasco.
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Fill each hole in your muffin tray with a pastry square, then add a teeny amount of extra feta to the bottom of each square before topping to about 3/4 the way up with the egg mixture. Bake until the puff pastry is browned and the eggs are cooked through.
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(Just in case: for 6 deep muffin trays… I used 4 egg whites and about a tenth of a small Almarai milk bottle; and if you are concerned about the volume of mushroom mixture – don’t add it to the eggs, just spoon directly into each pastry square so that you can control amounts.)
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Enjoy! x

Whole-wheat Gnudi

(The picture will come later… it’s at home and I’m not.)

Basil Gnudi

I stumbled upon this idea a few weeks ago when internet searching for something to make. I call it an “idea” because I’m in no way following the actual recipe and just making my own instead. The Gnudi recipes I have come across require eggs, parmesan, some require submerging the dumplings in semolina for hours, others require other things. But not mine… mine is super simple. Just some ricotta, olive oil, water, and flour. I also added pesto for flavour.

Anyways… first off… whole-wheat flour is just not as yummy as normal flour, but it is healthier, so that’s why I used it. Second of all a really tasty tomato sauce is definitely the way to go with this. I will also explain how I made a more-ish tomato sauce in all of 5 minutes. But first on to the Gnudi (which is a ricotta based gnocchi!)

Basil (Pesto) Gnudi

In a blender cream your ricotta with some: salt, pepper, and paprika, plus a big spoonful of basil pesto. Taste. Is it yummy? Good. If not, season till it is. Then once its all creamy, dump into a bowl, and add a good glug of olive oil (could also do truffle oil… mmm).

Now start adding your (whole-wheat) flour. There is no measurement for this… you’re just trying to make a dough. Which means slowly incorporate the flour until you have a workable dough (i.e. forms into a ball without sticking, or stickiness on the outside). Add a little water as well, if needed. (The dough should be moist but come away cleanly from your hands when you knead it into a ball.)

Once the dough is ready… stick it in the fridge for about half an hour. Afterwards take it out and form your gnudi (gnocchi) anyway you want. I went for “rustic” and just made a long sausage shape and then pulled off bite sized pieces.

Boil until your Gnudi float to the top. Then either top with sauce and eat OR pan fry slightly first to get a little crisp crunch, then top with sauce and eat! šŸ™‚

Tomato Sauce

I’ve made all kinds of versions of tomato sauce from the easy peasy to the complex. This one is super quick easy peasy. Take a small sauce pan and dump in some passata or other un-flavoured tomato base. I used Pomi strained tomatoes because it was near to hand. Then roughly chop up some garlic and red chili… add to the slowly simmering Ā tomato sauce. Season with sea salt and pepper and a good sized piece of butter. At the end, add in some chopped fresh basil. Done!

Top your Gnudi with the tomato sauce and some parmesan. Enjoy! x


Pan-fried Feta and Skordalia

In the mood for some Greek food tonight. No idea why… but who am I to ignore my tummy’s cravings!

So tonight it’s some pan-fried (ahem shallow fried) feta and skordalia. I first had skordalia 3 years ago at Taste Festival… it was a beetroot skordalia with battered fish and it was dreamy… what can I say? Give me copious amounts of oil, garlic, lemon and chili and I am yours!

Anyways… on to the recipes.

Skordalia

Peel and cube a potato and then chuck it into salted water along with 6 garlic cloves. Bring to the boil and let sit until the potato is cooked. Then chuck the potatoes and garlic into a blender along with 2 more (raw) garlic cloves, 2 chilies, salt, and a glug of olive oil. Blend. Then add in some olive oil, lemon juice and vinegar. Blend. Add more oil until you get the desired consistency. Season with salt, pepper, and lemon juice until happy with the taste. Set aside.

Pan-fried Feta

Cut some feta into large pieces and dip in ice-cold water. Then dip coat the feta pieces with seasoned flour (salt, pepper and paprika) and shallow fry in canola or olive oil.

Add a lemon and some coriander and good to go! There’s a lot of oil going on in this dish so a little goes a looooooong way!

Enjoy x


Pesto Halloumi Skewers

Halloumi Skewers

Cut halloumi and bread into big cubes and dump into a bowl. Add whole mushrooms as well. Season the halloumi, bread, and mushrooms with salt, pepper, paprika, and a little lemon juice. Add a big spoonful of pesto and mix it all together.

Thread the bread, halloumi, and mushrooms onto skewers (if using wooden skewers, you should first soak them in water for a little bit so that they don’t burn). Then place under the grill and remove once the halloumi and bread are coloured but not burned.

Enjoy x