Sunday, July 30, 2006

Hello, Halloumi!

Halloumi, where have you been all my life?

After spending almost a decade living with a vegan and rarely purchasing cheese for the house or ordering cheese when dining out, I decided I was going to start eating and familiarizing myself with cheese in an attempt to become more worldly. I somehow completely missed Halloumi.

Halloumi is a hard salty cheese from Cypress and is made from goat’s and sheep’s milk. It doesn’t loose its shape or melt when heated. This means you can fry it and grill it.

I was introduced to Halloumi in the UK. It’s in every grocery store and recipes with Halloumi abound in UK cooking magazines.

As my partner fried some up in a pan, he said,” What, you’ve never had Halloumi at a Mediterranean restaurant?”

“No,” I sheepishly responded.

He sliced and fried some up, then squeezed lemon juice on top, and we ate it as an appetizer along with olives. The taste is mild and salty. The texture is dense and chewy. I was not expecting such a chewy texture, but was pleasantly surprised. With such a texture I can see Halloumi substituting for meat or tofu in dishes.

Suggested uses: Eat fresh, grilled or fried. Use in kabobs, tossed with or grated on pasta, in a sandwich, topped on salad, or by itself. Here are recipes.

Once you try it and have your mind around the texture and taste you’ll come up with endless ideas for using Halloumi. It’s not as readily found in US stores, so call around. I had to call four stores before I found a store selling Halloumi.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Borough Market - Pt. 2

Like a chipmunk, I stuff my cheeks with chutney at Borough Market. Thank god my cheeks aren’t ever expanding, or maybe…I should be cursing god for not giving me cheek pouches.

Quince paste, aka Membrillo, is found amongst cheeses and pairs well with
Manchego cheese.

The bf says this cider's some good shit. I can't vouch for it, as I prefer the hard stuff.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Borough Market - Pt. 1

I would kill kittens to have a market like Borough Market in London near me. Ok, maybe not kittens, but I would sacrifice something!

Borough Market is located in Southwark on the southern side of the Thames River in central London and specializes in wholesale and retail sales of fruits, vegetables, and fine foods. It has been in operation for 2000 years - yeah, that's three zeros - and covers 4.5 acres! It’s open for retail business Fridays 12-6 and Saturdays 9-4. It should be at the top of your tourist list if colorful displays of produce make you squeal and pitch a tent.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

My Fat Ass Also Ate...

Ploughman’s lunch with Brie, cheddar, baguette, chutney, potatoes, and pickles. Sorry, the light was very low as this was in an underground tunnel at Gordon’s Wine Bar in London. Very good. Have a bit of this and a bit of that.

Asparagus and mushroom pie bought from a stall at Borough Market in London.

Paper dosa with mala kofta at Diwana in London. Very Good.

Sticky Toffee Pudding (My new favorite dessert.) at a pub in Edinburgh.

Spanish tortilla with olives and various salads in Edinburgh.

Vegetarian haggis, neeps, and tatties and a wee dram at Tass in Edinburgh. Haggis is just meat, onions, and oats – not as gross as you imagine. The veggie haggis was just lovely.

Goat cheese tart with papaya chutney at The World’s End in Edinburgh.

Pasta with olives, eggplant, tomatoes, and zucchini at the pub in the Kintail Lodge Hotel in Sheil Bridge, Scotland. One of the tastier meals!
Toast and jam, fried egg, tomatoes, and mushrooms. My only full English breakfast, thank god, at a B&B in Ratagan, Scotland. I like tomatoes, but not warm and for breakfast. I don't like fried eggs.

Malaya curry at Prince of India in Portree, Isle of Skye. The strangest and worst curry I’ve ever had. It had pineapple in it and was extremely sweet. My partner’s Masala curry was even sweeter. Stay away from this place unless you like a cup of sugar in your curry.

Penne pasta with tomato sauce, leeks, and red pepper. Self-made and eaten at the Dun Flodigarry hostel on the Isle of Skye. Very good.

Natto and burdock sushi and inari in London

Vegetarian tartiflette from the weekend French market near Swiss Cottage Station in London.

Vegetarian Ambledown pies from Get Real in the frozen food section of the grocer. Very good.

Red Thai pasta salad with eggplant and peas from a news stand in Chelsea.

Moroccan fruity couscous from Marks and Spencer. Very good take-away.

Fire roasted balsamic veggie burrito from Giraffe in London.

Umm...I'm currently eating salads.