Jul 5, 2010

Lately Food Ventures, including Andrew's Cheese Shop. Yum.

What are you looking at?  Red organic grapes rolled in goat cheese and crushed, roasted pistachios.  These were inspired by my lovely friend Samantha.  She made a version of these for an Oscar party she hosted and I made a huge pig of myself with them.  Naturally, they were a no brainer for a Fourth Of July BBQ.

Husband's mom bought us this deviled egg tray, to which I initially scoffed.  I was SO wrong.  I've used this lovely tray more times than I can count for appetizers, cookies, truffles...I love you, Mama Lisa.  One day I may even make your son some deviled eggs (he lurves, me, not so much).

I made two new dishes for some clients today.  This one was beyond delicious, and I think I need to make it for myself tout suite, minus the shrimp (allergic).  It is a Vietnamese rice noodle dish with carrots, sugar snap peas, peppers, cilantro and bean sprouts.  Served cold or room temperature, the dressing makes it, which is a combo of fish sauce, rice vinegar, lime, sesame oil, a little sugar, jalapeno...YUM!  So refreshing.

This is my version of Chicken Saag.  I like, but don't love Indian food.  I like spice, but not overly spiced, and I don't enjoy chewing on whole coriander seeds or fennel seeds or mustard seeds...you get my drift.  So I cook "Indian light", meaning less fat and less spice, so you still get curry and ginger and chili without drowning in it.  I made this for my client last week and she requested it again!  Love that.

The other new dish; flank steak rolled with veggies and cheese, Italian style.  I sauteed garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, carrots, spinach, and red peppers.  When the veggies were tender, I mixed in mozzarella and Romano cheese, topped with chopped fresh parsley and stuffed the steak, which I tenderized and marinated in a bit of olive oil and Worcestershire sauce.  I hope the steak is tender...it looked good!

I had some coconut cake...

...and CHEESE (not in the same meal).  I'm obsessed with cheese lately (more than usual), and decided after my cook session I had to finally check out Andrew's Cheese Shop (I've listened to him on Good Food and have fantasized about going for over a year-yeah-I don't get out much).  Andrew did not disappoint.  He was friendly and confident and bold with his cheese choices for moi.  I told him I was hungry and the only cheese eater in my house (husband is lactose intolerant) and could he hook me up with enough cheese to gorge myself for the next week or so.  He picked three (and gave me info on them-check it out):

Brillat-Savarin (the brie at the top of the plate):
Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin was a French lawyer who became renowned as a food critic.  He was the author of the great book, "The Physiology of Taste" (1825).  The cheese was created in his honor in the 1930s by Henri Androuette, founder of the world's greatest cheese shop.  This is the original triple-creme.  The cheese is made in Normandy and the flavor is as rich as it gets with a gentle hint of mushrooms.

Tomme Dolce (next to the brie with the orange rind):
Tomme Dolce is one of many extremely small production cheeses from Andante dairy in Petaluma, CA.  Soyoung Scanlan, the cheesemaker, creates a variety of handmade artisan dairy products with musical names.  Tomme Dolce is made from goat's milk and the cheese is given a bath of brandy and plum jam which is where the smell comes from.  The flavors are fruity with hints of honey, cinnamon, cloves and anise.

Kirkham's Lancashire (the crumbly one):
Curds from three days of cheese making are combined to make Kirkham's Lancashire.  The texture is moist, rich, crumbly and creamy with what's locally known as "buttery crumble".  Don't be alarmed if you see some bluing in this cheese; it's a mark of distinction here as it is in other English farmhouse cheeses.

This was my dinner:  sugar snap peas, cucumber, grapes, pears, pickles, crackers and CHEESE.  So happy.  Could this be the new "ritual meal"?  Hmmm...

What are you craving?

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