Saturday, 9 May 2009

Of Markets, Graft and Delivery

I'm not fully up and cooking yet, but it's getting closer. Meanwhile, I do have a couple of points of interest.

The quarterly Handmade Market is coming closer - only two weeks to go. Sat 23rd May, 10-4 at the Albert Hall - bring cash, there's no money machine. Many vendors do take credit cards, but not all. There's going to be a Crankypants food stall there, selling not only their yummy jams and spices that you can get at Kingston market, but also food for eating on the spot. Julie forwarded me their menu; this is a selection:
* lightly curried pumpkin soup with coconut milk and yoghurt
* creamy cauliflower and blue cheese soup
* hearty vegetarian gluten-free minestrone
* homemade chicken and leek pies, chunky beef pies & roghan josh pies
* roast pumpking, mushroom and lentil pie
* cranky in a blanky (ie kransky in a puff pastry)
* mild green chicken curry
* pumpkin and red lentil curry
(Tee hee at "pumpking". It's their cute tyop, not mine.)

Graft and delivery?

I've been contacted by the Perfect Italiano Cheese people, a curious experience that I'm still not quite sure what to think of. They have sent me some free cheese and recipes, and in return I write about it on my blog. I have full editorial control, so I can say "it sucks" if I want to. My first commercial. Hmm. Obviously it's very cheap for them, but then my readership isn't huge.

Well, hey. Free cheese, and it's a brand that I do buy anyway. It's no imported Italian premium brand, but then neither is the price. It's perfectly good for routine home use, though I'd probably crack the wallet at Manuka Fine Foods for a dinner party. And being made in Australia, there's no air-miles on it either.

I do have some cooking plans, but so far I have tried three of the products.

* Shaved parmesan: I used some to jazz up a supermarket tomato minestrone soup with a tasty garnish. I've also used this before to make a variant on a cheese salad. My linked recipe used aged provolone because I had some, but any decent parmesan will be good shaved into a rocket and balsamic kind of a salad.

* Pizza plus: I had some of this in the freezer anyway. I keep it there because I don't use it fast enough, and grated cheese goes mouldy rather quickly. It's handy for a quick home pizza if you have a pre-made base or some lebanese bread. I made one with fresh tomato and capsicum, plus salami and olives. This pre-grated cheese is a mix of mostly mozzarella, with some cheddar and parmesan. I like this quite a lot - it melts nicely but not quite as stringy as pure mozzarella, and it's also tastier that pure mozz.

* Ricotta Light: this sucks. Well, it sucks on its own: I suspect it will be OK in cooking, and I do intend to use up the rest in a gratin or maybe pancakes. I tried some on pikelets with jam, where I'd normally have cream cheese or butter. It's pretty tasteless and has that slightly granular ricotta texture. The texture doesn't work well here, even though it's nice when there's also the creamy freshness of regular ricotta. I'll be sticking with low fat cream cheese or full fat ricotta on my toast and pikelets. Full fat ricotta is still pretty low fat as cheese goes, about 10%.

The inner north has gained a new delivery place: Yum Thai from Woolley St, Dickson now deliver! Yay! They have a $35 minimum order and tack on $2.50 for a delivery fee, but I don't care - if need be I'll fill it out with extra food for lunch leftovers or a second dinner. I'm very happy to have a home delivery option for Thai food, and especially from a place that doesn't suck. Yum Thai does good food; I've eaten there several times. It's my favourite local Thai, though the even newer Little Thailand seems to be shaping up as good competition.

We ordered grilled salmon with chu chee sauce ($23.50), which is one of their priciest meals but well worth it - two very good sized pieces of salmon, cooked just right to moist and flaky, served with some green beans and a good spicy sauce. The saffron (really turmeric) and coconut rice ($3.40) is aromatic, and also quite a large serve. Just what I wanted. Yum. We also had a chilli basil chicken ($14.50) and a beef massaman curry ($14.60), both pretty good, though the meat in the massaman was a bit dry.

And the Bloke ordered tempura vegetables ($7.50), which was a mistake. I usually make a point of not ordering deep fried food for delivery, because it will almost certainly go gluggy and horrible, as indeed this one did. I guess, based on the thinness of the soggy remains of the batter, that it would be good to eat in the restaurant. It must have been a very light batter; ten minutes steaming away in the foil bag in the car totally ruined it.


Zoe said...

Gillian Pollack seems to have found a use for the ricotta. Sounds orright, too.

Market Girl said...

Hi Cath,

Thanks for the mention.

Cath said...

Gillian seemed to like it a lot more than I did! I may try her recipe, but I fear it may suffer in comparison to the orange flower "ashta" I had in Sydney last weekend.

kazari said...

I got cheese, too!
I haven't posted about it yet, but I've made a four cheese lasagne, in which the ricotta worked quite beautifully.

They are certainly spreading it around!

Zoe said...

And LightSweetCrude too! But not to me they're not! I want cheese!

Roving Lemon said...

Thanks for the reminder about the Handmade Market. Also, I'm with Zoe--I want on the free cheese gravy train! (Mixing metaphors there.)