In my mind the only thing better than a box of cheese being delivered to my door would be a box of gin. No requirement for chocolates and flowers to win my affections. As such I was thrilled to receive a parcel of award winning cheeses from The Cheese Market. The somewhat stinky, but perfectly chilled box contained:
Rosary Garlic & Herb - A soft textured young cheese with a fresh, clean flavour; hints of lemon + subtle notes of goat milk. Delicately flavoured by garlic + herbs.
Quickes Vintage Cheddar - Handmade with Fresian cows' milk for a rich flavour. Cloth bound + matured for at least nine months, it has a mellow + distinct nutty character.
Tunworth - An 'ode' to Camembert, but the taste is really unique; clean + smoother than its French inspiration. It has a nutty + sweet milky yet savoury taste.
Perl Las - A superb blue that is strong yet delicate + creamy. Hand made with some of the family presses used for the cheeses being over 100 years old.
My cheesy goodies couldn't have come at a better time as it was a week before Aberdeen's Pinnies & Petticoats Baking Club Cheese themed month. I resisted temptation and pondered what goodies I could bake but alas disaster struck and the event was postponed. Only one thing to do, dive straight in and console myself with vast quantities of biscuits and cheese. Both the Tunworth and the Perl Las were amazing. Oozy, stinky and powerful, just the way I like them. I stirred the Rosary Garlic & Herb Goat's Cheese through pasta to make a wonderful creamy sauce whilst the Quickes Vintage Cheddar was used to make a fantastically hearty supper of Spaghetti Carborara Frittata. Discover The Cheese Market for yourself with 10% off your first order using code NC101.
Not as tasty as cheese but equally exciting was the arrival of an 18cm Stellar Cookware Stackable Draining Saucepan. No more juggling with colanders, sieves and scalded fingers. The innovative design has a perfectly flat glass lid enabling you to see whats cooking and makes them easily stackable. I reckoned the toughest test would be cooking rice, would I be able to drain it one handedly with no escapee grains? I was delighted to find that the Stellar Tate worked perfectly on my Induction Hob. I've had issues with some so called "induction compatible" pans not living up to their promises but the even heat distribution brought everything quickly to the boil. Also great to have an easy to read internal measuring guide on the pan. This will come in very handy when reducing sauces to a desired quantity. Rice cooked and it was time to drain. The lidded handle clicks perfectly into place and thanks to the pouring lip draining was easy with absolutely no lost rice.
Pasta put to the test next with Spaghetti for my Carbonara. Coincidentally this dish was cooked on the day of the Solar Eclipse and it didn't matter that my colanders were engaged elsewhere. Potatoes and Vegetables have also been tried, tested and drained with success. My 10 and 12 year old have also tried it out and from a safety point of view it's much better than conventional draining methods. A lifetime guarantee means that my colander may well be redundant, at least until 2090.
The recipe I'm sharing below is a really tasty and wonderfully filling supper dish. Exactly the same ingredients you would find in a traditional Spaghetti Carbonara, its just the quantity ratios have been juggled. The recipe makes 4-6 portions depending on how hungry you are and if you serve anything alongside. It is however very much worth your while to keep at least one slice back to pop in the fridge. It makes an awesome cold breakfast the next morning.
SPAGHETTI CARBONARA FRITTATA
125g sliced thick cut ham
6 free range eggs
large handful of wild garlic - chopped (or chives/parsley)
generous pinch of ground black pepper
100g strong cheese grated (I used Quickes Vintage Cheddar)
splash of oil
Cook the spaghetti in boiling salted water for 12 minutes and drain.
In a large bowl beat the eggs and add a pinch of pepper (no salt required as the ham is salty enough)
To the beaten eggs add chopped wild garlic/chives/parsley, 75g of the grated cheese, the chopped ham and drained spaghetti and mix thoroughly.
Heat a splash of oil in a large frying pan then add mixture, spread it out and cook over a low heat for 8 minutes.
Meanwhile preheat your grill.
Sprinkle the remaining 25g of cheese over the top and grill for 5 minutes until the cheese is melted, bubbling and lightly browned.
Slice, serve and enjoy.
The ham that I used to make my Frittata was actually my Irn Bru Ham whose recipe generated so much interest worldwide back in January for Burns Night. Fear not, its not been lingering in my fridge all that time. I froze the leftovers with the aid of my FoodSaver. This device vacuum seals food and enables it to be kept for up to 5 times longer. Once sealed the food can then be refrigerated, left to marinade, microwaved or frozen. The culinary ambitious can even cook it sous vide. Packaging foods for the freezer has been working particularly well for me. No freezer burn, takes up much less space than freezing in containers and enables me to buy in bulk and portion up. In addition to using the bags are rolls the FoodSaver can also be used to reseal existing packaging. No more excuses that you have to eat the whole family sized pack of crisps or they will go soft.
The short video below demonstrates the system much better than I can describe or photograph. There's also an additional attachment available to vacuum seal opened bottles. I didn't receive this to review, clearly the good folks at FoodSaver are aware that leftover wine is an alien concept in this house.
Disclosure : Thanks to The Cheese Market, Stellar Cookware and FoodSaver for providing the above products. I was not obliged to review positively in return. All views expressed are my own.