September, Spring and the Sentral Market! (Hmmm…)

This month I have the opportunity to be the guest blogger for the Adelaide Central Market. As a market lover it was an offer too good to refuse! Hopefully I’ll be able to post a few useful recipes and tidbits for this fantastic (if a little wet) month of September! We are just at the start of Spring, so we are beginning to say goodbye to all those Winter vegetables, and hello to all those wonderful leafy greens, asparagus, peas, broad beans. Also, lamb is at its best at this time of the year.

Good Food and Wine launches this week, so I thought what better way to kick off than a post about cheese, one of my favourite things to eat (and it pairs rather nicely with wine).

I had a chat with Vanessa Wood of the Smelly Cheese company to get some ideas from someone with far more expertise than I.

 

Vanessa’s cheese tips:

  • Buy only as much cheese as you need- buy smaller pieces, more often.
  • In order to fully appreciate cheese, leave at room temperature for at least an hour before eating, this is especially important for softer cheeses!

My cheese tips:

  • You don’t have to buy a whole heap of different cheeses; I think three on a board is great. The best way to start is with a mould-ripened, a blue and a hard cheese.
  • I like to have cheese with good bread or water crackers, any flavoured biscuit will detract from the cheese. Pears and apples are great and in season at the moment, so having some slices on your cheese platter is a good idea. I’m a sucker for dried apricots. Grapes are good but not so much at this time of the year. Quince paste goes well with cheese, but I was once told that you only need quince paste if the cheese is crap!
  • Don’t be scared off quality cheese by the price tag. Sure, $60/kg sounds expensive, but considering you probably don’t need any more than 100 or 150 grams, $6- $9 is pretty good considering it will be far better than any pre-packaged stuff at the supermarket.
  • If you are enjoying a cheese platter, eat the milder cheeses first (fresh, mould ripened), as hard or blue cheeses will completely overpower your palate and you wont be able to taste the more subtle milder cheese.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions! Who knows the cheese better than the people selling it. Good cheese shops will let you try cheese before you buy it.

I have always been a big cheese fan but my knowledge about cheese left something to be desired. Fortunately during the competition I spent a day with cheese expert Will Studd, and I not only ate my own weight in cheese but also picked up some handy cheese-releated information.

This was the only photo I could find of the day, despite the photo I assure you I was really interested in what was going on!

One of my all-time favourite cheese recipes is really something very simple, and is a pasta inspired by one of my childhood and current heroes, Jamie Oliver.

Ingredients:

2/3 cup pine nuts

2/3cup good olive oil

Juice and zest of 2 lemons

Bunch parsley, leaves picked, shredded

100g Parmigiano Reggiano, grated

100g Pecorino, grated

Flake salt and freshly cracked black pepper

1 packet of good quality dried tagliatelle or your favourite pasta (or make your own- but that’s a recipe for another day)

Method:

  1. In a mortar and pestle pound up half the pine nuts to a paste. Stir in olive oil, juice and zest, parsley, the two cheeses and remaining pine nuts. Taste the mix, it should have a nice acidity as when the cheese melts it will mellow the flavour. If necessary balance the taste with more cheese, oil or juice. Transfer to a metal bowl over a bain-marie to heat gently.
  2. Boil a big pot of salted water and cook the pasta to al dente’. Drain the cooked pasta and toss through the warmed cheese mixture to coat in the cheesy sauce. Add a little of the pasta cooking water if you need to loosen the sauce. Serves 4

Don’t forget to get into the Market through September for your chance to win an exclusive tour with George and Gary from Masterchef. ‘Like’ the Adelaide Central Markets on Facebook to stay up to date with Market activities and promotions.

You can also follow me on twitter (@callumskitchen) or facebook (callum hann)

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8 responses to this post.

  1. Hey, lovely blog post – I’ll be keeping an eye out for you – I go on Friday mornings and I just love it! The people, the vibe, the freshness, the choice. It beats any supermarket by a very long way!

    Reply

  2. Love the post, mate.

    Were those cheese wheels in the market? I think I want to become an affineur.

    Also, I think I know what I’m gonna get you for your 21st.

    Reply

  3. Posted by Soph on September 12, 2010 at 4:32 am

    Loved the post Callum, you really are an inspiration!
    Make sure you make your way down to Melbourne very soon, I’d love to meet you!

    Reply

  4. Thanks so much for this post! I’m often pretty lost with cheeses, it’s not a big thing in my Asian family, in fact only this year in my mum’s 50 year life did she realise that there is more than one type of cheese! I love it when she said to me ‘ohhhh that’s why there’s all those different names on the cheese packages in the supermarket!’. I was like ‘what on earth did you think they meant :)!’.

    But I personally love cheese and when I move out I’m going to go on some sort of journey of cheese… it’s just dad can’t stand dairy products so I can’t try them out yet :(.

    Reply

  5. Nice post. I’m a market lover too and Adelaide’s Central Markets have to be up there with the best produce. Thanks for the cheese tips!!

    Reply

  6. Sorry Callum, but I have to disagree with you on the not serving cheese with flavoured biscuits. I have a couple of favourites. Ginger nuts with cheddar and Granita biscuits with camembert.

    Reply

  7. Posted by Sharnee Rawson on September 14, 2010 at 9:04 pm

    Great post Callum!
    Haha – what a terrible photo from our Will Studd class! That day required maximum cheese dedication.
    You should link in the cheese song from the Mighty Boosh for bonus cheese nerd points.

    Reply

  8. Points for alliteration!!
    You are brilliant Callum 🙂
    Hope to see you at the market sometime!
    – C x

    Reply

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