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Chowdah
Something simple and filling - inspired by my CSA veggies and leftover corn from the weekend.  Easily becomes vegetarian by substituting the bacon for 4 T butter.

Serves 4-6

3 ears corn
4 strips bacon
1/2 c white wine (or water or stock - for deglazing)
2-4 scallions, thinly sliced (reserve green ends as garnish)
1 small bulb fennel, diced
1 carrot, diced
4 heaping T flour
4 c milk
1 can creamed corn
3 potatoes, diced
salt and black pepper

1) Preheat grill to medium high, remove husks from corn and grill until just beginning to char.  Once cool enough to handle remove kernels from cob and reserve.
2) Cook in large stock pot (big enough to hold all ingredients) bacon until just crisp, remove reserving fat in bottom of pit.
3) Add sliced whites of scallions, and some of the greens to rendered bacon fat and cook until soft. Deglaze with wine.
4) Add fennel and carrot and sweat for 4-6 minutes until beginning to soften.
5) Sprinkle cooked veg with flour and cook stirring constantly until veggies evenly coated.
5) Add milk, stirring constantly.  Once milk thickens slightly add creamed corn and diced potatoes and simmer 20-30 minutes.
6) Season with salt and pepper, serve with cold white wine and tossed salad.

*I've got to point out that depending on personal preference for flavour and texture veggies can be added or taken away, and the liquid amounts (less liquid for a thicker chowder, more for a thinner one) and types (wine, stock, water, cream etc) can be changed.  This is just a very basic outline of what I came up with using the ingredients I had on hand.
 
 
I got a new job!  I'm leaving my beloved Formaggio Kitchen and Create A Cook for a more corporate scene.  Big change for me.  Exciting nonetheless.

I'm also beginning to update this site.  It needs a bit of TLC.  Info updates etc. 

Anyway lots of changes.  Hopefully I can get back into the swing of blogging about myself a bit more.  Hasn't really taken yet.

Maybe I'll finally test out some recipes on here.
 
 
Chew my food more and slowly.
 

Cheese.

12/08/2009

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Right now I'm in the middle of writing a post for the Formaggio Kitchen blog about these three pieces of cheese, can anyone tell what the difference is between them?
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delicous cheese.
I've also been writing recipes for Create A Cook where I'm currently teaching.  I was surprised at how much I enjoy writing recipes.  It makes me want to see if there are more opportunities out there for me in that field. 

Dinner tonight is going to be a simple fish stew - we'll see if that recipe makes it up here.
 
 
Sticking with tradition I made my dear friend Hans his birthday present today, which is large amount of spaetzle, with emmanthal cheese, caramelized onion and bacon.  Lots of bacon.  I felt I needed to share a quick photo of what I spent a chunk of my day doing.
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Also, the oven is totally the way to go when cooking a large amount of bacon.  Trust me. 
 
 
Having just finished my second week as a part-time Cheese monger at Formaggio Kitchen it seems like a good time to write about some of the cheeses I've tasted.  These two I actually brought home for dinner this week on the recommendation of one of the more experienced cheese mongers. 

First, half a piece of Charolais.
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Charolais is a goat cheese from Burgundy.  It can be sold either very fresh or slightly aged.  This piece was on the more aged side.  It's got a bloomy rind and the center of this pieces was firm and chalky.  I thought the flavour was kinda plain, but on the earthy side.  In my mind I kept thinking the flavour was not unlike cream cheese and sour cream (but more complex) it had a sourness and a creaminess at the same time.

The next piece was  Mothis Feuille.
This is also a goat cheese, but from Poitou.  When I was being shown how to set up the fresh goat cheese case my manager told me that this specific bloomy rind is common in cheese of that region.  It's aged sitting on a chestnut leaf, which I'm assuming is a tradition and doesn't do much to the flavor.  But I'm new to this.  This cheese is much creamier with a very small center that's chalky.  I found the flavor more pungently earthy than the charolais, slightly bitter and more salty.  For some reason as I was spreading and eating this cheese I kept thinking about melted rubber.  I think it's got to do with the texture of the gooeyness, and it's shininess.

Also - the combination of apples and comté is a new favorite.
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The book that was recommended to me the first day was Steve Jenkins "Cheese Primer" and it's been very helpful.  Also very inexpensive to buy used online.

I'm really enjoying my new job.  I'm learning a lot every day I'm there and trying to read up on cheese when I'm not.  There's a lot to learn which can feel a tad daunting but the rest of the staff have been very patient and supportive.

More cheese next week.
 
 
The job I most coveted through this process, is as a part time cheese monger at Formaggio Kitchen in Cambridge.  I'll only be there two days a week but I'm thrilled to be able to learn about cheese from such a respected institution.  And also be so close to so many awesome products.

My next job which I'm also really excited about is at Create A Cook teaching culinary classes to 9-11 year olds.  I saw an ad on craigslist for a teaching position there and as luck would have it a friend from culinary school is one of the main organizers at the school, and things just fell together.  I'll be observing classes next week and hopefully I'll get my feet under me soon after and begin to teach classes.

Life is very exciting for me right now.  It's a really great feeling.
 
 
My time for the past few weeks has been occupied with finding a job, which I think I've done.  I'm really excited because it's the job I was really coveting.  I'll put a link up here when all the details get straightened out.

I've also been up to my eyeballs with bureaucratic crap.  Both immigration-wise and life in general.  Balls. 

Not much else to report.  Excited to spend this American Thanksgiving in Anguilla (seeing both my partner's family and my Mum and Uncle).  Haven't been able to visit down there in awhile, and the last time I was there was for more solemn circumstances.

Life's moving on in general.  Looking forward to getting on with it.
 
 
I spent the better part of last week in Toronto, my Omi passed away late Monday night.  She was a very important part of my life, and much of the person I am today is because of her.

As luck would have it I was in Toronto the week before because of a surgery that didn't actually happen.  It was really fortunate that I got to spend some time with her before she passed.
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Omi and I during one of her garden parties '08
Neat lady, great cook.  I'm going to miss her a lot.
 
 
Turned in my thesis last week.  Feels good. 

Time to gather myself, and try to enter the work force.  I'm excited.