Fried cheese. It almost sounds too much, but your mouth can’t help but water. And perhaps I’m doing Halloumi Cheese Saganaki a disservice by reducing it to such simplicity. But that’s what cheese saganaki is; a simple Greek dish, prepared quickly and eaten even faster.
Forget the warmth, sunshine and shorts. If there’s one thing I’m made jealous of by visiting a Mediterranean country, it’s the beauty and flavour of its vegetables. Peppers, aubergines, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions; you name it – it’s bigger and better.
The tomatoes alone in countries like Greece and Spain almost force me to up roots. And it’s those ingredients that make the Traditional Greek Salad a dish best eaten abroad. Still, get your hands on some good quality native veggies and you’ll emerge from dinner happier than you went in.
It’s difficult to judge the general impression people will have of a recipe with the words ‘lamb neck’ in the title. Neck. It shouldn’t sound appetising. But to me, it does. Brought up on traditional Welsh cawl, lamb neck (or scrag end) evokes memories of simple, warming stew lovingly made by either one of my parents. This recipe for Braised Lamb Neck Ragu, though vastly different in flavour, retains that basic feeling. It’s a joy to consume.
There’s this little Italian coffee shop in my hometown. The coffee is superb. The food perhaps even better. But look more closely and you find a jar labelled ‘biscotti – 12p’. They’re only small. You might even want to order 4 or 5. But in biscotti lies the ability to bring forth the best from a strong black coffee. Orange and Rosemary Biscotti? Perhaps even more so.
Cookies come but once a year in our house. They’re oh-so-wrong, yet oh-so-right, in the sense that they’re worse for you than pretty much anything, but consequently also taste better. Of course, scarcity demands indulgence and my Salted Chocolate Chunk Cookies are the culinary manifestation of such necessity.