Posts Tagged ‘Paesanella cheese shop Haberfield’

Ceeelia!  Have you tried my new cheese?

My friend Johnny at the Paesanella Cheese Shop is a very good salesman.

Not in a schmoozy, fast-talking way, but rather through his sheer unbridled enthusiasm for his products.  And he has good reason to be excited this time, because his new cheese is absolutely fabulous.

This Grana Padano – it’s basically a Parmesan, but it can’t be called that because of PDO laws – is made with a mix of buffalo and cow’s milk. The long aging process imparts an appealing crumbly texture and a deep, tangy flavour. I particularly love the little bubbles of creaminess dotted over the surface…

We’ve been using it in everything!

Pete asked for cheese cookies, so I pulsed the following together in the food processor to form a firm dough:

  • 125g (4oz) unsalted butter
  • 125g (4oz) plain (AP) flour
  • 125g (4oz) grated cheese (a mix of the Grana Padano, Pecorino and Red Leicester)

As you can tell, I like baking in round numbers. The dough was shaped into a log and allowed to rest in the fridge for a couple of hours, then sliced and baked in a preheated 175C with fan oven for 12 minutes.  The cookies were fragile, crumbly and very moreish – bake a little longer if you prefer them crunchier…

The current batch of cos lettuce in our garden was coming to an end, so I harvested all the young leaves…

…and turned them into Steve Manfredi’s Caesar Salad.  Because we were using freshly laid eggs, I didn’t bother to coddle them for the recipe.  The salad was topped with homemade sourdough focaccia croutons and shavings of the Grana Padano…

And finally, yet another Manfredi recipe (we’re really getting our money’s worth from the new cookbooks we bought), this one for a very simple cauliflower soup, topped with toasted sourdough and melted Grana Padano…

Johnny, your new cheese has been a hit at our place – we’ve just bought another wedge!

. . . . .

Paesanella Cheese Shop
88 Ramsay Rd
Haberfield NSW 2045
Tel. 02 9799 8483
Website: DeliVer, Gourmet Food Distribution

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Folks, I’m going to let you in on one of the Inner West’s best kept foodie secrets…

My friend Johnny runs DeliVer, a thriving, passionate business supplying high-end deli produce to restaurants and providores all across Australia.  Apart from a huge range of cheese, oils and antipasto, he also supplies premium small goods – San Daniele Prosciutto, Spanish Jamon, Bresaolo and the like – all carefully hand sliced and vacuum packed for distribution and resale.

Johnny is very particular about what goes into each packet, and as a result there are often large quantities of leftovers and offcuts. These are sold at a discounted price through his retail cheese shop in Haberfield.  They’re seriously cheap – often up to 80% off their retail cost.

Let me give you a couple of examples – off the bone leg ham retails for $49.99/kg and Coppa, a traditional cured pork, for $39.99/kg – the offcuts of both are just $8.99/kg.  The bags of Coppa below cost me less than $3 each…

For $19.99/kg, I often pick up end pieces of San Daniele prosciutto (normally $79.99/kg) or Spanish Jamon ($89.99/kg)…

These are only available through the Haberfield shop and definitely worth looking out for if you get a chance to visit.

I normally use the meats in filled breads, pasta soups or as pizza topping, but I was delighted to come across this Jacques Pépin recipe which seemed a perfect foil for them.  It’s from his latest cookbook and television series…

The potato ragout is, according to Jacques, a simple dish from his childhood.  It’s easy to prepare, and originally made with strips of rinsed salt pork or pancetta.  Jacques wrote that it could also be made with leftover ham or sausage, so it was simple to extrapolate  to Johnny’s offcuts…

I used 300g of mixed meats, chopped into strips…

Potato Ragout
(based on a recipe from Jacques Pépin’s Essential Pépin)

  • 300g pancetta or assorted cured meats
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 2 large onions, cut into 8 wedges
  • 2 tablespoons plain (AP) flour
  • 1 tablespoon crushed garlic
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 2 – 3 cups water
  • 1 kilo waxy pototoes, peeled and cut up if large

1. Cut the meat into strips.  Heat the oil in  a large saucepan or dutch oven and fry the meat until well cooked and crisp, stirring occasionally.  Add the onions and cook for a few minutes more, until lightly browned.

2. Add the flour and stir well, cook briefly until brown, being careful not to burn it.  Add the garlic, bay leaves, thyme and water, stir and then bring to a boil.

3. Add the potatoes and bring back to a boil, then turn the heat down and simmer, covered, for about an hour, or until the potatoes are soft and well cooked.  Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary.

A comforting, easy to eat dish which, thanks to a healthy supply of Johnny’s offcuts in the fridge, I can now make at a moment’s notice!

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