Tag Archives: cheese

April 9, 2010 – What a Cheese Spread

9 Apr

1:30 pm

Rio Brasil

steak ipanema

side of rice

side of black beans

1 can of Coke Zero

I wanted to go to Roy Choi’s new non-truck eatery Chego for lunch, only find out that they’re only open for dinner with no immediate plans for lunch. Ah well. Chego is next door to Rio Brasil, a Palms hole-in-the-wall that’s as charmingly rustic as can be. The waitress doesn’t speak English and there is no menu, just a couple of dishes scribbled on a dry-erase board and a placard with six pictures. I saw feijoada, a black bean and meat stew that’s the national dish of Brazil, but their cash only policy (despite the sign on the door saying they take it) precluded me from ordering it. In fact, my only option was the lunch special, which was just an overcooked piece of flank steak cooked with onions and garlic. The beans were good, and mixed with the giant heap of farofa on the plate, made an excellent meal in itself. I’ll have to come back with enough cash next time to try the feijoada.

8 pm

a lot of cheese and crackers

2 glasses of red wine

2 glasses of white wine

My friend Robyn and her boyfriend Larry hosted a small birthday party and had one of the most impressive cheese spreads I’ve seen in a while. Let’s see, there was smoked gouda, brie, St. Andre Triple Creme, blue, some hard cheese with peppercorns, Cotswold (my contribution), some cheese with pesto that I should not have eaten due to my allergy to pinenuts (but I enjoyed anyway) and a bunch more that I can’t identify. This is what happens when you know someone at Silver Lake Cheese shop and is good friends with Terri from Auntie Em’s, who also bought a birthday cake that I unfortunately could not eat do to another time commitment. I more than made up for it by eating a crapload of cheese, never venturing further than six inches from the spread. Other guests actually noticed how I circled that thing like a satellite. I don’t care though. Damn if I’m giving up my prime parking spot!

11 pm

The Bar

2 bottles of Red Stripe beer

“What kind of beer do you have,” I asked the bartender. She pointed to the top row of beer bottles. I could not make out a single label because it was backlit, rendering all the bottles to be shadows. I told her I can’t make out the beers. She couldn’t care less. So I ordered the one beer who’s bottle was shaped differently and which I could make out from the silhouettes, Red Stripe.

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Jan. 20, 2010

20 Jan

10 am

1 bowl of Honey Bunches of Oats with Almonds

12:30 pm

1 pan-fried chicken breast

side arugula salad

2 glasses of water

3 pm

Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf

1 small mocha latte

7 pm

grilled cheese (Taleggio cheese and cranberry-apple butter on wheat bread)

side arugula salad with tomatoes, fennel and apples

1 glass of water

January 20 was both National Cheese Lovers Day and National Penguin Awareness Day. I don’t know who decides which day commemorates what, but I want in. Maybe April 12, my birthday, can be National Eat With Joe Day. No wait, that marks the start of National Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week. No one will want to eat with Joe if they have cancer in the neck. Oh well.

I decided to make a grilled cheese sandwich to commemorate cheese lovers like myself. For those of you who know me personally, you’re quite familiar with my past with the grilled cheese sandwich. Last April, I entered the Grilled Cheese Invitational, spent way too much on ingredients (my partner in the contest, Abigail, split the cost), recruited a 4-person-team and hoisted a ton of grilled cheese sandwiches on my friends as test subjects. After many hours of testing, I settled on my take on a Korean grilled cheese sandwich, with Abondance cheese (a French semi-hard cheese similar to sharp cheddar and Swiss), galbi jjim (braised Korean short ribs) and white kimchi made out of shallots on sesame bread. My friends all liked it and one of the judges, Eric Greenspan from the Foundry, said it was awesome. Unfortunately, I didn’t win anything and that event was a clusterfuck that I can’t recommend to anyone. It’s just a mass of hungry, dehydrated and very angry people who paid $5 for 1/4 sandwich if they’re lucky. Not fun at all.

Anyway, I’ve made a lot of grilled cheese sandwiches over the year and I’m pretty adept at making them. My sandwich today was infinitely simpler and tossed together with whatever I found in my fridge. Taleggio is a semi-soft Italian cheese that stinks like a white person’s dreadlocks. Despite the funky odor, Taleggio has a pleasingly mild taste and it melts very well. It’s one of my favorite cheeses to keep around. I also stole some Trader Joe’s cranberry apple butter from my roommate to add some tartness. As for the arugula salad, which you might have noticed in three consecutive meals, I made an impromptu salad for the previous night’s movie-and-pizza outing and had a lot left over. The vinaigrette is just acid (lemon juice yesterday, sherry vinegar today), olive oil, salt and pepper. Making dressing is infinitely better and cheaper than buying bottles, FYI. I also tossed in whatever I could find in the fridge, which in this case was a fennel, half a fuji apple and a tomato. It didn’t turn out that bad for a meal made out of resourcefulness, if anything.

10:30 pm

1 banana

1 glass of skim milk

handful of almonds

I um, also stole some almonds from my roommate.

Also, if I’m going to commemorate cheese lovers, I might as well do the same for penguins. It is, after all, National Penguin Awareness Day as well. Enjoy!

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