Posts Tagged ‘cheese’

Chicken and sheep’s cheese orzo

January 30, 2023

A Greek pasta-based dish.

Orzo, also known as risoni, a Greek pasta, tiny rice-like grains.


  • sheep’s cheese
  • 1 red onion
  • 250g diced chicken leg
  • 30g black olives
  • 10g sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • spice pot no. 6
  • 1 tsp dried mint
  • 1/2 tbsp bouillon powder
  • tomato purée
  • cherry tomatoes
  • head pf black kale
  • fresh parsley
  • 150g orzo pasta


Before you start, take cheese out of the fridge. The same applies to the diced chicken. Allow to reach room temprature.

Fan oven 180C.

Halve, peel and dice the onion.

Season the chicken with a little salt and pepper. A splash of oil in an ovenproof casserole, one with a lid (or use a frying pan now and transfer to a baking dish with foil or a baking tray to cover it later). Fry the chicken to brown it, turning it now and then (leave it be at first, so it gets a little colour), then transfer to a plate for later.

Add the onion to the same pan. Turn the heat down and gently fry, stirring now and then, adding a splash of water if needed, for 8 minutes

Slice the olives and sun-dried tomatoes. Roll the lemon applying pressure from the palm of the hand. This will rupture inside the lemon enabling more juice to be extracted when squeezed. .

Peel and finely slice the garlic. Use one or two cloves, according to taste

Add the chicken back to the pan, stirring in the garlic for 30 seconds.

Add the spice pot, half the pot of dried mint, the bouillon powder, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, tomato purée, cherry tomatoes (whole) and 400ml of boiling water.

Bring to a simmer. Transfer to a baking dish at this point if needed. Cover the casserole pan (or baking dish).

Transfer to fan oven 180C for 10 minutes.

Strip the kale stalks away from the leaves, roll and slice. Chop the parsley, stalks and all.

Uncover the chicken, stir in the orzo and recover the pan. Cook for 25 minutes fan oven 180C. Check the pan halfway through – you shouldn’t need more liquid, but see how the pan looks at this stage, as a lot will depend on your own oven and exactly what sort of pan you’re using.

Add the kale leaves on top of the orzo (no need to stir it in at this stage) uncovered, fan oven 180C 5 minutes.

Remove from the oven, stir, add half the parsley, season with salt and pepper, add a good squeeze of lemon and more dried mint too if you like.


Break up the cheese and sprinkle over the top. Squeeze the lemon. Sprinkle the chopped parsley as garnish.


Very tasty.

More than enough for three people.

If serve two, leave the caserolle dish to cool, chill, save for enother day. Slightly more for one person, not enough for two. Reheat later, suggest fan oven 170C 35 minutes. May need to add a little wate and stir.

The Cheese Shop Louth

July 15, 2021

The Cheese Shop is a tiny little shop on a street leading out of the centre of Louth.

I had passed by in the past on my way to the bus station, just out of the centre of Louth, made a mental note to visit.

My next visit, two people pissing about, who clearly thought it a joke. I waited twenty minutes, maybe longer, a queue formed. I gave up. A limit of two people in the shop, one could have left to give opportunity for another customer to enter.

Yesterday, a wander through the market and headed straight to The Cheese Shop. I thought I was once again out of luck, shop in darkness, door closed. I tried the door and it was open.

A big choice of cheese, which always makes choosing difficult, but I knew what I wanted, only problem was, I did not know the name.

A Caerphilly with a strange name, not made in Wales, I do not know the name but it’s from the West Country, maybe Somerset.

You want Gorwydd, said a voice from the bowels of the shop.

That’s right said I with confidence though in truth I did not know, though there could not be another Caephilly with a strange name produced in Somerst could there?

A slice was cut.

Old Amsterdam? No. I was offered a Gouda which I was assured was excellent. OK, a slice was cut. Or at least an attempt was made. The wire snapped.

Cornish Yarg, no, but I wished for another cheese from the same farm. I did not know the name and they not a clue what I was asking for.

Kirkham Lancashire, a slice of.

Cmpte a slice of.

Half a pork pie.

I would have liked a Cornish pasty. They buy in frozen, but would not sell to me frozen nor offer an explanation why not.

Excellent shop for cheese but completely clueless on coffee. Monmouth Coffee, pioneers in the 1970s, but sadly long lost their way. Coffee from Lincoln Tea and Coffee I would not touch with a barge pole.

Either stick to cheese and not sell coffee or seek advice of those who know coffee. The problem though is turnover not likely to be high and they would be selling old stale coffee.

Only buy coffee from a reputable coffee roastery or specialty coffee shop.

Very limited opening hours. Nine until three, Tuesday to Saturday.

I sampled the Caerphilly later. it as not Caerphilly it was not like, not if think Caerphilly dry and crumbly. Gorwydd moist and creamy.

Sheffield Cheese Masters

September 3, 2019

On my way to The Depot Eatery at Kelham Island I came across a cheese maker, Sheffield Cheese Masters.

I looked in, then headed to The Depot Bakery for late lunch and a coffee, with a promise I would be back.

When I looked in earlier they were preparing experimental blue cheeses. Now gone.

I raise the same issue of cleanliness that I had thought of in The Depot Eatery, how to keep clean in a warehouse? They have built a sealed unit within the warehouse.

The girl I talk to knows little about cheese. She apologises and explains she is new and has only been there a few weeks.

I recommend she reads Reinventing the Wheel, excellent book on all aspects of cheese.

She offers me a sample of their cheese. It reminds me of Cornish Brie. She tells me it is a Camembert style cheese.

Not made from unpasteurised milk. A big mistake if trying to produce quality cheese. But nevertheless an excellent cheese. Would be even better if made from unpasteurised milk.

The cheese has a sticker Gold Winner 2019 Great Yorkshire Show. Of what merit I do not know, but cannot be worse than the meaningless Great Taste Awards.

I ask of of the cows. She does no know, other than the farm local and claims the cows are grass fed.

Sheffield Cheese Masters the only cheese maker in Sheffield.

Lunch at The Cheese Society

February 1, 2019

New Year’s Eve, I could not find anywhere open for lunch.

Luckily I managed to squeeze on the sharing table at The Cheese Society.

The same today, early afternoon, I thought I may be lucky, and again just managed to squeeze onto the sharing table.

Excellent avocado on sourdough bread topped with grilled halloumi cheese.

My companion Boston sausages on toasted sourdough bread topped with melted Lincolnshire Poacher (Cheddar-like local cheese, not to be be confused with finest adulterated fake cheddar from Skegness).

Served with a small salad, generous portion size.

I have no idea Boston sausage, maybe a variant of Lincolnshire sausage.

Whilst waiting, I tried a brie from Scotland. I will have to pop back and buy.

I recommended Ambrosia to add to their reading material.

I fancied a coffee from Base Camp, but closed, closed for the foreseeable future, change of ownership. Nothing to say closed, or when it may reopen.

Excellent cappuccino at Madame Waffle.

Walking through the High Street, a van and a lorry in what is a pedestrianised street. Every day the same, no Enforcement.

Demolition in Sincil Street, started Monday, by Wednesday almost demolished. And no bulldozers as reported by Lincolnite. Part of the ongoing destruction of Sincil Street by Lincoln City Council in cahoots with the local Coop.

The demolition scant regard for safety of passers-by. There should have been scaffolding and netting to stop debris landing in the street.

The Old Mouse House Cheese Shop & Coffee Bar

December 31, 2018

The Old Mouse House Cheese Shop & Coffee Bar is a weird set up, cheese and coffee.

If walk in, not obvious a coffee shop, as through the back, though a glimpse of their espresso machine from the cheese shop provides a hint of more beyond.

It took several visits over Christmas and New Year to find the coffee shop open, cheese shop not always open or closed early.

According to their own facebook page, coffee shop in the cellar they say downstairs, it is not it is a tiny room out the back, climb two steps. Cosy would be the word.

Also a little room upstairs reached by narrow steep stairs. No handrail.

It is also necessary to climb the steep narrow stairs to reach the toilets. Not accessible to those with physical disabilities or the frail and elderly.

The coffee Stokes, the tea tea pigs.

A bakery cum tea shop opposite Coffee Aroma in the town centre, Stokes coffee, tea pigs tea, lasted all of nine months. Clearly no lessons learnt.

It could though be worse, tea and coffee supplied by Lincoln Tea and Coffee.

A row of syrups on a back shelf. A sure sign of bad coffee.

One cappuccino ordered. Cup size too large the larger size.

Having explored upstairs, I found my cappuccino awaiting me on a table when I returned downstairs.

WTF, this a CAPPUCCINO. Dribbling down the side, spilt in the saucer.

What I assumed to be a chocolate melting in the saucer.

The coffee looked disgusting, chocolate sprinkled on top.

Not only looked disgusting, tasted disgusting, served scalding hot, undrinkable.

I took one sip and left untouched.

I asked of the cheese counter the cheese.

Dunno, replied the girl behind the cheese counter, ask her out back.

Her out back, who made the coffee, daughter of the cheesemaker, cannot tell you how we make our cheese, it is a secret, if we told you everyone would copy us.

This is the same bullshit I am fed in coffee shops serving bad coffee, cannot tell you who supplies the coffee as other coffee shops would copy us.

I politely tell them of transparency, direct trade, traceability through roasterie back to the farm.

I had visions of cows eating seaweed or the marram grass in Skegness.

They buy in the milk, pay a fair price, or so claimed.

The cheese Lymn Bank Cheese, the finest Skeggie adulterated fake cheddar 17 different flavours, including ginger, all identical size wrapped in plastic. Some of the cheese encased in wax.

The odds are stacked against any new business. 80% fail in the first 18 months.

Five years ago may have got away with opening a coffee shop serving bad coffee. Not today. You have two weeks to prove yourself. People will check you out. If they like your coffee they will return, bring their friends, if not, they will tell their friends not to bother.

A coffee shop has to have a quality espresso machine, quality grinder, skilled barista, buy quality coffee, coffee ground fresh for each shot, precise measurements, weigh the coffee, extraction time, temperature. And with repeat consistency from one cup to the next.

For bad coffee we have the chains. Every cafe in Lincoln serves badly made Stokes low quality catering supply cheap commodity coffee. Why join the list? And if wished to try Stokes they would visit Stokes.

Nor is there any excuse for using poor quality tea pigs. Even less excuse when on Steep Hill have Imperial Teas.

But a quality coffee roastery or tea merchant would need to be convinced you have the expertise else they get a bad name.

No outside seating. Essential these days for a coffee shop to have outside seating.

In Lincoln there are three excellent coffee shops, Coffee Aroma, Madame Waffle, Base Camp. In the spring 200 Degrees will open, coffee mediocre at best, but better than the corporate chains.

Low quality cheese can buy in a supermaket.

A cheese shop has to have quality cheese, rare breed cows out on pasture not the black and white bulk milk producers, unpasteurised milk.

Heed the advice of Bronwen Percival on buying cheese in the Appendix to Reinventing the Wheel.

Buy unadulterated cheese … if a cheesemaker hides behind added ingredients, whether smoke, added fruits or spices … it is either a tragedy … or a sign their milk was devoid of character in the first place … Buy raw-milk cheese … Buy complex cheese … Buy from a cheesemonger … good cheesemongers are curators of good cheese.

Adulterating cheese is akin to adding syrups to coffee. Don’t. It either ruins a good coffee or is used to hide bad coffee.

Their use of social media to say the least perverse. A badly filmed video of their coffee shop located out the back. A picture of a dog tied up outside in the cold and wet (since deleted). Questions posted on their cheese and coffee, not only lack the courtesy to answer, the questions are deleted.

And no, not the Rolls-Royce of coffee machines.

Footfall on Steep Hill has in recent years dramatically fallen. The only way to attract business, to offer quality, word of mouth.

Who are the demographics? The tourist are nigh non-existent, and visitors from Europe are accustomed to quality cheese. Are German visitors going to wish to buy a waxed cheesed stamped with a Lancaster WWII bomber that may have atomised their grandparents?

For quality cheese in Lincoln, The Cheese Society, top of the High Street, bottom of The Strait. Or if in Bailgate next to the Post Office try Redhill Farm Shop which has a small selection of quality local cheeses. There is also local cheese on the monthly farmers market in Castle Square.

Earlier I had excellent lunch at The Cheese Society. Walking up The Strait and Steep Hill, passing many closed business, it was going from the sublime to the ridiculous.

On my back down I passed by The Cheese Society, still packed.

I passed Madame Waffle, it too was packed.

I later returned to Madame Waffle and had a cappuccino. A pleasure, as is always a well made coffee. The difference a skilled barista and quality coffee makes.

Quality, service, word-of-mouth, counts.

Lunch at The Cheese Society

December 31, 2018

Today was a weird day.  Friday before Christmas Lincoln was gridlocked, Christmas Eve the town centre full of drunks, today no traffic, the roads empty, though the town centre was busy.

New Year Sales in full swing, plenty of people about, and yet I passed at least half a dozen or more eating places, every single one closed.

County Restaurant closed, a little vegetarian restaurant I thought I would try closed until 7 January.

The Cheese Society is somewhere I often buy cheese, but I have never had lunch, it is always busy when I pass by.

Today was no exception, it was busy, whether because many places closed or the norm I do not know.

I was in luck, I found a seat at the long shared table.

I ordered avocado on sourdough toast.

Apart from initial disappointment the toast was cold it was excellent.

Sourdough ask, and no one knows what it is.

The latest edition of Ambrosia, issue 5 the San Francisco Bay edition, has an interesting article on sourdough bakeries in the area.

Sourdough is made with wild yeast not cultivated yeast.

I did not order a dessert, but what was served to my neighbours looked mouth watering delicious.  As did what I assumed was the cheese platter.

Something I had not seen before, a metal contraption sitting over candles, the heat used to melt the cheese. Though I think I would prefer not to melt.

The one thing I noticed, the love and care, everything freshly prepared, served with grace, not dumped on the plate, no one cares, as would find in too many places.

Interesting reading material on the end of the shared table. 

They say print is dead, the rubbish yes, but there is now a new generation of high quality print magazines, though often more like volumes of softback large format books, high quality articles, stunning imagery. 

I suggested they add to their collection, Ambrosia, Om Nom, Standart and Drift.

For anyone looking to buy cheese, I would highly recommend The Cheese Society, real cheese, unpasteurised milk, cheese with character and flavour, not what passes as cheese in a supermarket.

The Cheese Society is located at the bottom of The Strait, at the top of the High Street a little way off to the left if walking uphill.

Borough Cheese Company cheese stall

December 20, 2018

When passing through King’s Cross, always worth giving extra time to visit the King’s Cross street food market, especially to visit the Borough Cheese Company cheese stall.

Excellent Comté and Tome cheese.

The stall used to only sell Comté cheese, and whilst that is still their main cheese, they compliment with a couple of other cheeses, which have been different each time I pass through.

And add a little extra time for a coffee off Craft Coffee.

Neal’s Yard Dairy

November 22, 2018

Neal’s Yard Dairy is a mecca for cheese lovers.

I look in, but no time to do justice.

They ask me to try a cheese, Doddington. It is excellent, I buy a piece.

Kings Cross Station Real Food Market

December 14, 2016

Every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, a handful of food stalls outside Kings Cross Station selling overpriced cakes, a few pastries and very expensive cheese.

To be fair to the cheese stall, it was high quality cheese. But 19 month’s old Comte, is not two year’s old, as the stallholder claimed. It was though excellent cheese, but very expensive. My piece came to £7-50.

The market seems to have shrunk compared with a year ago, and it certainly was not busy.

A good idea, but needs more variety and not so expensive.

Downing Street Deli

April 16, 2016

Downing Street Deli

Downing Street Deli

Last week, only a few days open, Downing Street Deli was more like a coffee shop cum tea shop in a parlour masquerading as a deli. Today more like a tea shop in a corner shop.

Guy on deli side, very knowledgeable on what he is serving. Coffee bloody awful.

It has taken them a long time to open, weeks if not months behind schedule.

Very much a labour of love. It is as though one has gone back in time to a vintage shop.

An old coffee machine, a very old meat slicer.

They make their own fresh pastas and sauces, buy in bread and cakes from a bakery.

The cappuccino, I am sorry to say was awful and undrinkable. Served scalding hot.

Young barista, very keen and enthusiastic, but cannot make coffee.

It proves once again, you cannot train a good barista. Training only takes so far. It is a  skill and an art. Only learnt by working alongside skilled baristas.

That is not to put the young guy down, far from it.

He would be well advised to go and work somewhere like Harris + Hoole or Surrey Hills Coffee in Guildford, then come back as an asset to the family business.

Barista only part of the problem, they need to buy in better quality beans. I sampled some of the beans bagged. No aroma. Try Horsham Coffee  or Surrey Hills Coffee. They can also then as a deli, sell the freshly roasted beans, with roast date. As Krema sell Horsham, to offer an alternative, go for Surrey Hills.

Outside tomatoes and other salads and fruit and vegetables. Not sure if for show or sale.

With the excellent greengrocer now closed, there is a market. Or take over his shop.

With three coffee shops one also a deli, selling coffee, tea, cakes and bread, I cannot see Loaf surviving.

Loaf serves very poor quality tea and coffee, overpriced  bread and they close early.

At the end of the day, if Downing Street Deli has cakes, bread, sauces or fresh pasta left, they ask customers if they would like it for free.

A nice gesture, food does not go to waste, and customers get to sample what they may not otherwise buy.

Loaf by contrast bins its unsold bread at the end of the day. Disgraceful behaviour.

Fresh pasta had gone when I looked in. I am looking forward to trying one day.

I did not see today, but a friendly cat is often to be found in the deli.

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