Monday, 25 July 2011

The Bulk Cheese Warehouse


    

Sorry in advance if I begin to sound a little fanboyish during this review, but I love the Bulk Cheese Warehouse.  Undoubtedly the premier purveyor of all things cheese-related in the city, the awesomeness of the Bulk Cheese extends beyond the countless varieties of incredible cheeses from which to choose.




In order to review the Bulk Cheese my wife and I decided to buy what we needed for supper and prepare a meal at home. Their cold smoked steak is so [censored]-ing good. They smoke their own meats right on location, including jerky, all being superb. They have an excellent butcher shop, though more costly than typical supermarket meat. They stock great cuts of meat, some seafood, and some of the more obscure offerings.
Where did I first try Ostrich Jerky?  Bulk Cheese.

Where did I find red and black Caviar when I needed it for a meal (yes, sometimes you can need two colours of caviar)?  Bulk Cheese.

Where did I find the duck liver pâté for the beef wellington I had to make for my cousin and her family? Bulk Cheese.

Where am I going to go to buy rabbit, as soon as I am able to talk my wife into eating Thumper?  Yep, you guessed it.    




With the cold smoked steak we had a side of pasta with their sauce of the day.  The sauce of the day is a wonderful concept.  A sauce nearing the end of its shelf life is declared the “sauce of the day” and is sold with free equal weight of fresh made pasta! The sauce of the day is continuously changing, always delicious, and for about four bucks you get more than enough pasta and sauce for two sides or a full meal for one.  A delicious one pot dish for four dollars, amazing! (Sometimes the fresh pasta will be stuck to itself, if so then pull it apart when putting it in the water or else it will just cook as a giant blob.)


There is also a counter of yummy treats featuring salmon pinwheels, stuffed mushrooms, samosas (I love them with Hot Hammer Sauce), various cheeses in phyllo pastry, salads of all types, pickles and peppers, and so much more. There are frozen stuffed pasta, and perogies. There are also random crazy sauces, and other foodie goodies (like truffle salt).  
  





Of course, there is also cheese.  Lots of cheese.  Endless cheese.  For our meal, my wife picked up Camembert (runny, soft and oh so good), Manchego (a personal favourite), Drunken Goat (a semi-soft goat cheese cured in wine), Smoked Asiago, and Oka Mushroom. I also recommend the St. Pauline’s (since a friend recommended it to me it has gained a place on my tops list), and obviously Brie. 



I have only ever been to the original Bulk Cheese Warehouse on Broadway, so can’t comment on the Aniello’s Bulk Cheese Warehouse.  I hope to check it out one day to see how it compares. For my part, I would suggest that everyone in Saskatoon shops at the Bulk Cheese Warehouse on Broadway from time to time. If you don’t, your life has been unnecessarily impoverished as a result. The world is better with qulality cheese.



---For you, my beloved readers, two simple and delicious cheese recipes---

Brie Dip
It’s rare that the king of cheeses, Brie, lasts uneaten long enough to firm up and loose its creamy gooeyness.  If this happens, follow these instructions (can be done with fresh brie if you want.  Can also be done with frozen brie if you happen on a brie sale. It’s advised to buy as much as you can and freeze it for future cooking applications.)


Ingredients
- One wedge of Brie (12-16 oz)
- A level teaspoon of chopped sundried tomatoes in olive oil (if you have the dried ones then soak them in Olive Oil for about five minutes with just enough oil to coat them)
- Two medium cloves of garlic (after making this once you can add more if you are a garlic fanatic)
- Crusty bread like a baguette or neutral flavored crackers (like Triscuits)


Instructions
1) Place a wedge of brie in a baking dish and score the top of the rind into diamonds with a sharp knife. 
2) Dice the garlic and sundried tomatoes, and spread it on top.
3) Bake at 350 Fahrenheit until the cheese melts, takes about 20min.
4) Serve in dish and spread on bread, or crackers.


Saganaki
Though this word does not sound like it, it is a Greek dish. It is fantastic and simple.  Though it is slightly more involved than the previous recipe, it has a WOW factor that will blow the minds of any guests you prepare this for. The recipe calls for Metaxa, a seven star Greek brandy. Some people may be hesitant of buying an entire Two-Sixer just for the single ounce needed for the flambé and may opt to use another brandy, Ouzo, or in a pinch Vodka. But remember that the extra Metaxa can be responsibly consumed without having to worry about waste in the slightest!

- 1lb of Kefalograviera cheese (or Kasseri, or Kefalotyri, sometimes even called Saganaki)
- Milk (in a small bowl for dipping the cheese in)
- Flour (on a small plate or in a bowl for coating the cheese)
- Olive oil (for frying)
-  1 oz of Metaxa
- Fresh lemon (or lemon juice, use as directed on label)
- Toasted or fresh pita (or other bread or neutral flavoured crackers like Triscuits)

1) Cut the cheese into half-inch thick slices. Microwave the Metaxa in a glass for 10 seconds. Cut the lemons in half. Cut one of the two halves in slices.

2) Heat up a frying pan with the oil in it on medium heat. (Cast iron works great, Saganaki is actually named for the traditional dish used in the preparation, but if you have a traditional Greek Saganaki pan you don’t likely need my recipe)

3) Dip the cheese slices in milk, then flour, then place in the hot pan. (A great secret to the milk and flour trick is use one hand to pick up the cheese and dip it in milk then drop it in the flour.  Use the other hand to cover the cheese in flour and set it in the hot pan. This will keep your hands clean by only touching the liquid with one hand and powder with the other.  Finger-flour-glue will not be the bane of your cooking existence!)

4) Brown on one side. Then, when you flip the cheese and it just starts to crisp up on the bottom get ready to work quickly. Get everyone’s attention and add the brandy. Then carefully set it on fire! Greatest effect is obtained if someone turns off the lights (though less safe).  As the fire burns down, add the lemon juice from the half lemon. Before working with flammable liquids like alcohol, be sure you haven’t spilled any on yourself.

5) Serve with pita (or bread/crackers) and the lemon slices for those wanting a bit more zip.
 







5 comments:

  1. Is there any chance you know how to make the hammer sauce? I live far away and can't get there to have it!

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  2. Well I am now inspired to see if I can reproduce their sauce. In the mean time you can buy some there in bulk if you ask I am sure, or buy it at a super-market, or make your own. They call it "Hammer Sauce" but it is their version of an east Indian Imli Ki Chutney also called Tamarind Chutney. I have looked at a few recipes and will report back when I find the best. It is a VERY easy thing to make. The only issue is it is not made with things most people have at home..... So, Imli is what you are looking for in the sauce isle or a recipe. Don't want to recommend one until I try it out myself.

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  3. That's not tamarind chutney.

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  4. I asked about it, it is made locally by someone in the city who supplies the Bulk Cheese with it. And, it totally has tamarind in it.

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  5. I indulged in one of their beautiful Oatmeal Cookie Tarts filled with a Creamy Goat Cheese and topped with Caramel drizzle and Pecans last weekend. Now I cannot stop thinking about it!! I'm obsessed with trying to recreate it at home. Any clues as to where I could find some info or a recipe?

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