Friday 24 August 2018

Delightful People, Delicious Cheese, And A Recipe

I wrote recently about a visit I made to the Old Country Market in Coombs.  While we were in the area, we took time for lunch at BoMé, an artisan cheese maker just down the road.

Coombs is an excellent education on the importance of not forming judgements based upon first impressions, and BoMé is no exception.  The business is situated next to a lot currently being excavated for concrete block mini storage buildings, and found in what appears to be a house repurposed for its current use.  There are tables on a concrete patio outside the front door, and it's not until you step into the building itself that you gain a clear idea of the delightful food and excellent service on offer. 

Inside the front door, you're greeted by a spotless deli-style cooler stocked with various house-made cheeses and desserts, and shelves displaying an assortment of locally made jarred goods, spices, and gift-ware. There's a spotless kitchen behind the deli area and, as you head further into the building, a clean and comfortable dining room with glass walls on one side that allow guests to look down into the cheese making kitchen below.

When we arrived, we were greeted by a charming young man, who took us through the menu with enthusiasm and happily explained every item in the deli case, offering samples of any of the cheeses we cared to try.  Once we were seated and awaiting our lunch - prepared by his equally pleasant mother - he came over and explained the purpose and function of the various pieces of equipment on the cheese-making floor.  He and his dad make the cheeses so he was able to explain in detail how it all worked.  His passion for their work was quite endearing.  We thoroughly enjoyed his company.

Lunch was delicious.  I had a beef, vegetable, and barley soup with a slightly sweet and sour flavour reminiscent t of sauerbrauten and my friend had a very tasty schnitzel sandwich.  The portions were a good size:  sufficient but not so generous as to be overwhelming.

Before we left, my friend and I both purchased cheeses to take home.  I bought a tub of shepherd's cheese - an incredibly flavourful, feta-based cream cheese with garlic, sun dried tomato and herbs - and a tub of their house-made tzatziki, made with a mixture of topfen (quark) and Greek yogurt.  

I enjoyed some of the tzatziki with veggies for supper the following day.  It was delicious, and had a much firmer consistency than tzatziki made with yogurt alone.  The texture inspired me to use it in a sandwich.  I've included the sandwich recipe below, including - for those of you who aren't fortunate enough to be able to visit BoMé - instructions on how to make a similar tzatziki at home.


For the tzatziki:
  • 1 English cucumber (seedless cucumber), grated
  • salt
  • 225 grams (1 cup) quark
  • 225 grams (1 cup) plain Greek yogurt
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh dill, finely chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Salt the grated cucumber generously and then use your fingers to toss the cucumber shreds and distribute the salt throughout.  Allow it to sit for at least 30 minutes then squeeze out as much moisture as you can.  Rinse the squeezed cucumber shreds to remove the excess salt and then, after squeezing them dry again, place them in a bowl.  Add all of the other ingredients except for the salt and pepper to the bowl and combine them thoroughly.  Taste the tzatziki and then add salt and pepper to taste.  At this point,  I would put the tzatziki in the fridge for an hour or two to allow the flavours to develop.

For the sandwich filling, combine:
  • 1-170 gram (6 ounce) tin of tuna.  (I used flaked light tuna because that's what I could afford but if you can afford better, by all means use that.)
  • 1 chopped green onion (scallion)
  • 1/3 cup tzatziki
This makes enough filling for two sandwiches.

To assemble the sandwiches:

Toast two ciabatta buns under the broiler.  When they're toasted, butter each half of each bun.  Divide the sandwich filling over the bottom halves of the two buns and then top the filling with thinly sliced red bell pepper, sliced tomato, and lettuce.  Put the "lids" on the sandwiches and serve them immediately, before the fillings have time to soften the crisp toasted surfaces of the buns.

Enjoy!  And if you do find yourself in Coombs please stop in at BoMé,  I'm sure you'll enjoy it as much as I did.

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