Good Things and volcanic cheese

Friday nights food was a tribute of sorts (albeit unintended) to some of the food that we ate over the last couple of weeks at The Good Things Cafe.

We started with a courgette carpaccio, went on to gazpacho and then onto a volcanic Gubbeen cheese before finishing with sliced mangos and coffee and too many bottles of wine.

The courgettes came from the garden. One of the advantages of going away early in the summer is not coming back to a bed full of marrows. On the way down the garden I came across a bright slug and a frog. I sliced them (the courgettes – not the slug and frog) as thin as I could and laid them out out on a plate and then layered up the flavours with shreds of red chilli, good olive oil, lemon juice, rocket and parmesan cheese. The plate was decorated with courgette flowers and nasturtium  and the a squirt of fresh squeezed lemon juice. Salt and pepper was involved as well.

The gazpacho was made by way of instructions over the phone during the afternoon. There were a couple of bags of cherry tomatoes in the kitchen. On instruction these went into the magimix along with a knob of cucumber found at the bottom of the fridge, some bread, a grated onion and some garlic. The resulting sludge was put in the freezer until I came home. I them put it through a sieve with the back of a spoon flavouring with olive oil, sherry vinegar, salt and pepper as I went.

The volcanic cheese was the highlight of the meal. I have made it before but forgotten quite how good it can be. A baby Gubbeen was cut in half and garlic, thyme and rosemary smeared across the top of the exposed bottom part together with some salt and pepper. The ‘top’ was put back on and the cheese was then snugly fitted into a small terracotta pot and covered over with some foil. It then went into a hot oven for half an hour. It came out bubbling and we spent the next half hour either dipping pieces of bread into the molten cheese or scooping the cheese out with a knife and smearing it onto bread. All in all a wonderful excuse for making sure that you always have a baby Gubbeen lurking in the back of the fridge.

Writing this now I have just put on a jumper unwashed from last week and it is filled with the smell of a fire on the beach that has been boosted along with some dry looking seaweed.

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