Last night, we had one of the most bizarre meals that I’ve cooked for us at home.
I’ve been cleaning out our freezer in Istanbul, and I’ve stumbled across all sorts of strange foodie items from our travels.
Lemongrass and fresh turmeric from Bali.
Raclette cheese from Zürich.
Spicy pork salami from Budapest.
Cheddar cheese from London.
As you know, whenever we travel, I always bring back food items and spices that I can’t readily find here in Istanbul. And I know I’m not the only expat that does this either.
Last night, hubby also enjoyed our last Brooklyn Brewery Stout that we smuggled back from our last trip to NYC while I had a small cocktail using our leftover homemade strawberry-vanilla vodka from the summer.
For dinner, we started with a totally Turklish salad made from lettuce, roka, tomatoes, cucumbers and beyaz peynir, drizzled with Turkish olive oil from the Ayvalık area and aged balsamic vinegar from our Bologna trip.
That sounds sort of healthy, right?
Well, for our main course, things got rich.
I slathered an Asian peanut marinade all over a defrosted pork tenderloin purchased from the mysterious, lone Istanbul pork butcher. Then, I made a small pot of grits brought back from Charleston, S.C., with a homemade parmesan cheese broth and garnished with sautéed taze sarmısak (fresh spring garlic).
Finally, I boiled some quartered, peeled potatoes until tender. Then, I placed the potatoes on a baking tray, topped with pieces of the truffled raclette cheese. This went into the oven under the broiler for just a couple of minutes until the cheese got all oozy and gooey.
The truffle scent made my head whirl! One bite of these potatoes and I was in heaven!
There was no room for dessert after all this!
Have you ever made a meal like this – using whatever non-compatible ingredients you have on hand?
Raclette Potatoes with Truffled Cheese
1 pound small potatoes, or normal potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 package Swiss Raclette cheese
To taste freshly ground black pepper
In a medium sized pot, boil the potatoes in salted water, until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain.
Place potatoes on an aluminum-lined tray, lightly brushed with olive or vegetable oil.
Place pieces of the cheese on top of the potatoes. Season with a little black pepper.
Make sure your oven is turned onto the broiler setting or about 200 C. Place tray of potatoes into the oven. Let cheese melt. This only takes a few minutes so don’t step away too far or you could burn your cheese.
Note: To eat Swiss raclette the traditional way, you would use an open fire or special grill pan to melt the cheese. I don’t have either of these options so this is how I did it.