Dec 12, 2012 1:19PM

An Oyster Italian Christmas & New Year with Salt Meats Cheese

All of the food.
Stefano and Edoardo

Cousins Stefano de Blasi and Edoardo Perlo began a wholesale importation business in Australia three years ago, providing Sydney restaurants with the best Italy has to offer. It came as good news for non-chefs last year when they opened their first retail outlet, Salt Meats Cheese, in what is apparently the nation's new Food Capital, Alexandria. Salt Meats Cheese is a warehouse filled with food fantasies sourced from all over the world — we be talking truffles, profound amounts of pasta, millions of condiments, and all the necessary elements to have cheese dreams for a decade. You can also buy a 5kg jar of Nutella. 5KG.

We asked Stefano and Edoardo how to celebrate Christmas this year, Italian style. Buon appetito:

List of foods that are best sellers at Salt Meats Cheese that we'd suggest as the perfect Christmas pantry gift...
Panettone Scarpato (Verona, Italy)
Dulce de Leche (Chimbote, Argentina)
Red, White and Black Quinoa (Peru)
Vintage Merlot Salt (Rhone Region, France)
Libby's 100% Pure Pumpkin puree (Chicago, Illinois, USA)
Dave's Insanity Sauce (California, USA)
Goji Berries (Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, North Central China)

Our Italian tradition at Christmas and New Year's...
Cotechino with lentils is a traditional New Year's dish which combines two of Italy's culinary symbols of good luck — the lentil and the pig. Use small lentils for this recipe, such as French Lentils du Puy. These type taste best and hold their shape well when cooked.

The cotechino is an Italian charcuterie product, similar to salami, but it must be cooked: usually it is boiled at low heat for about four hours. Its name comes from cotica (rind), but it may take different names in the different production areas. According to tradition, it is served with lentils on New Year's Eve to bring luck for the coming year.

A twist on a tradition — pork fried quinoa recipe

Ingredients 

1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
Salt
Tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup cooked pork
Half cup diced bell peppers
3 cloves garlic minced
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon Tapatio chilli sauce
1 teaspoon sesame seeds

Method
1) Rinse quinoa in cold water for about one minute and drain well. Place in a saucepan and cover with 1 1/2 cups cold water and salt. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. Simmer, covered, until quinoa is tender — about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes.
2) Fluff quinoa with a fork and set aside.
3) Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook and stir ham, red bell peppers, and the white parts of the green onion until the ham begins to brown — about 5 minutes. Set chopped green onion tops aside. Add garlic, remove from heat, and stir until garlic becomes aromatic — 1 or 2 minutes.
4) Stir in quinoa and return to stove over medium-low heat. Cook and stir until warmed through — 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and add soy sauce, chile-garlic sauce, and sesame seeds. Garnish with reserved green onion tops.

And now for desert — Italian panettone with Argetinian Dulce de Leche accompanied with a flute of Italian prosecco...

During the Christmas season, panettone, the traditional Italian dessert is available in every form from the classic version to those coming in elaborate flavors.
Panettone, when eaten with a sip of sparkling spumante or prosecco, guarantees good luck and good health for the coming year. Scarpato Panettone from Verona is our best seller.

 

We suggest to try for Christmas this year a slice of panettone with a spoon of Dulce de Leche from Argentina. The most popular and the only type we have in stock is the leader brand in South America, Chimbote. We literally saw Argentinian people crying in front of the shelves where the Chimbote Dulce de Leche is!

What's Dulce de Leche? It's a confection prepared by slowly heating sweetened milk to create a product that derives its taste from caramelised sugar. Literally translated, it means "candy of milk" or "candy [made] of milk", "milk candy", or "milk jam". It is popular in South America, notably in Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay. The same goes for Chile and Ecuador where it is known as manjar (Spanish for delicacy).

Salt Meats Cheese is located at 41 Bourke Road, Alexandria and is open from 9am-6pm, 7 days a week.

Introduction: Ingrid Kesa
Stefano de Blasi and Edoardo Perlo

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