There’s a new fat-free sauce on the market! Lake District Dairy Co, owned by First Milk a really innovative dairy business owned wholly by British Farmers (the only type of business like it in the UK) has just launched three flavours of its Quark Range.
And I got to try them.
Along with a set of the sauces (garlic & herb, tikka and tomato and basil) I also received some ingredients to inspire me and a set of suggested recipes just in case inspiration was low. Wanting to make proper use of the sauces (sometimes my experiments can go terribly wrong), I chose three recipes and got cooking.
Now, if you’re Italian, you may want to look away at this point. This carbonara contains cream, rather than egg (making carbonara sauce with egg is a skill I just don’t possess and goodness knows I’ve tried) but that doesn’t mean it tastes any less delicious. Using fresh ham (which I fried lightly), it all blended together gloriously to form a creamy pasta that didn’t rest like a brick on the stomach. Depending on how creamy you want your pasta, one pot serves 2 or 3 people just fine.
Quark Chicken Tikka
I’ve never had a chicken tikka with raisins (I don’t care for them much) but I’m not looking back! This is a slightly different version of any tikka I’ve ever had because the chicken is mixed in with the rice. Still, there were traces of creaminess without the sickliness that you can get from normal tikka. Furthermore, it felt healthier! I just had to remember not to eat more than I normally would…
Quark Basil & Tomato Gnocchi
Sorry, I ate this before I remembered to take a photo. The only other time I cooked gnocchi it turned into a potato-ey mush so I took more care with this. And good thing too – the gnocchi had bite, the sauce really added flavours and even though I replaced the spinach with peas, it had a moreish flavour and I loved the addition of pine nuts on top.
What is Quark?
I’d been trying to put my finger on what quark was. It turns out that even though I didn’t quite finish Physics A-Levels (I decided not to go down the doctor route) some parts of it had stuck, including the part that mentioned elementary matter, quark. However, the quark that we’re referring to here is a type of dairy product (if you’re from a German-speaking country, the Nordics and places like Russia, Ukraine, Belarus etc then it’s likely you know about quark, the dairy product, already). Whilst some people think it’s like cottage cheese, it’s not as that’s produced from rennet and this is more of a fresh acid-set cheese (it can also be made from fermented milk). Before it’s added to the sauces, it’s white, soft and unaged.
More Lake District Quark Recipes
I loved the suggested recipes and even though I tweaked some slightly, they’re all delicious. It’s obvious quality of flavour is important and there’s a good range of different meal inspiration.