|Kabob skewers from Pars Market|
Pars is a small market on Snowden River Parkway in the same shopping center as Royal Pizza and the new Chutney Indian restaurant. Pars has two cool items that should become standards in your grilling repertoire.
First, flat kabob skewers. For a few bucks, you can pick up metal skewers that have long flat sides instead of just an "ice pick" body. The shape makes it really easy to form kabobs and other decisions alternatives to a hamburger patty.
|Pistachio nougat at Pars|
Since I bought my skewers in 2010, I have really enjoy playing with different kabobs. You can use all kinds of meat. Pars does not have an in-house butcher, but you can get fresh-ground lamb at halal markets like Nazar Market just north of Pars. That was one of the finds from a grilling week through a Steven Raichen cookbook several years ago.
Second, haloumi cheese. This is a newer discovery for us. It's a firm, mild cheese that holds its shape when cooked in a skillet or on the grill. I cut half-inch slices, which I cook until they're piping hot and just starting to soften. I pour a little pomegranate molasses, maybe a scattering of minced mint.
Haloumi is a terrific find. It is also $7 at Pars, and they generally have it in the fridge. Nazar has had real problems keeping haloumi in stock, and Roots Market charges $10 for the exact same product. Pars is reliable and well-priced. The cheese lasts forever in the fridge, so it's a pretty cool convenience food to take out on a weeknight.
While you're making plans to grill, enjoy a quick pickup by buying some of the pistachio nougat candy from the display just inside the door. They sell it by the piece. Plan on eating a handful in the car, so don't skimp. This nougat was one of the first finds that inspired me to blog -- back in a Persian market that moved, expanded and closed since HowChow began.
Pars sells some of the best pistachio nougat that I have ever had. Very soft. Great flavor. Nice crunch with the nuts. These are a delicious quick treat, but they're special enough to serve to guests.