Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Start Your Summer At Pars Market In Columbia; Go For Grilling, Grab Pistachio Nougat For Fun

Kabob skewers from Pars Market
Start your summer at Pars Market in Columbia for a quick way to jazz up your grilling -- plus a fun Persian sweet.

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.


Amber said...

They have halloumi at Wegmans too, but probably a little more expensive than Pars. I think it's around $10 for a half-pound package.

LintMan said...

Is that the same kind of pistachio nougat they sell at the Turkish (?) market on Rt 40 across from the Normandy plaza? That stuff is good.

Anonymous said...

Pars Mkt is terrific! But those Turkish nougat things should be OUTLAWED! They are waaay too addictive.