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Posts Tagged ‘goat cheese’

I sat daydreaming in front of recipes for several hours today, overwhelmed by the freedom I have gained after completing my exams. What will I cook, I asked myself, unsure of what to do since until recently my cooking was restricted by time and what was in the fridge. I was overwhelmed with the decision of what to cook, yet I yearned to create something.

I came across a few savoury tarts, and made up my mind. Tonight’s meal would be simple, a goat cheese tart with red peppers and a green salad. I could hardly wait to get the ingredients, and get the tart in the oven so that the apartment would be full of delicious aromas when my partner G. came home from class.

Goat Cheese Red Pepper Tart

Ingredients

1 savory shortcrust pastry

2 large shallots, finely sliced

1 Tbsp butter

Pinch salt and pepper

1 small package plain goat cheese

1 egg

1/8 tsp nutmeg

Pinch salt and pepper

2 pieces of prosciutto (optional)

1 red pepper, cored and sliced into thin rounds

1 Tbsp honey

Directions

Prepare the shortcrust pastry and let rest at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator. Meanwhile, slice the shallots finely. Heat butter in a frying pan over medium-low heat, and sauté the shallots until they become caramelized, stirring occasionally, around 15 minutes. The key is to cook the shallots slowly as it allows them to caramelize without burning. Once ready, season lightly with salt and pepper and set aside.

Wash and core the red pepper and slice it into thin rounds. Set aside.

Whisk together egg and goat cheese until smooth. Add the nutmeg and the salt and pepper. Let stand while you roll out the pastry between two sheets of wax paper, and place in a buttered pie shell or tart pan. Crimp the edges with with your fingers or a fork, and prick the base of the shell with a fork.

Spread the goat cheese mixture over the bottom, then sprinkle half of the caramelized onions. Slice the prosciutto (if you want to make this with meat) and drop the pieces evenly over the goat cheese mixture. Top with the red pepper rounds, and then drizzle the honey over top.

Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes, until the pastry is golden and the red peppers cooked. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Sprinkle the remaining half of the caramelized shallots over before serving. Serve this tart with a large and simple green salad. This tart would be great for a simple weeknight meal (especially if you make pastry in advance and store it in the freezer like I do), or would be a lovely piece to take over to a friend’s potluck dinner party, as it does not require reheating!

Enjoy!

-Sitelle

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Lately, I’ve been having a lot of fun playing a sort of cooking puzzle: the kind of game where I look at everything in my fridge and try to come up with interesting and delicious ideas which are not necessarily based on any pre-existing recipes (at least that I’ve seen). In this particular case, the first time I made this appetizer I had beets and goat’s cheese, but no hazelnuts. I have since then recreated this appetizer with hazelnuts and it gives it even more unique flair.

Beets are one of my favourite root vegetables, and in the fall I often crave their rich colour and taste. The great thing about them is they can be stored for an extremely long period of time.

My first time making this was for a work-related dinner party, which was a lot of fun. I happily discovered they were a success! But while they’re quite wonderful, they are a bit finicky too.

Ingredients – appetizers for 6

-4 medium red beets
-300g goat’s cheese (plain, herb-crusted, or pepper-crusted)
-1 Tbsp 35% cream
-1/4 cup chopped toasted hazelnuts
-1 Tbsp herbes de provence
-1 tsp cracked pepper
-pinch salt
-olive oil

Directions

Trim ends off beets until only 1 inch of the stems remain. Use leaves for something delicious. Wash the beets thoroughly, then boil for 20 minutes whole. Remove from water, and let cool while you prepare the goat cheese mixture.

In a bowl, mix the cream, hazelnuts, herbes de provence, pepper and salt. Add the goat’s cheese and mix into cream mixture using a fork, until everything is well incorporated. Add a small drizzle of olive oil if it is too firm.

Now comes the difficult part: peel the beets, and then create ribbons of beet as wide as possible and as long as possible. Ideally, use a very sharp vegetable peeler on the beets which you’ve cut in half across the centre (not top-to-bottom). If you do not have a sharp vegetable peeler or have a peeler that removes too thin a strip, simply use a sharp knife and cut around the beet until you have basically unwound the beet. Spread the beet ribbon out, and slather with the goat’s cheese mix. Roll it up neatly, and then place on a baking dish greased with a bit of olive oil. Do this with as much of the beets as possible (once you get too close to the middle though it’s too difficult and so you can just eat that part). You should end up with around 10-14 rolls or more. Drizzle a drop of olive oil over top of each roll, and bake at 400F for 10 minutes, until the rolls sizzle a bit.

If you have a really sharp knife, slice the rolls in 2 or 3 and place them each on round sesame melba toast. If you are unable to slice them, simply serve them as-is with a fork and knife on a small appetizer plate.

Enjoy!

-Sitelle

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