Tag Archives: goat cheese

strawberry + goat cheese galettes

22 Jun

My parents came to visit and brought along some beautiful fresh, local strawberries (thank you!).  I had this recipe idea kicking around in my head for a while so I thought this was the perfect opportunity to give it a try.

Turns out it’s very good.

For the pastry I used this recipe for pasta frolla (sweet pastry dough) but cut the recipe by a third so I’ve included the reduced measurements for convenience.

I’m thinking a balsamic glaze drizzled over top, or maybe some fresh basil mixed in with the strawberries would be really tasty… but I could be wrong.  Eventually I’ll revisit this and see but in the meantime if any of you, you beautiful sophisticated intelligent readers, try a variation that works let me know.

Makes 5 galettes.

strawberry + goat cheese galettes

ingredients

pastry – from Kitchen Window

  • 2 c flour
  • 2/3 c confectioner’s sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • zest of 1 small lemon
  • 2/3 c unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 2 large eggs

filling

  • 1 pint of fresh strawberries, sliced
  • zest of 1 small lemon
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 150 g goat cheese

preparation

For pastry – Mix flour, sugar, salt and lemon zest in a large bowl.  Add butter and mix with a pastry cutter until small, pea sized clumps are formed.  Add one whole egg and the yolk of the second egg (set the white aside for later) and mix until just combined.

Turn out onto a floured work surface and knead briefly, form into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before using to make it pliable enough to work with.  Divide the dough into 5 chunks and roll each into a ball.  Roll each ball out on a well floured surface – they should be thin, rough edged circles – and transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet.

For filling – Combine strawberries, lemon zest and sugar.

Preheat oven to 350°F with a rack in the middle.

Top each rolled out pastry round with a heaping tablespoon of goat cheese and spread it, leaving a 2 inch border with no cheese.  Top the cheese area with a mound of strawberries and fold the pastry border up over the edges of the filling.  Repeat with each round.  Pile any leftover strawberry mixture in the middle of the pastries.

Remember that egg white we set aside?  If not that’s ok but if yes brush egg white over the pastry so it gets nice and crispy and shiny.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until crust is golden-brown.

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beet + apple soup

14 Apr

My boyfriend is not so crazy about vegetables.  His favourite food is hamburgers.  He thinks that a Manwich is a meal.

Yet, he loves this soup…

and for good reason, it’s earthy and flavourful and it looks oh so pretty too.

Makes 8 servings

$1.30 per 2 servings

beet & apple soup

adapted from Gourmet, November 2000

ingredients

  • 6 medium beets
  • 2 tart red apples such as macintosh or empire
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 8 c vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • goat cheese (optional)

preparation

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Cut beets in quarters and roast on a foil lined baking sheet, skin side up, for 45 minutes to an hour.

Cool beets and peel the skin off with a paring knife (skin should come off fairly easily after roasting).  Cut beets into small chunks.

Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat.  At the same time, start heating the vegetable broth in a separate pot.  Add onion to the oil and sautee until soft – 2 minutes.  Add garlic and cayenne and sautee another minute.  Add beets and hot broth.  Bring to a boil.

While the soup is coming to a boil, peel the apples and cut them into cubes.  Add to boiling broth and reduce mixture to a simmer.

Simmer for about 35 minutes or until beets are tender enough to pierce easily with a fork.

Puree the soup.  Add cider vinegar and salt & pepper to taste.  Add water if necessary to thin to desired consistency.

Garnish with goat cheese and cracked pepper.

frittata with fennel + herbes de provence

1 Apr

Who doesn’t love brunch?  Curmudgeons and people who don’t have any friends to have brunch with.

You aren’t one of these unfortunate souls are you?  Of course not.

Invite some friends over and make this rather impressive brunch with very little effort and, as usual, very little money too.

Makes 4 servings

$4.75 per 2 servings

frittata with fennel & herbes de provence

ingredients

  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 c milk
  • 1 1/2 tbsp herbes de provence
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 8 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small fennel bulb
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 handfuls baby spinach
  • 1 c cherry tomatoes
  • 100g goat cheese
  • 1 avocado
  • 4 slices of toast

sliced fennel

preparation

Whisk together eggs, milk, herbes de provence, salt and pepper in a bowl.  Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350°F with a rack positioned in the middle.

Cut the top off of the fennel bulb, then cut the bulb in half.  Cut each half crosswise into thin slices.  Cut cherry tomatoes in half.

Heat oilve oil over medium-high heat in a heavy, ovenproof skillet.  Add sliced fennel and cook until it begins to soften – about 2 minutes.  Add garlic and continue to cook until fennel is soft and somewhat translucent – another 2 to 3 minutes.  Reduce heat to medium and add spinach, one handful at a time, and stir until wilted – 30 seconds.

Whisk the egg mixture to distribute herbs evenly throughout and pour over the vegetables in the skillet.  Distribute cherry tomatoes and crumbled goat cheese evenly over the top.

Let the frittata cook on the stove for 4 to 5 minutes then transfer to the oven for 10 minutes.  Switch oven to broil until the top starts to bubble – 1 minute.

Top each piece of toast with a quarter of an avocado cut into thin slices and rest a piece of frittata on top.

portobello cap salad

19 Mar

Credit for this goes to my dad who used to make this as an appetizer in the summer all the time.  I love it.  The portobello cap is rich and meaty, the chevre and tapenade are tangy and savoury, the greens are bitter and refreshing.

Don’t throw out the portobello stems, by the way.  Save them for the next morning, chop them up and sautee them; they’re one of the best things you can put in an omelette.

$9.50 for two servings.

Serves 4 as appetizer or lunch.

portobello cap salad

ingredients

  • 4 portobello mushrooms, stems removed
  • 3/4 c olive oil, divided
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 4 tbsp kalamata olive tapenade
  • 100 g soft goat cheese
  • 6 c mesclun salad mix
  • 4 thick slices crusty french or italian bread
  • pinch coarse sea salt

preparation

Heat grill to medium-high heat.

Place 1/2 c olive oil in a bowl and use to brush both sides of each portobello cap and both sides of bread slices.

Place portobello caps on grill, bottoms down.  Cover and cook until browned and beginning to shrink slightly (3-4 minutes).  Turn and repeat on the other side.

At the same time place oiled bread on grill and sprinkle one side with sea salt.  Cook each side until toasted golden brown (2-3 minutes).  If cooked before the portobellos are done, move to the edge of the grill to keep warm without burning.

Whisk remaining 1/4 c of olive oil with balsamic vinegar.  Put a large handful of mesclun mix on each plate and dress with balsmaic vinaigrette.  Place cooked portobello on top of salad, spread 1 tbsp kalamata olive tapenade on each mushroom and top with a slice of goat cheese.

Serve immediately.

sage + butternut squash galette

13 Feb

In the middle of a Toronto February I start fantasizing about making a blanket fort around my bed and refusing to come out until i can be assured that I will reliably see the sun for more than an hour a day. Pastry, however, has proven to be a much healthier and equally satisfying way of handling the long last stretch of winter. Not only is it flaky and delicious, it forces me to sit at a table! #nocrumbsinmybed

Here is a recipe I tried and loved from Gourmet February 2009

$4.50 per 2 servings

Serves 6 as main course.

sage & butternut squash galette

From Gourmet, February 2009

ingredients

crust

  • 1 1/4 c all purpose flour
  • 1 stick (1/2 c) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh sage
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 4-6 tbsp cold water
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

filling

  • 1 2lb butternut squash, peeled and seeded, cut into 2 inch by 1/4 inch slices (should be about 4 cups)
  • 1 tsp coarse sea salt
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 leeks (white & pale green parts only), thinly sliced
  • 175 g soft goat cheese

preparation

dough:

Mix flour, butter, sage, and sea salt using a pastry cutter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Drizzle ice water evenly over mixture, one tablespoon at a time, and mix with the pastry cutter until it just forms a ball. (Do not overwork dough, or pastry will be tough.) Gently press dough into a 5-inch disk and chill, wrapped in plastic wrap, until firm, at least 1 hour.

make filling while dough chills:

Preheat oven to 500°F with rack in middle.

Toss squash with sea salt and 1 tbsp oil and arrange in 1 layer in a 17-by 12-inch shallow baking pan. Roast, stirring once halfway through roasting, until golden brown on edges and undersides, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove squash from oven and reduce oven temperature to 375°F.

Meanwhile, wash leeks, then cook in remaining 2 tablespoons oil with a pinch of sea salt in a 10-inch heavy skillet over medium heat, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl to cool slightly. Add squash, most of the goat cheese (set about a 1/4 c aside), and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and toss gently.

galette:

Roll out dough into a 13-inch round on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin. Transfer to a baking sheet. Arrange filling in an even layer in center of dough, leaving a 2- to 3-inch border. Fold dough in on itself to cover outer rim of filling, pleating dough as necessary. With the remaining 1/4 c goat cheese, place a generous amount on each slice of the galette (about 6 evenly spaced pieces). Brush pastry with beaten egg and bake galette until crust is cooked through and golden on edges, 35 to 45 minutes. Cool on baking sheet on a rack 10 minutes before serving.