Category Archives: goat cheese

Goat Cheese Tart

Goat cheese was on sale at the grocery store. But it sat in my fridge for a while before I had time to make something. When I learned that it was going to be Joncy’s last week working the bar at Blue Ribbon, I made this quick easy tart and ended up with two wedding proposals out of the Blue Ribbon staff.

Crust:
3/4 cups flour
1/2 stick of butter, slightly cooler than room temperature
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoons sugar
1/8 cup water

In a large metal bowl, mix all ingredients, except the water, with a fork or pastry cutter. The goal is to incorporate the butter until it is the texture of course meal. Slowly sprinkle in the water and quickly mix. Making sure not to put in too much water, briefly kneed the pastry so that it forms a cohesive ball. Roll out the dough on a well flouered surface. And place inside a large tart pan.

Filling:
2 onions, sliced thin
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper
7-8 oz log of goat cheese
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
4 tablespoons parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan. Add the onions and cook until they brown and caramelize. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spread the onion into the bottom of the pastry. Crumble the goat cheese over the onions. Arrange the tomatoes over top of the goat cheese. Season with salt and pepper and the Italian seasoning. Sprinkle the tart with parmesan and place in the oven. Bake until the tomatoes start to wilt and the parmesan and crust is golden brown.

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Three Canapés: Tuna Nicoise, Balsamic Steak and Mushroom Goat Cheese

Canapés are always easy to make and look super impressive. I wanted to have a main course that was easy to eat and still had great flavors. These three canapés really invoke the best flavors of France.

Tuna Nicoise Canapés:
2 7oz cans of tuna, drained
½ small onion, minced
1 tablespoon capers, minced
handful of black olives, chopped
handful of haricots verts, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
juice and zest of ½ lemon
salt and pepper
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon anchovy paste
½ teaspoon dijon mustard
bread rounds
lettuce
grape tomatoes, halved

Using a form, mix the tuna, onion, capers, olives, beans, olive oil, lemon, and seasonings in a mixing bowl. Taste the tuna mixture and adjust the seasoning as needed.

Cover the bread rounds with a piece of lettuce. Put a hefty tablespoon of the tuna mixture over the lettuce. Top the tuna with a half of a cherry tomato and serve.

Balsamic Steak Canapés:
1 lb beef tenderloin
salt and pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
2 tablespoons olive oil
bread rounds
lettuce
Parmigiano-Reggiano slices or chunks
Aged balsamic vinegar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrease. Season the beef with the salt, pepper, garlic and Cajun seasoning. Heat the olive oil in a heavy skillet with a metal handle on medium high heat. Sear the beef on all sides, about 3 minutes per side. Insert an electric probe thermometer inter the center of the beef and set the alarm for medium rare. Place the skillet of beef into the oven and cook until the alarm sounds.

Let the cooked beef rest for at least 15 minutes so that the juices redistribute. Slice the beef, against the grain, into thin bite sized piece.

To assemble, cover a piece of bread with a piece of lettuce. Place a piece of beef and Parmigiano on top of the lettuce and drizzle with the balsamic.

Mushroom Goat Cheese Canapés:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
½ medium onion, chopped
1 4oz package of mixed “wild” mushrooms, chopped
1 8oz package of sliced baby bella mushrooms, chopped
½ tablespoon dried thyme
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon bourbon or other brown liquor like cognac
melba toasts
1 8oz log of goat cheese
fresh thyme leaves

Heat the olive oil and garlic in a skillet on medium heat. Before the garlic browns add the minced onion and cook until it turns clear. Add the mushrooms and thyme and cook until browned and soft. Once all of the liquid has evaporated and the mushrooms are soft and browned add the salt and pepper and liquor. Keep stirring the mushrooms until the liquor is almost evaporated. Taste the mixture and adjust the salt and pepper to taste.

Spoon a hefty tablespoon of mushroom onto the toasts. Add a slice of goat cheese and fresh thyme leaves to the top of the mushrooms and serve.

Wine Tasting Party

My friends Josh and Jamie are having a cool wine tasting party tonight. I missed their last party because I was sick. I gave them a giant bottle of wine, after the fact, which they still have. So I’ve been forbidden from bringing another bottle of wine. With that said, I can’t show up to a party empty handed. So I decided to make a great dish that will pair well with the wine. In addition I had some left over bread in my freezer, and cream and eggs that I had to use up. So it was an easy and cheap solution.

Savory Mushroom and Goat Cheese Bread Pudding

1 tablespoon butter
2 slices bacon, chopped
¼ large onion, chopped
1 10 oz package of sliced baby Portobello mushrooms, chopped
1 ½ teaspoons dried thyme
¼ teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cognac
3 eggs
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
6 cups of cubed brioche or other egg bread (1/2 loaf)
4 ounces crumbled goat cheese
grated Parmesan cheese

Heat the butter and bacon in a skillet on medium heat. Stir occasionally until the bacon is crisp and brown. Add the onions. Keep cooking and occasionally stirring till the onions brown and caramelize. Add the mushrooms, thyme and pepper. Turn the heat up to medium high. Keep cooking until the mushroom brown and the water is evaporated. Add the parsley and salt. Cook for another few minutes to wilt the parsley. Turn the heat back down to medium. Add the cognac. Keep stirring until the cognac is evaporated and turn the heat off. Spread the mushrooms in an even layer in the pan and let it sit aside while you make the rest of the dish.

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degreases.

Beat the eggs in a large metal bowl with a balloon whisk. Add the cream and keep beating. Add the spices and sugar and beat to combine. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the cubed bread. Make sure that all bits of bread are saturate with the egg mixture but there is not a pool of egg at the bottom of the bowl. The pudding some come together in a very dense ball in the bowl. You can add a tiny bit more cream, milk or even water if the mixture seems too dry. Fold in the goat cheese and mushrooms, scrapping all the flavor out of the pan.

Spoon the mixture into mini muffin tins lined with mini muffin cups. You will have enough for 3 tins. Sprinkle a tiny bit of Parmesan cheese over the top of each muffin and bake for 30-45 minutes or until golden brown and fluffy. Cool in the tins for 10 minutes before removing them to a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

In Tough Times: Forage

Wall Street is in the toilet. Since I work in financial services I’m slightly worried about the long-term health of my career. In tough times we are supposed to cut back and give up on some of life’s luxuries. As I’m sure you have all guessed, food is my favorite thing, and I don’t plan to give up on the finer parts of eating anytime soon. Luckily I don’t need to pay a fortune for exotic wild mushrooms because my dad forages for them in the woods. Two years ago he actually found 80 pounds of Chanterelles. This season wasn’t as fruitful, but I still got a good 3 pounds out of his horde.

Chicken Stuffed with Chanterelles and Goat Cheese

2 tablespoon olive oil
½ medium onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 pound chanterelles, chopped
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 tablespoon cognac or bourbon
salt and pepper
1 pound boneless chicken breast
4 oz goat cheese

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet on medium high heat. Sautee the onions and garlic until soft. Add the mushrooms, thyme and salt and pepper and sauté until caramelized. Add the cognac and cook until evaporated. Set the mushrooms aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Pound the chicken breast until thin. Season them with salt and pepper on both sides and spread them with goat cheese. Divide the mushrooms between each breast and roll them up. Secure them with a toothpick.

Wipe out the pan and heat the remaining oil over medium high heat. Add the chicken back into the pan and brown on one side. After 5 minutes, and one side is brown, carefully flip the chicken breasts.

Slide the pan in the oven and cook in the oven for 20 minutes or until done.

Luxury, First Thing in the Morning

Ok I’m working my butt off. Non-stop papers, contract design work and of course my love of volunteering to make wedding invites. I’m over committed. But sometimes I have fleeting moments to catch my breath. Enjoying a gourmet breakfast, made in just a few seconds, is the best example. If you transfer the finished omelet to a nice place, garnish with a sprig of chives and fresh fruit, eating this in bed is just like a weekend at the Ritz.

Roasted Chicken and Goat Cheese Omelet

½ cup pulled roasted chicken (leftovers from a rotisserie chicken)
3 eggs
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard soy mayo
½ tablespoon chopped chives (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
1-2 tablespoons herbed goat cheese

In a microwave safe plastic bowl (I like to use those black rectangle take out container bottoms), heat the chicken in the microwave for 1 minute.

Add the eggs, mayo, chives and salt and pepper and beat with a fork, folding to coat each piece of chicken. Crumble the cheese over the top of the egg mixture. Microwave between 4 and minutes, oh high, checking to make sure that the center is set but not over cooked.