Cuddle UP: Goat Cheese from France

“Original Chèvre” is made with local French goat’s milk and crafted following centuries-old tradition, often coming in cool shapes and covered in ash, leaves, herbs or varieties of pepper, thus creating a cool display on your cheese board. Set out the range of flavors from mild (Valencay-style or Brie) to heavy hitters (Chabichou or Bleu de Bocage). Or treat your guests to mini bites, like the pretty stuffed pumpkins or the itty bitty portions of mac ‘n’ cheese. Recipes follow below. Check the website for future recipes (work in progress).
Yield: 6 servings
6 mini pumpkins
1 1/4 cups cooked rice
2 tbs melted butter
1/2 tsp salt,
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 tbs maple syrup
2 tbs pine nuts
1 1/2 tbs sliced dried cranberries
1/2 lb French Goat Brie (cut into 12 pieces, rind can be removed)
Cook Pumpkin: Preheat oven to 375°F. Cut the top off each pumpkin, and scoop out the seeds from each. Place in an oven-safe dish cut-side-up. Cook in oven until pumpkin flesh is tender, about 45 to 50 minutes. Remove from oven.
Add stuffing: When cool enough to handle, scoop flesh from each pumpkin into a bowl. Add remaining ingredients except for cheese. Mix until combined. Place 1 wedge of cheese in each pumpkin, fill with rice mixture and top with another cheese piece. Transfer to oven, cook 10 minutes and serve.
Yield: 4 servings
8 oz pasta (like cavatappi)
1 1/2 TB butter
1 1/2 TB flour
3/4 cup whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 oz French goat tomme, rind removed, cut into chunks
4 oz French Goat cheese log, cut into chunks
dash of hot sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup chopped chives
Prepare pasta according to package directions. Drain and reserve.
In large sauté pan, melt butter over medium-high heat, stir in flour until combined. Gradually add milk and cream, whisking until mixture is smooth and has thickened, about 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce heat to low, and add chunks of cheese, hot sauce, salt, pepper and chives, stirring until cheese melts. Remove from heat, stir in pasta, and serve in bowls. Or, to create the mini servings: portion out in a mini muffin tin and bake for 10 minutes at 425º

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