Tag Archives: goat cheese

Goat Cheese & Scallion Parcels

22 Jun

IMG_3042

After the scorching Mumbai summers everyone impatiently awaits overcast skies and blustery rain showers. And fickle Mother Nature is typically generous with her annual torrential downpours in Mumbai. The cloudy skies cast an enchanting spell on the city drenching the parched ground and uplifting residents’ spirits.

The Mumbai monsoons play a bewitching role on an onset of my hankerings for deep-fried food.  In my mind, crunchy pakoras (various vegetables dipped in a gram-flour batter and deep-fried) and samosas (fried pastry with a savory meat or vegetable filling) along with aromatic cups of steaming ginger tea are part and parcel of a rainy day. A quintessential monsoon day had me dreaming of a cheese samosa and led to the development of these Goat Cheese and Scallion Parcels.

This recipe uses a few straightforward ingredients to create a scrumptious miniature treat of scallion specked creamy goat cheese in a crispy wonton parcel.  The dipping sauce provides the perfect piquant tang to the simple wonton parcels. These little munchies are a perfect rainy day treat for the family and yet graceful enough to serve at your next cocktail party. Continue reading

Wild Mushroom & Goat Cheese Tartines

14 May

Wild mushroom and goat cheese tartines

I recently read an interesting perspective that Crostini’s are so 2012! What’s trending in the world of crusty bread based appetizers are Tartines. For me either of these are just different names for petite open faced sandwiches topped with anything you can dream off. And the possibilities really are endless! Mushroom Tartines

My mother has been making mushroom toasts – toasts topped with diced and cooked white button mushrooms with parsley for years. My Wild Mushroom and Goat Cheese Tartine recipe is a more refined (French Tartine worthy) and amplified version of her idea. And I call it a Tartine – because as a writer I need to stay current by embracing whatever is trending! Continue reading

Goat Cheese, Sun-dried Tomato & Arugula Pesto Crostini

15 Jan

IMG_2398Necessity is the mother of invention, and often how a new recipe is born. In fact excess of a perishable ingredient and a desire to do something special with it often inspire tasty solutions in my kitchen!

In short here is the whole truth behind this recipe:

Pickle # 1:  I have a bunch of arugula that I need to use up soon, and I do not feel like eating a salad tonight. Duh, but I  always eat Arugula in my salad!
Solution #1: Make a Pesto out of it!

Pickle #2: A basic Arugula Pesto is a bit too strong by itself on bread.
Solution #2: It could use some sweetness and tang and possibly the addition of neutral and  creamy component. Hmmm…how about topping it with SUN-DRIED TOMATOES & GOAT CHEESE?

Final Result: Aha! The perfect balance of flavors on a slice of crusty bread. It’s a party in your mouth when the sweet, acidic and chewy sun-dried tomatoes balance out the sharp taste of the pesto and the creamy texture of the goat cheese. Pair this with a crisp Sauvignon Blanc and its a lot more elating that a classic Arugula salad!

Goat Cheese, Sun-dried tomato & Arugula Pesto Crostini Recipe
Time: 15-20 minutes
Yield: 3/4 cup of Pesto

Ingredients:
2 cups packed arugula, washed and drained
6 cloves of garlic
1/3 cup of pine nuts, lightly roasted (See note)
1/3 cup of good Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
6 whole black peppercorns
¼ cup of good quality extra virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
Salt to taste
1/3-1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, sliced or diced
1 cup of goat cheese, crumbled
1 loaf French or Italian Baguette (See note)

Note:

  • Pine nuts can be toasted in a non-stick skillet on low heat. Keep an eye on these as they get done quickly and can burn easily. They are ready when they have a light color change and you can smell them.
  • French Baguettes are typically a lot harder than Italian Baguettes. Since I used a French Baguette, I did not toast it up for the Crostini. If you use an Italian Baguette or another softer baguette, you should toast it in the oven or under the broiler to ensure crusty bread that stands up to the toppings without getting soggy too soon.

Method:
1) In a food processor or blender combine the arugula, garlic, roasted pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, peppercorns, olive oil, crushed red pepper and salt to taste. Blend this to a thick paste, or leave some texture if you prefer a chunkier pesto.
2) Slice the baguette into 1 inch slices on a bias.
3) Spread a layer or two of pesto on each slice. Now top each slice with a few sun-dried tomatoes followed by goat cheese crumbles. I was skimpy with the goat cheese, to reduce some of the fat content, but these are even tastier when you are generous with the sun-dried tomatoes and goat cheese!

Roasted Tomato Soup with Truffle Oil & A Herbed Goat Cheese Ball

27 Sep

We all have our lists of comfort foods; foods that warm our hearts and feed our souls. They are foods that calm our nerves and satiate our appetites on days that seem far from perfect. I have a long list of favorite comfort foods and soup is pretty high up on that list. And not just any soup – tomato soup, particularly a roasted tomato soup.

By now you know my love for tomatoes, and since tomatoes found in the cooler months of the year are often not at their best, roasting wheedles out the flavor of a less than pristine tomato. A classic roasted tomato soup is a staple around our home in the cooler months, but is an entertaining worthy soup?

This is a dilemma I found myself grappling with a few days ago. Since I profess that I feed people’s appetites, I ought to have my fancier, party worthy meals stem for classic comfort food recipes. I need to create dressed up versions of comfort classics that have both the panache of a fancy dinner and the cozy feel of comfort food. This self-imposed mandate was the foundation of this recipe.

The herbed goat cheese ball replaces the cream that would traditionally thicken a tomato soup. As it melts into the soup it creates an additional layer of flavor and texture. This coupled with a hint of white truffle oil elevates a comfort classic to celebrity status.

Roasted Tomato Soup with Truffle oil & Herbed Goat Cheese
Serves 4 people

HERBED GOAT CHEESE BALLS:

Ingredients:

4 oz goat cheese, at room temperature
1 tablespoon finely chopped basil
1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
¼ teaspoon table salt
¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

 Method:

1) Mix together all the above ingredients.
2) Use your hands to form small balls that are just a little smaller than golf balls. Place them on a plate and chill in the refrigerator till the soup is ready.
3) If you have leftover goat cheese balls, they make a great spread for toast or crackers.

ROASTED TOMATO SOUP

Ingredients:

1 lb vine ripe tomatoes, quartered
1 large yellow onion, peeled and quartered
5 unpeeled whole garlic cloves
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
5 cups reduced sodium chicken or vegetable stock
1 bay leaf
½ teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon tomato paste
½ teaspoon of white truffle oil (See note)
2 tablespoons of basil, Chiffonade
Salt and pepper to taste

Note:

  • You can use more truffle oil if you want to. Be aware that it is very strong and a little bit more can have an overpowering flavor. You want to just have a hint of it when you taste the soup.

Method:

1) Pre-heat the oven to 450⁰F.
2) Cover a large sheet pan/cookie sheet with foil. Lay out all tomatoes, onion and garlic cloves on it. Drizzle the vegetables with the olive oil and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of cracked black pepper.
3) Roast all these vegetables in the oven for 30 minutes. Flip the vegetables over half way through to ensure even charring.
4) Once the vegetables are roasted, bring the chicken stock to a boil along with the bay leaf and oregano in a Dutch oven on the stove top.
5) Add the roasted vegetables and the tomato paste to the boiling broth. Don’t forget to remove the roasted garlic from the peels and discard the peels before adding to the broth. Let everything come up to a rolling boil.
6) Now reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 12 minutes. Turn off the heat when done.
7) Using and immersion blender or a food processor, blend everything together. Use a sieve to strain out any seeds.
8) Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the truffle oil and basil.
9) Serve the soup in your best soup bowls and top each bowl with one of the goat cheese balls.

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