Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Never Met a Goat Cheese I Didn't Love

Creamy French Goat Cheese--Sarlat Market
For those of you who missed the memo August is national goat cheese month, and if you haven't been celebrating, then now is the time!  Goat cheese can either be smooth, and creamy, with a bit of a bite, or it can be sharp in flavor like Feta, either way, the creamy varieties compliment spicy dishes, and the sharper cheeses are terrific in pasta, and perk up blander dishes.  Here is an idea to celebrate with this month. 

Herbed Goat Cheese Gougere
Serves 8
Gougere are usually tiny savory puffs, but in this recipe the dough is flattened like a pizza, and the goat cheese bakes into the dough.

1 cup water
3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 cup all-purpose flour
5 large eggs
1 cup finely shredded Gruyere cheese
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons finely chopped mixed herbs (thyme, parsley, rosemary, tarragon)
5 ounces goat cheese, cut into 1/2-inch slices
Olive oil

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Coat a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray, or line with parchment or silicone. 
  1. In a large saucepan, combine the water, salt and butter, and heat until the butter is melted. Bring the butter to a boil, and remove from the heat, adding the flour immediately.
  2.  Beat with a wooden spoon for a few minutes, until the mixture pulls away from the pan sides to form a ball.
  3. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition. Add the Gruyere cheese, beating until the dough is silky.
  4. Spread the dough into a 12-inch round on the baking sheet. Sprinkle with the garlic and herbs, and top evenly with the goat cheese. Brush the cheese rounds with the olive oil.
  5. Do-Ahead: At this point, refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Bring to room temperature for 35 minutes.
  6. Bake until the dough is crusty and brown and the goat cheese is toasted, 45 to 50 minutes. The gougere will puff then deflate slightly as it cools. Serve warm and cut into wedges.

 Walnut Crusted Baked Goat Cheese Salad

Serves 6
One 11-ounce log goat cheese
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 to 4 sprigs fresh thyme, chopped
1 small sprig rosemary, chopped
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/2 cup fine dry bread crumbs
1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup oil used for marinating the goat cheese
12-ounces field greens 

1. Slice the goat cheese into 8 discs about 1/2-inch thick. Pour 1 cup olive oil over the discs and sprinkle with the chopped herbs. Cover and store in a cool place for several hours or up to one week.

2. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the vinegars, Dijon, salt, pepper, and the oil, until blended. Set aside while baking the goat cheese.

3. In a shallow dish, combine the walnuts and bread crumbs. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. (A toaster oven works well, too.)

4. Remove the cheese discs from the marinade and roll them in the bread crumbs, coating them thoroughly. Place the discs on a small baking sheet and bake for 6 to 8 minutes, until the cheese is soft in the center.

5. Remove the cheese from the oven, toss the salad greens with the dressing, and plate the salad, transferring one or two discs to top each salad, and serve.


1 comment:

  1. Mmmmmmm...goat cheese is my all-time favorite - these recipes are coaxing me back into the kitchen after years of abandonment - I can't help myself!