Cherry Tomato and Chèvre Quiche

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There is a time for quiche — for breakfast, lunch or dinner, and that time is NOW! In the depths of winter, what could be better? This recipe comes to us from South Africa, and they probably eat it in August (when they have winter!) You can probably find cherry tomatoes in the market, add any spices you like and fall in love with chèvre! Thanks to Simply Delicious Food for recipe and photo.
Serves: 6 small quiches
Ingredients
for the pastry
  • 250g flour
  • 125g cold butter, cubed
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3-4 tablespoons ice water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
for the roasted tomatoes
  • 100g cherry tomatoes, on the vine
  • 3 tablespoons Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of sugar
for the filling
  • 100g chèvre
  • 4 extra-large eggs
  • 200g Crème fraîche or sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt flakes
  • 1 teaspoon fresh white pepper
Instructions
  1. To make the pastry, combine the flour, butter and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles course breadcrumbs.
  2. Add the egg yolk and with the motor running, add the cold water, spoon by spoon until the mixture comes together in a ball.
  3. Tip out of the processor onto a floured surface and bring together into a disc.
  4. Wrap in clingfilm and place in the fridge to rest for 15 minutes.
  5. When the pastry has firmed up slightly, roll it out on a floured surface and cut into rounds which will fit your tart cases. Press into the tart cases and place in the fridge for 20 minutes.
  6. To make the roasted tomatoes, pre-heat the oven to 200°c. Place the tomatoes in a small baking tray and drizzle over the oil and Balsamic vinegar and season with the salt and sugar.
  7. Place in the oven and allow to roast for 30-45 minutes until the tomatoes are blistered but still keep their shape. Remove from the oven and turn the oven down to 180°c.
  8. To make the quiches, whisk together the eggs, Crème fraîche, salt and pepper.
  9. Remove the pastry from the fridge and place a few tomatoes into each pastry case.
  10. Pour over the egg mixture and dot the surface with some of the chèvre.
  11. Place in the oven and allow to bake for 10-12 minutes until the egg is just set but still a little jiggly in the middle.
  12. Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature before serving.
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Cheese scones with watercress and goat’s cheese recipe

What a great idea for the shoulder season (wishful thinking!) between winter and spring! Something savory and warm for the winter, and bright, crispy and tangy for spring! Scones made well are lovely, and chèvre + cress = pure deliciousness. This wonderful lunch/high tea idea and pic from Delicious Magazine out of the UK! I have converted the measurements for those who don’t weigh their ingredients.

Serving instructions

  1. Makes 8 |
  2. Takes 15 minutes to make, 10-12 minutes to cook |
Cheese scones with watercress and goat’s cheese

Ingredients

  1. 35g (1.5 ounces) chilled butter, cut into small dice, plus extra for greasing
  2. 225g (8 ounces, or 1 Cup) self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
  3. 1½ tsp baking powder
  4. ½ tsp English mustard powder
  5. ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  6. ½ tsp fine salt
  7. 150g (5 ounces) mature Cheddar (vegetarian Cheddar if required), coarsely grated
  8. 1 free-range medium egg
  9. 1 heaped tbsp soured cream
  10. 50-70ml (1/4 to 1/3 Cup) whole milk

For the filling

  1. 150g (5 ounces) soft, rindless goat’s cheese
  2. 75g (2.5 ounces) bunch of watercress, stalks trimmed

Method

  1. 1. Preheat the oven to 400°F/. Lightly grease a non-stick baking sheet with butter.
  2. 2. Sift the self-raising flour, baking powder, mustard powder, cayenne pepper, black pepper and salt into the bowl of a food processor. Add the diced butter and process into very fine crumbs. Tip the mixture into a large bowl and stir in 100g (3 ounces) of the grated Cheddar.
  3. 3. Break the egg into a measuring jug, add the soured cream and make up to 150ml with the milk. Beat together well.
  4. 4. Pour all but 2 tsp of the egg, soured cream and milk mixture into the dry ingredients, mix briefly with a round-bladed knife and bring together with your hands to make a soft dough, taking care not to over-mix it. Tip the mixture onto a lightly floured work surface and knead very lightly and very briefly until just smooth.
  5. 5. Lightly roll out the dough until it is 1.5cm (1/2″) thick. Dip a 7cm (2 1/2″) plain pastry cutter into some flour, and use to cut out 8 rounds, gently re-kneading the trimmings together and re-rolling as you go.
  6. 6. Place the scones spaced apart on the baking sheet, brush with the rest of the egg and milk mixture and sprinkle the tops with the remaining grated cheese. Bake the scones for 10-12 minutes until golden. Remove from the oven, slide onto a wire rack and leave to cool a little.
  7. 7. To serve, split the scones in half, then spread the bottom half generously with the goat’s cheese. Top with a generous amount of watercress, then the top half of the scone, and eat straight away.

Mushroom, Caramelized Onions and Goat Gouda Grilled Sandwiches

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Ooh-ooh! When it’s 16 degrees out AND sunny, why not celebrate with a numtious sammy like this?!?! Could NOT be easier, as long as you have the ingredients in hand.

In roughly the following proportions:

8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1 medium onion, sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper
4 tablespoons butter
4 slices bread of choice
1 cup gouda, shredded

Pre-grill the onion in olive oil, remove them from the pan and then pre-grill the mushrooms. Combine these and pile half of the mixture on each of two buttered pieces of bread. Top each with half of the shredded gouda (we use goat gouda, of course!), and then top with the second slice of bread. Grill the sandwiches until the cheese is melty, grab your favorite beverage and enjoy. Nom, nom!

Disclaimer: This recipe and photo is courtesy of Courtney Brown on Pinterest. I am not linking to her site, because I consistently get warnings about the site not being safe. So I choose to protect my readers!

Goat Cheese-graced Knishes

Because I’m from Michigan, the first thing I think of when you say pastry-enclosed potatoes and veggies is PASTIES. No, not with a long a, but a short a. These are Cornish meat and potato hand pies, originally made for the coal miners of southern England to take down into the mines with them for lunch. Knishes, I suppose, are just Jewish pasties…and from a much older tradition, I imagine. Come to think of it, these are also a good deal like Russian pieroshki. Everybody into the pool, why not?!

So how could I avoid bringing these knishes to you, especially when I found a recipe that has been enhanced by the addition of chèvre? Yums! Thanks to Joe Pastry, you can have your potatoes, flaky dough, goat cheese, and eat them too!

 

Ingredients

One of the nice things about this dough is how easy it is to prepare and store. You just mix it up, let it sit for an hour, and it’s ready to use. Or, you can refrigerate it until you’re ready to use it, up to several days.

11 ounces all-purpose (AP) flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup vegetable oil (very soft rendered chicken fat [schmalz], if you can find it, is even better)
1 tsp vinegar
1/2 cup lukewarm water

Whisk together your dry ingredients, beat the egg in a small bowl, and combine the vegetable oil, vinegar and water in a separate bowl or measure. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the beaten egg and the wet ingredients. Bring the dough together with a spatula, then knead lightly into a ball. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough sit for an hour at room temperature to relax and hydrate.

Directions

Whisk together your dry ingredients.

Then make a well in the center and add your beaten egg…

…followed by the wet ingredients.

Bring the dough together with a spatula…

…then knead it lightly into a ball. It will be somewhat oily feeling. That’s what you want. Let the dough rest and hydrate for an hour. It may weep a little bit of oil as it sits. That’s perfectly OK.

Meanwhile make your filling. Here I’ve got three medium red potatoes (cooked), about half a cup of deeply caramelized yellow onions (one onion diced finely, cooked gently in two tablespoons of vegetable oil over low heat for a little over an hour), about a two-ounce blob of fresh goat cheese, and a teaspoon of salt.

Mashed. This isn’t nearly enough filling for this amount of dough, but it’s a good “for-instance.” Knishes are great stuffed with just about any leftovers you have in the fridge.

When you’re ready to shape your knishes, generously flour a dough board. Pull off a piece of dough from the ball and start rolling. You’ll find that as long as you use enough flour, it’s a very flexible and forgiving dough that rolls out easily. Roll it out as thin as you can without the dough tearing. The precise shape of your sheet isn’t important. A rough rectangle is just fine.

When the dough is nice and thin, apply a long mound of filling to the bottom edge. I’m making rather small knishes, so my filling mound is small. For bigger knishes, well, you know what to do.

Then — and you can probably see where this is going — enclose the filling to form a long roll.

Roll the dough up in the sheet, but not terribly tightly. Knishes tend to want to break open in the oven. A little slack will help prevent this. Since this dough sheet is very thin, I keep rolling until the tube has about two layers on it. Some people really go nuts in this step and roll their dough out even thinner so as to give the tube four or five flaky layers. Me, I’m happy with two. Some like a thicker crust in just one layer. It’s really up to you.

When you’ve got as much crust on your knishes as you like, use a pizza cutter to trim off the excess. Add the scraps back to the dough ball for re-rolling.

Trim the excess, if there is much, from the ends.

Now to shape the actual knishes. This is very like making sausage. You want to pinch off about a three or four-inch length.

Give it a twist.

Then using your pizza cutter, cut it off.

The result is indeed like a small sausage. Pinch the ends shut to enclose the filling.

Turn the knish end-up on the pastry board…

…and with your palm push it down to form a squat cylinder.

Poke the top down with your finger to keep the center from crowning in the oven.

Lay the knishes out on sheet pans — these don’t need any proofing — and either bake, refrigerate (up to three days) or freeze (up to three months).

When ready to bake, paint with egg wash…

…and bake 30-40 minutes at 350 Fahrenheit until the crusts are golden brown.

 Now wasn’t that special??

 

Tuna, Chick Pea and Broccoli Salad with Yogurt

Thank you, Martha Rose Shulman — you rock!

I love a good salad with tuna fish — and this one, with veggie and extra protein — is destined to become a favorite. Now all I need to do is wait for April…when we once again have goat yogurt:)

Tuna, Chickpeas and Broccoli Salad With Yogurt Dressing

This is inspired by that great Italian combination, tuna and beans. It’s a salad that keeps well in the refrigerator. The broccoli will not retain its pretty green color once in contact with the acid in the dressing, so for best results keep the broccoli separate, along with a tablespoon of the dressing. Just before you want to eat, toss in the broccoli and extra dressing; or eat the broccoli separately with the dressing.

1 can water-packed light tuna, drained

1/2 can chickpeas, (3/4 cup) drained and rinsed

1 stalk celery, cut in small (1/4-inch) dice

1/2 red bell pepper, cut in small (1/4-inch) dice

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (optional)

1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives (optional)

1 broccoli crown, steamed for 4 to 5 minutes and broken into florets

1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/2 tablespoon vinegar (red wine, sherry or white wine)

Salt to taste

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt, or if you are lucky enough to have access to it, goat yogurt.

1. In a medium bowl, mix together the tuna, chickpeas, celery, bell pepper, parsley and chives. Keep the broccoli separate.

2. In a small bowl or measuring cup, mix together the lemon juice, vinegar, salt, and Dijon mustard. Whisk in the olive oil and yogurt, and toss with the tuna and chickpea mixture. Refrigerate in a bowl or in containers until ready to take to work or eat. Add the broccoli just before serving.

Yield: 2 1/2 servings.

Advance preparation: This keeps for 3 or 4 days in the refrigerator.

Nutritional information per serving: 240 calories; 1 gram saturated fat; 1 gram polyunsaturated fat; 4 grams monounsaturated fat; 22 milligrams cholesterol; 19 grams carbohydrates; 5 grams dietary fiber; 492 milligrams sodium (does not include salt to taste); 24 grams protein

The Birchwood – a PERFECT Grilled Cheese Sandwich

The Wisconsin Cheese Marketing folks have got it going on, my friends. They are sharp, ahead of the curve, and sooooo good at tantalizing your tastebuds for cheese-centered dishes. I take my cheesemaker’s hat off to them. Kudos.

One of my favorite websites from them is The Grilled Cheese Academy, wherein they assault the reader with one delectable variant of the standard grilled cheese sandwich after another. And they are all to die for. I swear. The following entry felled me like a tree. It’s up for lunch tomorrow. Only because I already had dinner on the way when I found it tonight. Get on board, it’s bound to be a legend at your house.

Ingredients

No. of Servings: 4

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 7 tablespoons butter, at room temperature, divided
  • 1 yellow or Spanish onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 6-8 ounces mushrooms such as cremini, button, portabello or shiitake, sliced 1/8″ thick
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme, chopped
  • 8 slices whole-grain bread
  • 4 slices Wisconsin Cheddar cheese
  • 4 slices Wisconsin Aged Brick cheese or aged goat cheese
  • 4 large eggs

Cooking Directions

For caramelized onions: Heat large sauté pan over high heat; add olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter; heat. Add sliced onions and sugar. Cook without stirring for 2 minutes. Stir in pinch of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring at intervals, for another 5-8 minutes to brown onions. Add water and stir for 1 minute. Remove to a bowl and set aside.

Return pan to heat and add 1 tablespoon butter and melt; add mushrooms. Add pinch of salt and pepper and cook on medium-high heat for 3-5 minutes. Add chopped herbs and cook for 2 minutes. Remove to bowl.

Spread butter evenly on one side of the bread slices. Heat skillet or sauté pan over medium heat; place a bread slice, butter-side down, in skillet. Top with slice of Cheddar; add about 1 tablespoon each of mushrooms and onions, then top with slice of Aged Brick or aged goat cheese and another piece of bread, butter-side up. Grill for 2 minutes, then carefully flip over, cooking to a golden brown and melting the cheeses. Repeat with remaining ingredients (3 additional sandwiches). Place sandwiches on serving plates and return skillet to the heat. Add 1 tablespoon butter and fry eggs sunny side up over medium heat. Season with pinch of salt and pepper and fry until whites are just set. Place an egg on top of each sandwich and serve immediately.

Now normally I don’t like orange colored cheese. I feel strongly that cheese should resemble the milk from which it is made, not Orange Fanta or Nehi. But the seductiveness of the cheddar hooked me here. See if you don’t want to just reach out and grab this sandwich off the page.

Have mercy!

Thanks to the wizards of Wisconsin cheese marketing. Vermont, I love your cheese, but y’all should take a marketing lesson from Madison!

Egg-on-Pita Quickie

Who has time and energy to cook these days? Between milking goats and making cheese, canning tomatoes and yard/garden work, I’m nuked. This is just the perfect thing. Takes about 8 minutes, maybe. Done.

Ingredients

1 pita
2 T marinara sauce
1 t butter
1 egg
1 t grated aged goat cheese

Directions

Turn on the broiler in your oven. Spread marinara sauce over pita bread and place on a baking sheet. Place it under the broiler to lightly toast the pita and warm the sauce – about 3-5 minutes should be good.

In a small frying pan, melt butter and fry an egg over med-high heat until the sides get crispy and the whites somewhat set. Do not flip. Remove the pita from the oven and slide the egg on top and cover with grated cheese. Broil for 1-3 minutes depending how soft you like your egg & until cheese melts.

Thanks to Everybody Likes Sandwiches for the idea and the photo!