Crab and Artichoke Goat Cheese Dip

This post comes from a blogger known as Gamedayr (and was improved upon by dear friend Cindee). It is further proof that any recipe calling for cream cheese can be improved by replacing the cream cheese with fresh goat cheese (Chèvre) — more tang, less fat, more freshness! Even though football season is over for this year, you can still indulge in dip while watching the Olympics, golf, or whatever else is your wintertime indoor relaxation favorite! But unless you are hosting a large crowd, consider halving the recipe as it makes A LOT!

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups crabmeat
  • 8 ounce softened fresh goat cheese (Chèvre)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 cup white Cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup capers, drained
  • 16 oz. artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill, or to taste
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Old Bay and other seasonings to taste (e.g., pepper, salt, paprika or chipotle, worcestshire sauce), if you feel the need for a more piquant taste

Directions

      1. Preheat oven to 400 F (200 degrees C).
      2. Lightly grease an 8×8 inch square baking pan.
      3. Combine all ingredients, other than Parmesan cheese, and mix well.
      4. Spread dip into baking pan.
      5. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
      6. Bake for 20 minutes.
      7. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
    8. Serve with crackers, tortilla chips, or toasted bread.
 
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Artichoke and Chicken Cannelloni

Pasta is a wonderful carbohydrate (my personal fave), and even if you are gluten-intolerant, nowadays you can get it made from lots of different grains, even rice. This recipe can also be made with textured soy protein if you need or want to avoid meat.

Ingredients

10 – 12 ounces fresh pasta sheets cut into 4 x 6″ squares, or lasagna sheets

1 large onion, chopped

2-3 Tbsp olive oil

8 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup minced fresh herbs (thyme, parsley, oregano)

1 can artichoke hearts, quartered or rough-chopped

2 1/2 – 3 cups diced or shredded cooked chicken or crumbled tempeh

1 15-ounce can organic diced tomatoes, drained

Bechamel Sauce and Cheese Topping Ingredients

2 Tbsp butter

2 Tbsp flour

2 cups milk

2 cups grated goat Gouda

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Put on a large pot of salted water to boil for the pasta.

Saute the onion in the olive oil until softened. Add garlic and herbs, and cook for another minute. Add artichokes and chicken or tempeh. When fully hot, add the tomatoes. Keep on low until ready to use.

Partially cook the pasta now — two minutes for fresh pasta, about 4 minutes for the dried. It should be limp, but not fully cooked. Drain and stretch sheets out carefully on a plate. On a separate plate take one sheet, spread some filling along one edge and roll. Arrange seam side down in an oiled baking dish. Repeat until pan is fully packed.

Bechamel and Cheese Topping

Melt butter in small saucepan. Whisk in the flour and cook for two minutes. Gradually add the milk, whisking constantly until smooth. Let sauce cook, whisking often for several minutes until it begins to thicken. Pour over the cannelloni and sprinkle on the grated cheese. Bake uncovered for about 35 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly, and the top is just beginning to brown. Let cool for 5 – 10 minutes and serve.

Thanks to Maggie Foard and her excellent book, “Goat Cheese” for this recipe.