Posts Tagged ‘Goat Cheese’

I joined my first online blogging group. It is called the Barefoot Bloggers. They are dedicated to trying as many of the Barefoot Contessa’s aka Ina Garten’s wonderful recipes as possible. I love Ina so this seemed to be the perfect inaugural group for me. I was very excited about this first recipe for many reasons. First of all it didn’t contain any meat which is a necessity until Lent is over. It will also be my first time using puff pastry and who doesn’t like tomatoes, goat cheese, and fresh basil. The anticipation while cooking was very high and I must say that I was not disappointed in the least! My puff pastry did not rise as much as I expected but other than that these were incredible! They would be perfect on a cool summer evening.Anne of Anne Strawberry picked an awesome recipe. Give them a try.
Tomato and Goat Cheese Tart

Tomato and Goat Cheese Tart
2008, Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics

* 1 package (17.3 ounces/2 sheets) puff pastry, defrosted
* Good olive oil
* 4 cups thinly sliced yellow onions (2 large onions)
* 3 large garlic cloves, cut into thin slivers
* Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 3 tablespoons dry white wine
* 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves
* 4 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan, plus 2 ounces shaved with a vegetable peeler
* 4 ounces garlic-and-herb goat cheese (recommended: Montrachet)
* 1 large tomato, cut into 4 (1/4-inch-thick) slices
* 3 tablespoons julienned basil leaves


Unfold a sheet of puff pastry on a lightly floured surface and roll it lightly to an 11 by 11-inch square. Using a 6-inch wide saucer or other round object as a guide, cut 2 circles from the sheet of puff pastry, discarding the scraps. Repeat with the second pastry sheet to make 4 circles in all. Place the pastry circles on 2 sheet pans lined with parchment paper and refrigerate until ready to use.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium to low heat and add the onions and garlic. Saute for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions are limp and there is almost no moisture remaining in the skillet. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, the wine, and thyme and continue to cook for another 10 minutes, until the onions are lightly browned. Remove from the heat.

Using a sharp paring knife, score a 1/4-inch-wide border around each pastry circle. Prick the pastry inside the score lines with the tines of a fork and sprinkle a tablespoon of grated Parmesan on each round, staying inside the scored border.

Place 1/4 of the onion mixture on each circle, again staying within the scored edge. Crumble 1 ounce of goat cheese on top of the onions. Place a slice of tomato in the center of each tart. Brush the tomato lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with basil, salt, and pepper. Finally, scatter 4 or 5 shards of Parmesan on each tart.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown. The bottom sheet pan may need an extra few minutes in the oven. Serve hot or warm.

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Dinner tonight was a combination of potato, cream, and cheese with a few vegetables thrown in for good measure. I had been looking for something to do with some frozen gnocchi we had in the freezer when I came across this delicious looking dish from Food alla Puttanesca. It turns out the it was an adaptation of a recipe from Giada’s Everyday Pasta cookbook. I will post the original recipe here and put my changes in italics.
baked gnocchi

Baked Gnocchi
adapted from Everyday Pasta

2 (17 ounce) packages potato gnocchi – I used 2 14oz packages
* 1/2 med onion chopped
* 1 8oz package of sliced mushrooms
* 2 tbsps butter
3 cups heavy cream
1 cup reduced sodium chicken broth – I used mushroom broth
1/4 cup all purpose flour
* 2 tsp fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
12 ounces baby spinach – I used 1 10oz frozen package of chopped spinach
3 ounces fresh goat cheese – I used 2oz
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Place the gnocchi in a lightly greased 9x13x2 inch baking dish. Set aside.

3. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the cream, chicken broth, and flour over medium heat. Continue whisking until the sauce is simmering and thickened, about 5 minutes. Add the salt, pepper, thyme, and nutmeg and stir to combine. Meanwhile melt the butter in another pan and saute the mushrooms and onion.Add the spinach, mushrooms, and onions and toss to coat in the cream. Pour the cream and spinach, mushroom, and onion mixture evenly over the gnocchi and gently spread the spinach out to cover.

4. Crumble the goat cheese over the spinach. Sprinkle with the parmesan cheese. Bake until the top is golden in places, about 30 minutes.
baked gnocchi 2


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When I first saw someone mention these on a cooking message board that I frequent I knew that one day I would make them. Salmon, goat cheese, buttery phyllo dough, how could these not be delicious?! That was a while ago and I just never got around to making them but let me tell you, I thought of them frequently. So tonight I finally made them. They were not hard to make at all but the process was a bit tedious. It turns out that I really just am not a huge fan of phyllo dough. I have often thought this before but always convinced myself that I SHOULD like it. Well, no more. I will repeat as many times as necessary “I do not love phyllo dough” till it sinks in. Actually the only thing that I really don’t like is something in the consistency of the phyllo. The taste is fine. We actually enjoyed these but decided that they are not worth the work and won’t be making them again. Unless of course I am trying to impress someone because these are impressive. I actually think they would be even better if you added a little spinach into the mix. Give them a try and decide for yourself.
salmon wrapped in phyllo
salmon wrapped in phyllo 2

Salmon and Goat Cheese wrapped in Phyllo Dough
adapted from Annie’s Eats

4 1/2lb salmon fillets – skin removed
20 sheets of phyllo dough
1 stick of butter – melted
1 3.5oz goat cheese – we used 4 pepper, you can use any flavor you choose
spices or herbs of your choosing to season salmon and goat cheese

preheat oven to 400 degrees

On a flat surface, we used a plastic cutting board to protect the table, lay out one phyllo sheet, carefully brush it with butter and then lay down another sheet of phyllo. Repeat this process till you have five sheets of phyllo layered. Place a piece of salmon on the phyllo about a third of the way down the sheet, spread a 1/4 of the goat cheese of the salmon and sprinkle with and spices or herbs you like. Take the top of the phyllo and lay over the salmon and fold in the sides of the phyllo. Roll the salmon in the phyllo dough being careful to keep the sides in. Repeat this with all 4 fillets.

Cook for 30 mins or until the phyllo dough is a nice golden brown

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