Worst part of this week = having to pack a lunch for FIVE WHOLE DAYS! It’s been weeks since I’ve put in a 40 hour’er – the joy of Christmas brings with it the joy of consecutive 4-5 day weekends. But now, the grim reality that the next company holiday won’t be here until the snow is melted and my brown puffy down coat has been retired for the Winter. Sigh.
Thank god I have these delicious Roasted Red Pepper, Spinach and Goat Cheese Quinoa bites to look forward to at lunch 🙂
Roasted Red Pepper, Spinach & Goat Cheese Quinoa Bites
*yields about 34 bites
2 cups cooked quinoa
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small jar of roasted red peppers, chopped
2 cups frozen chopped spinach
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
2 eggs, lightly beaten
salt and pepper to taste
1) Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
2) Heat the olive oil in a medium sized skillet over medium heat. Once the oil is heated, add chopped red peppers, spinach and minced garlic and sautee for about 5 minutes, until all the liquid from the peppers and spinach has evaporated. Remove from heat.
3) In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, spinach/red pepper mixture and crumbled goat cheese. Mix together to allow the goat cheese to melt. Once the mixture has cooled a bit more (about 10 minutes), you can then add the eggs and mix together. Season the mixture with salt & pepper to taste.
4) Spray a mini-muffin pan (24 count) with non-stick cooking spray, making sure to spray the top of the pan as well to avoid the bites from sticking. Place one tablespoon of the mixture in each muffin slot and bake in your preheated oven for 15-20 minutes.
These are a nice light option for lunch or even a snack. They’d also be a great appetizer for your next ladies night! Healthy, yummy and would go nicely with red OR white 🙂
This is it for Goat Cheese Week (er…week and a half…) – don’t be sad! What’d you think? We covered a lot of bases with this tangy treat! Let’s recap, shall we?
And we’re gonna round home base with this recipe for Warm Potato Salad with Goat Cheese, adapted from Martha Stewart. Even though summer is disappearing rapidly, there’s still time to get those classic summer-time favorites in. And on a hot summer night, potato salad and well-done hot dogs off the grill go together like peas and carrots. I liked the looks of this the minute I saw it, and personally, cold potatoes give me the heebee-jeebees sometimes, so the fact that it called to be served warm sounded perfect! You could serve it cold though too (or maybe room temperature if you also get the heebees from cold potatoes).
Warm Potato Salad with Goat Cheese
*Adapted from Martha Stewart
*yields about 4 servings
2 lbs. red potatoes, scrubbed and cut into chunks
2 tbsp. white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
3 tbsp. E.V.O.O
3 oz. goat cheese
1 celery stalk, chopped fine
1 small shallot, chopped fine
2 tbsp. fresh dill, minced
salt and pepper to taste
1) Cover potatoes with water in a medium saucepan; season with salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer until tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 tablespoon cooking liquid. Let potatoes cool for 5 minutes.
2) Whisk together vinegar, mustard, and reserved cooking liquid. Add oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly until emulsified.
3) Transfer potatoes to a bowl, and drizzle with vinaigrette. Gently stir in goat cheese, celery, shallot, and dill. Season with salt and pepper. Serve warm (or cold).
I gotta say, I got some mixed reviews about this, but I personally thought it was de-LISH! The goat cheese and the dijon worked really well together to pack a real tangy punch. And like I said, served warm right away while the goat cheese was still all melty (melty?) and creamy, oooh. Baby.
Well I hope you all got some goat cheese inspiration this week and learned that there’s a lot more you can do with it than spread it on a cracker!
Thank-you Billy 🙂
Yesterday marked our one month anniversary with Hairy (aka Hair Maclare, Hair Bear, Bubba, Bubbaloo, Bud, Buddy – he’s definitely having an identity crisis). And luckily, there wasn’t much on the agenda for this weekend, so we got to spend lots of time with him after being away last weekend. Lots of walks – an outside beer in Davis Square – a trip to the park – and getting to meet his Auntie Ash and Uncle Sean! They were nice enough to invite us over for dinner so we could catch up and so that they could meet Hairy before he morphs into a 100 lb. monster.
Ash and Sean are fab cooks – they always try new things and somehow I get the sense that in all their attempts at new recipes, there has never been a disastorous outcome. Their recipe selection and cooking skills are just that good. Sean made this fantastical Lobster Ceviche and Ash concocted a light and delcious corn chowder and Arugula Salad (another recipe that I stole from her) that were perfect compliments to the meaty steaks we had. A fantastic meal! And, they are such good hosts that when Hairy piddled on their really nice rug, Ash didn’t even bat an eyelash, but quietly cleaned it up while Dave and I (worst puppy parents ever) enjoyed our cocktails out on the porch. Ooops. Ah well, at least he’s cute right?
In addition to Ash’s delicious pie crust french fries with blueberries (GENIUS), I made Dark Chocolate Goat Cheese brownies. The Vermont Brownie Company has a version of these that I’ve had a few times and thought “Wow – who ever would have thought cheese would be good in a brownie!”. There’s lots of recipes for them out there, but this one from My Fancy Pantry stuck out quite frankly because it seemed really easy and really delicious. And it was. Oh and they were.
Goat Cheese Brownies
*My Fancy Pantry
*yields about 2 dozen small/1 dozen large brownies
1 batch of brownies, prepared–but not baked
(I used Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate Fudgey Brownie Mix)
1 large dark chocolate bar- cut into chunks
8 oz. goat cheese
2 tbsp. honey
1 tbsp. all purpose flour
2 tbsp. cream cheese
1) Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease your baking pan (I used a 9×13).
2) In a large bowl, prepare your favorite brownies–homemade or from a mix–and stir in the dark chocolate chunks. Set the brownie mixture aside.
3) In a separate bowl, combine the chevre, honey, flour, cream cheese and egg. Beat the ingredients together until the mixture becomes nice and smooth.
4) In the greased baking pan, add half of the brownie mixture. Spread it out so that it covers the entire bottom.
5) Now, add spoonfuls of the goat cheese mixture on top of the brownies you just spread in the pan. Spoon the rest of the prepared brownie mix on top, as well.
6) Using a plastic knife or a butter knife, make swirls and zig-zags throughout the spoonfuls of chevre mixture and brownie mix, creating a pretty swirled pattern.
7) Bake the brownies in the pre-heated oven until the center is set but still quite fudgy. (Follow the baking directions for whichever brownie mix or recipe you used– I baked for about 25 minutes).
8) When the brownies are finished, remove them from the oven and let them cool. Once they’re completely cooled, remove from the pan and freeze–or cut and serve.
The fudgey factor of these is beyond – they are so stickey and gooey that I would highly recommend keeping them frozen, or at least chilled (definitely not out at room temperature for too long).
Hopefully, these were good enough to cancel out the trail of puppy pee 😦
It’s Saturday morning, and it was a late night watching the opening cermonies! But WOW – truly amazed by everything that went on. I myself was even scared at the 100-foot Voldemort. I imagine there were many children (annnnd maybe 30 year olds) having nightmares last night!
There’s this great place near my work called Russo’s – it’s like a farm stand on steroids. Fresh fruit and produce, with an amazing bakery, flowers, and a killer prepared foods section. They really encourage buying local, which is awesome because it gives local vendors from the boston area a chance to showcase their stuff. And I would like to shake the hands of the bakers at Our Daily Bread (which sadly, apon googling, I found out has closed :() who created the Chocolate Babka that was the base of this morning’s french toast. It was like a thick, texas toast, with thick swirls of chocolate throughout. OMG. It’s been sitting in the freezer, just waiting to be utilized for a mind-blowing french toast breakfast, and today was the day. And what a day it was!
French Toast with Goat Cheese Drizzle
1 Loaf of thick bread
(Challah works really well – or any kind of thick country-style bread)
1 -1/2 cups milk
1 tbsp. cinnamon
4 0z goat cheese
2 tbsp. maple syrup
1/2 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of cinnamon
1) Turn an electric skillet or non-stick skillet to high heat.
2) Slice the bread into 1/2″ – 1″ thick pieces. Set aside.
3) In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs milk and cinnamon.
4) Dip each piece of sliced bread in the egg/milk/cinnamon mixture. Place on hot electric skillet for about 3 minutes, and then flip over and cook other side for 3 minutes (until golden brown).
5) To make Goat Cheese Drizzle: Place goat cheese, maple syrup, vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon in a small saucepan over medium heat until goat cheese in completely melted, stirring continuously.
6) Drizzle goat cheese compote over french toast slices and top with sliced strawberries.
The goat cheese drizzle was the perfect compliment to the rich and chocolatey slices of french toast. Even if you used regular bread as the base for the french toast, it would still be delightful! This drizzle would probably also be good served as little ‘fruit appetizer’ dip with all different types of fruits.
Did I feel a little guilty stuffing my face with french toast as I watched the best athletes in the world do their thing? Maybe a little bit, but I think they would have gladly joined me on the couch and done the same 🙂
It’s installment numero dos of Goat Cheese Week, and apon exploring the world of Goat Cheese Recipes, I’ve realized that it’s gonna be a tough week picking from so many delicious looking ones!
Although, I gotta say this 2nd one was pretty darn easy –
Step 1: www.pinterest.com
Step 2: Enter ‘Goat Cheese’ in search bar
Step 3: Behold – a recipe for ‘Fried Goat Cheese’ – DING DING DING we have a winner!
This recipe from The Hungry Mouse has been liked, pinned and repinned over and over again – that + the word ‘fried’ was good enough for me.
I added just a couple touches of my own – instead of slices of goat cheese, I rolled each slice into a small ball instead. Another thing I did, which I really think made a delicious difference is to mix the Panko Breadcrumbs with crumbled Funyuns – yes – Funyuns – the salty, dried onion ring from Frito Lay that is a snack that I believe is often overlooked, but everytime I revisit it, I think to myself “man, I gotta eat these more often”.
Fried Goat Cheese Balls
*Adapted slightly from The Hungry Mouse
*yields about 16 goat cheese balls
1 – 8oz log of goat cheese
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup crumbled Funyuns
(you could pulse in the food processor for a few minutes for a fine crumb, or just crumble w/ your hands)
1 tsp. dried parsley
1 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. ground ground black pepper
pinch of kosher salt
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup of flour
1) In a small mixing bowl, combine the panko, crumbled funyuns, parsley, tyme, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Set aside.
2) In another small mixing bowl, beat the two eggs and set aside.
3) Put the flour on a small plate or shallow bowl. Set aside.
4) Slice your goat cheese into 1/4″-1/2″ thick slices. Take each slice between the palms of your hands and roll into a small ball. This will get pretty sticky so you could put some flour on your hands to try to decrease the stickiness. Place each goat cheese ball on a wax or parchment paper lined cookie sheet.
5) Fill a non-stick skillet with about an inch or so of olive oil. (Since the goat cheese is in balls vs. slices, the thicker your oil, the easier it is to get an even ‘fry’ on all sides). Once the oil is heated, drop each goat cheese ball gently into the olive oil, turning occasionally with a pair of tongs or spoon, until golden brown on all sides. Try not to crowd the balls – I’d say maybe put about 6-8 in at a time. If they’re too crowded, you’ll get more of a ‘steamed’ cheese ball vs. a ‘fried’.
6) Remove each ball from oil and place on a paper towel-lined plate and let cool for a couple minutes. Best served warm!
Pretty sure you’re going to love these 🙂 Perfect appetizer that’s easy, delicious and made with FUNYUNS!
We’re baaaaack – boy what a week it’s been! I feel like I’ve been to China and back (or maybe just the west coast) but in the last week, Dave and I flew to San Fran, drove to Sacramento, then drove to Lake Tahoe, then drove back to San Fran and then flew home! It was a whirlwind trip, but there were several things that made all the travel well worth it.
1) The Riehls and Little Joey – great hosts – who knew you could sample beer and parent at the same time?
2) The Sierra Nevada Brewery – delicious food and even more delicious beer!
3) Lake Tahoe Wedding celebration for my step-sister Samantha and her husband Scott! Pictures could never do it justice – absolutely gorrrrrge!
4) Golden Gate bridge = most awesome bridge ever (terrible shot of us – instead of asking one of the 92484905840594 people there to take a pic of us, we took our own!)
So we’re back to life, back to reality, back to cooking!
This week, I thought it might be fun to do a series of recipes with one common ingredient, and this week’s ingredient ladies and gents isssss……(drum roll) GOAT CHEESE! I used to think “If it comes from a goat, I’m not eatin’ it” but now, goat cheese is one of my favorite cheeses – like a tangier cream cheese. And I’ve just come to realize how versatile an ingredient it really is.
We got home from CA, and after picking up Hairy and spending lots of time playing with him to make sure he didn’t forget us, there was little time to grocery shop. So last night’s dinner was a ‘cabinet creation’. After not watering our herbs for almost a week, we were pleasantly surprised to find out that not only were they alive and well, but growing like weeds! Especially the basil! I had found this recipe from Prevention RD for Roasted Red Pepper and Goat Cheese pasta and thought “Yum” – and luckily, we had all the makings of it in our seemingly bare cabinets!
Modified a smidgen, here’s part 1 of goat cheese week: Roasted Red Pepper, Goat Cheese and Basil Pasta, adapted from Prevention RD’s recipe.
Roasted Red Pepper, Goat Cheese and Basil Pasta
*Adapted from Prevention RD
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 small onion, chopped
1 – 7oz bottle of Roasted Red Peppers, rinsed and drained and then chopped into small pieces
1 cup of crushed tomatoes
(I used the basil flavored kind)
4 oz goat cheese
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1) In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and onion and sautee until fragrant (about 2 minutes) stirring constantly to make sure the garlic doesn’t burn (burnt garlic = yuck)
2) Add the chopped roasted red pepper and tomatoes and simmer over low heat for about five minutes.
3) Add the goat cheese and stir until it’s completely melted into the sauce.
4) Take the sauce mixture and transfer to the food processor. Add the fresh basil, salt and pepper, and pulse until it becomes a sauce-like consistency.
5) Serve over cooked pasta!
Usually, cabinet creations aren’t my favorite, but this particular time, I think we have a winner! This sauce was so easy to make and a complete departure from your run of the mill tomato sauce. The goat cheese added a rich and creamy texture and the roasted red peppers a bit of sweetness. So good. And as I was stuffing my face, I started thinking of all the things you could do with it! You could serve it as a hot dip, with sliced baguette and veggies, or even use it as the base for a pizza (although Dave thinks it would be too watery on a pizza – one more challenge I’ll be happy to take him up on) But all in all, a definite keeper!
Stay tuned for more delicious goat cheese installments this week!