appetizer

Spinach and Goat Cheese Tart with a Quinoa Crust *gluten-free 

I love this tart! It’s easy, simple and delicious.  And did I mention it’s vegetarian?

I’ll be honest, I was skeptical of my 6 year old son liking this tart due to the ‘green spinach’ layer under all that goat cheese but he devoured it for dinner alongside a vegetable soup. Yay!

It’s relatively easy if you follow my steps below and the pastry is quick and you can press it into the tart pan without having to fuss about rolling it out.  Easy peasy weeknight dinner sorted, great for meatless Mondays!

It’s the perfect main course served with a nice side salad or sliced into small squares or wedges and served as appetizers.
I hope you’ll enjoy it!

*And don’t forget, if you make this tart using my recipe below, please tag it #hautesucre on your social media accounts as I would love to see it!😊

Spinach and Goat Cheese Tart with a Quinoa Crust Recipe

Ingredients:

Crust:

1 cup quinoa flour

3/4 cup all purpose flour (or gluten-free flour)

3/4 cup cold butter, chopped

3-4 tablespoons cold water

1 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

1 4×14 tart pan with a removable bottom 

Method:

1. Combine all the ingredients into a small food processor and pulse into a dough has formed.

2. Roll onto a flour surface or press the dough into a tart pan with a removable bottom. Set aside.

3. Preheat oven to 425°F

Filling:

Ingredients:

2 cups baby spinach

3 garlic cloves

1 large egg

1/4 cup cream

Salt

Pepper

Fresh thyme

200 grams fresh goat’s cheese

*Dried shallots (optional garnish or add to filling)

Method:

1. In a small food processor, add the spinach, garlic, egg and cream.  Pulse until the spinach breaks down and the egg is combined. Add the salt, pepper and fresh thyme.

2. Pour the filling into the prepared crust and smooth evenly.

3. Crumble the goat cheese over top the filling covering completely.

4. Bake for 30 minutes.

5. Remove and let cool 15 minute before cutting.

Enjoy!😊

Havarti Cheese Puff Pastry Sticks

The lovely folks at Arla Dofino contacted me to create a delicious holiday recipe and how could I refuse given its for one of my favorite cheeses, Havarti!

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I decided to go with a classic appetizer that’s easy to eat and fun to serve! I tried the Havarti Inferno Cheese with Chipotle and Habanero.  If you follow my posts on Instagram, then you know my love of spice.  This cheese is the perfect balance of creamy and delicious with a kick of heat! Yum!

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Puff pastry is easy entertaining and you can have these Havarti Cheese twists ready in no time. In addition to the cheese, I also added my favourite fresh herb, thyme and my current favourite spice, nigella seeds.  Nigella seeds are a mysterious spice with a crunchy texture and with a flavour of toasted onions.  They’re often used in Indian cooking and adorn the tops of flatbreads such as naan. If you cannot find them, you can leave them out and replace with black sesame seeds, but they’re well worth getting and really highlight the flavour profile of these cheeses.

Havarti Cheese Puff Pastry Sticks Recipe
Makes approximately 24 sticks

Ingredients:
2 sheets puff pastry, thawed
300 grams Havarti Cheese (any variety) I used a blend of Creamy and Inferno
6 sprigs fresh thyme
Sea salt
Fresh cracked pepper
Nigella seeds or black sesame seeds
Egg wash (1 beaten egg + 2 tblsp water)

Instructions:

Preheat the oven at 425°F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment or silpat mats.

1. On a dusted surface, roll out 1 sheet of puff pastry at a time and brush with egg wash.

2. Sprinkle the cheese over top evenly and gently

3. Sprinkle the fresh thyme, salt and pepper on top of the cheese.

4. With a sharp knife or kitchen scissors, cut 12 puff pastry strips.

5. Roll each strip gently starting from the top and overlapping to create a spiraled strip. Place on baking sheet and repeat with remaining strips.

6. Once you have all of your twists ready, brush them gently with egg wash and sprinkle the nigella seeds over top. You can add more salt and pepper if you’d like.

7. Bake at 425°F for 15- 20 minutes until golden.

Let cool before serving. Enjoy!

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Apple & Castello® Blue Cheese Fritters

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Friends! My recipe for these delicious Apple and Castello Blue Cheese Fritters is apart of the Melt Recipe Blogger Challenge!  Please help me WIN by clicking the link below and please share this link with your friends and family! Thank You!!!

http://meltrecipechallenge.com/vote.php?rcp=1

http://meltrecipechallenge.com/recipe.php?rcp=1#.VcNYU8tZTqA

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Apple & Castello® Blue Cheese Fritters

1/3 cup 75 mL all-purpose flour
1 tsp 5 mL baking powder
1 large russet potato, peeled and shredded
1 granny smith apple, shredded
1 shallot, finely diced
1 green onion, thinly sliced
2 tbsp 15 mL fresh parsley, chopped
2 tbsp 15 mL fresh dill, chopped
2 egg whites, lightly whipped
1/3 cup 75 g Castello® Blue Cheese, crumbled
1 tsp 5 mL sea salt, or to taste
1 tsp 5 mL fresh cracked black pepper, or to taste
Vegetable oil for frying

Recipe:

In a large bowl combine all the ingredients and gently fold in the Castello® Blue Cheese.

Add 2 inches of vegetable oil to a large skillet. Heat until just smoking, and then reduce to medium low.

Using a tablespoon, scoop the mixture into the hot oil and slightly flatten with the back of a spoon.  Cook until golden and flip the fritters to cook the other side. Work in small batches and do not overcrowd the pan.

Drain on paper towels to soak up excess oil.

Pairs well with a cool dip of Greek yogurt and fresh dill.

Makes approximately 20 fritters.

Please Vote! 🙂

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Tips for Hosting a Successful Dinner Party

I recently held a backyard bbq dinner party to celebrate the changing of the seasons in partnership with Cascade Platinum #sparklingclean.

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I had the opportunity to put the product to the test and I must say, I’m impressed! Not only did it remove the hard, cooked on food residue, it left all of my dishes sparking clean!

In order to host a successful dinner party, there are a few rules that are important to follow in my repertoire.  I’ve hosted numerous parties, whether they’re fancy affairs or simple gatherings, it all boils down to a few essential steps and making sure you’re always prepared.  I share my views with fellow Chef, Michael Smith who offers a few essential entertaining tips below:

1. Spend Time To Save Time:
Prep as much as you can in advance, from setting the table to prepping food. This allows you      to spend more time with your guests entertaining, instead of being in the kitchen.

2. Make Your Guests Feel Special:
It’s important to go the extra mile in making your guests feel special.  I love to decorate the house with fresh flowers, music, lovely table setting and sparkling dishes.

3. Clean As You Go:
While cooking, load the dishwasher so that you don’t have to do all the clean up after. This saves time and with Cascade Platinum, you don’t need to worry about pre-rinsing.

4. Share The Work:
Lighten the load and enlist the help of your guests if possible, this will help ensure the party runs smoothly between courses.

5. Grand Finale:
End the evening with a bang! Perhaps with a spectacular dessert, sparkling Champagne or a little gift for your guests, making the night memorable.

Here are a few highlights from our delicious backyard bbq dinner party. I’m so happy that my cleanup was made easy with the help of Cascade!

Rhubarb Lemonade:
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Marinated Garlic and Rosemary Lamb:
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Roasted Potatoes:
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Papaya Chicken with Roasted Cashews:
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Roasted Vegetables:
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Mexican Corn:
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Fire Grilled Jumbo Shrimps with Cilantro and Chipotle:
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Fresh Feta Salad:
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Mint and Cilantro Gremolata:
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*This post was sponsored by Cascade. All opinions are my own.

Sweet Ricotta Fritters with Brie Cheese and Cara Cara Oranges

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Fritters! Who doesn’t love a fresh and piping hot donut, sprinkled with cinnamon sugar on a cold day! Yum!

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If you have tried a version of fritters made with ricotta, then you’re in for a real decadent. I decided to up the ante and play with the flavours by adding Cara Cara oranges which are currently in season and some velvety Castello Brie cheese.
It’s a sinfully delicious combination, one that will have you and your guests hurrying to finish your meal so that you can share these after dinner treats.
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The fritters are best served immediately after they’re fried (as is usually the case with homemade fritters).  The addition of the Brie cheese and oranges make them extra soft, they also pair well with gelato or a silky crème anglaise sauce.
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These serve a small crowd as they make approximately 15-18 fritters, I used a small cookie scoop for measure.  If you cannot find Cara Cara Oranges, you can substitute it with a another variety of sweet oranges or clementines. Be careful when working with hot oil and melting cheese, these don’t take very long to cook and you’re looking for a nice golden brown colour and a quick toss in the cinnamon sugar.  Enjoy!
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Sweet Ricotta Fritters with Brie Cheese and Cara Cara Oranges

45g all purpose flour
26g raw sugar
1 Cara Cara orange, (just the zest + 2 tblsp juice)
145g (3/4 cup) full fat Ricotta cheese
1 extra large egg
40g Castello Brie Cheese, diced (rind removed)
Pinch of kosher salt
Pinch of baking powder
Pinch of vanilla bean powder or (3 drops of vanilla extract)
Vegetable oil for frying

Cinnamon Sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Method

1. In a large bowl, mix the ricotta and the egg until combined. Slowly add the remaining ingredients and set aside while you get your deep fryer or pot of oil ready.

2. Test the oil by dropping a spoonful of the batter in, it should float to the top and you should see tiny bubbles around it. Fry for approx 2 minutes or until golden.

3.Repeat with the remaining batter using a small cookie scoop measure for the remaing fritters, taking care not to overcrowd the pot. Fry and drain on paper towels and quickly toss into a bowl with sugar/cinnamon and serve immediately. Enjoy!

*Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Castello Cheese. I received a free sample of the product for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own.

Almond Butter

Have you always wanted to make your own Almond Butter? Well now you can with a few simple steps + ingredients. It’s so delicious your first batch won’t last long! Enjoy! 🙂

Almond Butter Recipe:

1 cup of raw almonds (preferably organic)
1/2 tsp fleur de sel or Cyprian sea salt
1 tblsp almond oil (or coconut oil)
1 tblsp honey
1/4 tsp ground vanilla beans

*high speed blender such as a Vitamix or Nutribullet.

1 cup measure glass jar/bottle (such as a mason jar) sterilized, dry

Blend the almonds to a smooth paste, add the salt, almond oil, honey, and vanilla beans and blitz again until incorporated and completely smooth.
Transfer it to a sterilized jar and refrigerate.

Tastes great with toast, in your favourite smoothie or as a substitute for peanut butter. Healthy and delicious. Enjoy!

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Gougères with Gruyère Cheese

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Gougères Recipe

Choux:

125 ml milk
125 ml water
100g room temp butter, diced
5g salt
15g sugar
150g flour
4 eggs
2 tsp fresh thyme or very finely minced fresh rosemary

1 tsp fresh ground black pepper

1/2 tsp red chili powder (you may omit)

Good sea salt (to sprinkle on top)

1 cup grated Gruyère cheese (or any other hard cheese you like – but, it should have a pronounced flavour)

Preheat oven 425°F and line 2 sheets with parchment or silpats

1. In a saucepan, combine milk, water and cubed butter.  Combine and stir in salt and sugar – bring to a rolling boil.

2. Sift flour into a separate bowl

3. Crack eggs into a small bowl

4. Once mixture has boiled, add flour and stir vigorously to form a paste. (Do this in intervals on/off the heat). When the paste dries out (no longer sticks to spatula), it’s ready. Do not brown

5. Add paste to stand mixer bowl and add eggs one by one, on med speed – approx 3 min (when it’s all combined)
6. Add in black and red pepper, thyme or rosemary and cheese.

7. Add to piping bag and pipe 1″mounds, 1/2 ” high onto sheets
Brush with eggwash and slightly flatten tops with a fork – sprinkle tops with rosemary and sea salt.

8. Bake for approx 25 – 30 min ~ until they have doubled and are golden brown.
Makes approx 30 Gougéres.

*can be filled or served warm as is.  They also freeze well.

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