cheese

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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Roasted Mushroom and Chèvre Tart

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Roasted Mushroom and Chèvre Tart Recipe:

1 sheet of Puff pastry (you can use store bought, thawed)
1 1/2 cups white mushrooms, rinsed and bottoms trimmed, (thinly sliced)
1 cup cremini mushrooms, rinsed and bottoms trimmed, (thinly sliced)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
350g goats cheese (Chèvre)
2 tblsp Olive oil
Fresh cracked pepper
Maldon sea salt or fleur de sel
Sprigs of fresh thyme
Flat leaf parsley, chopped

Preheat oven to 425°F

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper

1. Roll out the puff pastry into a rectangle and place on parchment lined sheet.

2. In a small bowl combine half of the goats cheese and the crushed garlic and then spread a thin layer on top of the puff pastry.

3. Arrange the sliced mushrooms lengthwise (in approx 5 columns, as shown in the picture) on top of the goat cheese and sprinkle with salt, pepper, 1 tblsp olive oil and thyme.

4. Spirnkle the remaining goat’s cheese on top (in small dallops) and lightly drizzle the entire tart with olive oil.

5. Top with a few sprigs of fresh thyme.

Bake approx 30 min until puff pastry has risen and the tart is golden brown.

Just before serving, top with fresh, chopped parsley. Enjoy!

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Skillet Fried Scalloped Potatoes

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Tired of the same potato dish? I made this fantastic side dish to go with our filet mignon steak dinner and served it alongside a lovely salad.
It’s a very easy, no fuss recipe and you can prepare this ahead of time and finish it off in the oven just before serving. 
Leftovers make a fantastic brunch ~ top with a poached or fried egg with a lemon hollandaise sauce. Perfection! 🙂

Skillet Fried Scalloped Potatoes:

1 lb baby potatoes,  rinsed and thinly sliced
1 large sweet Vidalia onion, thinly sliced
3 tblsp olive oil or clarified butter
6 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 tsp herbs de Provence
kosher salt
Fresh ground pepper
1/2 cup Beemster cheese, shredded
(Comté or Gruyère also work well)

Thinly sliced your potatoes and onion using a mandolin, if you have one.
Toss them into a large bowl and add the salt, pepper, herbs de Provence,  1 tblsp olive oil,  and 3 sprigs of thyme (remove the stems).
Mix until the potatoes are coated.

Heat up a large, heavy saucepan (a deep one if you have), add 2 tblsp of olive oil.
Add the potatoes in an even layer and cook on high heat for approximately 3 minutes. Reduce the heat setting to low and cover with a lid.   Cook for another 10-15 minutes until the potatoes are tender.  Check occasionally to ensure the bottom is not burning.

*At this point you can turn off the heat and set the pan aside if you want to finish it off before serving.

Remove the lid and bring the temperature back up on the highest setting to allow the moisture to evaporate and create a nice golden crust on the bottom,  about 3 minutes.  But you will need to continue checking to ensure they do not burn.
Take the potatoes off the heat and sprinkle the shredded cheese over top and the rest of the thyme.
Set it under a broiler for a few minutes until the cheese is melted and a golden top crust is formed. Serve immediately.

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Heirloom Frittata with Curried Potatoes

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Heirloom Frittata with Curried Potatoes:

3 large farm fresh eggs
1/2 sweet Vidalia onion, chopped
1 tsp butter
1/4 cup milk
Salt (to taste)
Pepper (to taste)
Fresh herbs (parsley& thyme)
6-8 Baby heirloom tomatoes
1/2 cup Curried Potatoes (or other leftover curry)
1/3 cup Beemster cheese, shredded (can substitute with sharp cheddar)

Curried Potatoes Recipe:

10 small new potatoes, sliced
1 small onion
2 cloves garlic
1″ knob ginger
1/2 tsp each – Salt, pepper, cumin, sugar, coriander, tumeric
1 tsp red chili powder
3 tsp tomato paste
1 green chili sliced (optional)

In a small pot, fry the onions until golden, add the garlic and ginger and cook for 3 minutes more. Add the spices and the tomato paste and fry 3 minutes. Add the potatoes and mix thoroughly. Add a few tblsp of water and cover. Cook on medium heat for about 20 min or until potatoes are cooked. Stir occasionally to ensure that potatoes don’t burn.

Frittata:

In a large ovenproof skillet, melt the butter and sautée the onions until softened (not browned).  Add a few sliced tomatoes and sautée 1 more minute.  Add the curried potatoes until warmed through and set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, spices, and some fresh herbs.

Return the skillet over medium heat and pour the egg mixture over the potatoes. Sprinkle the remaining sliced tomatoes on top.

Cook until the bottom is lightly browned and the top is starting to set. Sprinkle the cheese over top.

Turn your broiler on to 550°F and set the skillet directly under.
Cook 5-7 minutes until the cheese is bubbly and the top of the frittata is cooked through. 
*keep an eye on it so it does not burn
Sprinkle the top with fresh herbs and serve with your favourite bread or an heirloom salad. Enjoy! 🙂
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Summer Zucchini Tart

image Recipe: 1 sheet of puff pastry,  thawed 1 large zucchini,  sliced into thin ribbons with a mandolin 100 grams sheep’s feta Fleur de sel (or kosher salt) Fresh black pepper Herbs de Provence Olive oil Fresh rosemary sprigs Preheat oven to 425° F Line a baking sheet with parchment Roll out your puff pastry and sprinkle some feta and drizzle a little bit of olive oil. Place an even layer of zucchini ribbons over the pastry and  then sprinkle with salt, pepper,  herbs de Provence, olive oil,  and feta. Repeat layers with remaining zucchini. Top with fresh rosemary sprigs and bake for approx 25 min or until golden brown and the pastry has risen. Slice when slightly cooled. Great as a main or as an appetizer. Enjoy! 20140724-143555-52555255.jpg

Chicken & Kale Meatballs

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1 small bunch of kale
4 shallots
5 garlic cloves
454 grams of ground chicken
Salt
Pepper
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp red chili powder
1/2 tsp herbs de Provence
1 tblsp olive oil
1 small bunch of parsley, chopped
1 piece of toast,  crumbled

2 tblsp olive oil

In a small food processor,  pulse the kale, shallots,  and the garlic.

In a large bowl add the ground chicken,  salt, pepper,  sugar, ground cumin, red chili powder, and herbs de Provence.  Mix well with gloved hands.   Add the kale mixture, 1 tblsp olive oil, chopped parsley and the breadcrumbs.  Combine well and shape into desired meatball size. Place onto a large plate.

In a deep, heavy skillet, heat up 2 tblsp olive oil and add the meatballs.  Fry until bottoms are golden and then turn until evenly browned.
Add your favourite pasta sauce (I use my homemade Arrabiata sauce) and cook meatballs another 15-20 minutes.  Serve with pasta or with some crusty bread, enjoy! 🙂

Garlic Scapes and Eggs

Garlic Scapes and Eggs

Serves 2

1 tblsp olive oil
1 large shallot, thinly sliced
2 Garlic Scapes, chopped
2 small green chilies, thinly sliced
2-4 eggs
Aged Gouda (sharp, aged 100 days preferably)

Habanero tortillas (or plain)
Fresh thyme
Salt, pepper to taste

In a small frying pan, heat the oil and add the shallots.  Sautée until softened, then add the chilies and the garlic scapes. Cook for 3 minutes and then crack the eggs over top.
Cook for 2 minutes until the whites are set, take it off the heat and top with the Gouda cheese.
Broil for approx 5 minutes until the cheese has melted and slightly crispy.  Take care not to overlook the eggs.  (The yolks should still be very soft, but the whites completely set).

Remove and slide over tortillas, top with fresh thyme, salt, and pepper. Enjoy! 🙂

Roasted Campari Tomatoes and Sweet Vidalia Onion Focaccia

I love this focaccia. It’s sweet, salty and delicious.
It’s fantastic on its own, or as a base for a sandwich.
I make mine with sweet Campari tomatoes, but really, any sweet variety will do, the same with the onions.
Another favourite addition to this focaccia is cured black olives. This is what I love about focaccia the most, it’s really a blank canvas for your taste buds, so go wild and feel free to try different toppings. But trust me, this one is a winning combination.

I personally love to eat it when it’s piping hot out of the oven. The tomatoes are still juicy, the sweetness of the onions and the sprinkling of my favourite sea salt really brings it home!

Stop drooling and go make this…you’ll thank me later. 🙂

Roasted Campari Tomatoes and Sweet Vidalia Onion Focaccia

Here’s what you need:

For the starter:

2 tsp quick rise yeast
1.5 cups of warm water
2 tsp raw sugar

Combine the ingredients in a large bowl until it’s foamy, approx 10 minutes.

For the dough:

Starter (above)
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tblsp kosher salt
2 garlic cloves, crushed (optional, but adds a nice flavour)
1/3 cup olive oil
2 Sprigs of fresh rosemary (or 1.5 tsp dried)

Topping:

5 Campari tomatoes, sliced
1/2 Vidalia onion, thinly sliced
Fresh rosemary

Preheat oven to 450°F

In a stand mixer (or by hand), combine the starter with the remaining ingredients until incorporated and you have a nice dough ball. It may be sticky, but that’s ok! Set aside for at least 30 minutes to rise, should be doubled. (If you’re in a hurry, you can omit this step and proceed with the recipe, it will still turn out delicious.)

Line a baking sheet with parchment, drizzle with olive oil.

On an oiled surface, roll out the dough into a rectangular shape* and place on parchment. Indent the dough with your fingers, making little pockets/wells into the dough with your fingertips.

Top with sliced Campari tomatoes, sliced onions, sprigs of fresh rosemary, sea salt and a drizzle of olive oil on top for good measure.

Set aside and let it proof for about 20 minutes.

Bake for approx 30 – 35 minutes, until golden. Oven times may vary.

Enjoy!

*The dough should be soft/pliable enough for you to stretch and shape with your hands, if you do not have a rolling pin. It’s fun and your hands get a little workout! 🙂

Roasted Asparagus and Chèvre Tart

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Roasted Asparagus and Chèvre Tart! 

So simple + delicious, and easy to make!  It’s great for entertaining or for a light dinner with a nice side salad.

This recipe serves about 4-6 or you can cut it into smaller squares for appetizers.

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Recipe:

Preheat oven to 425 F

Here’s what you need:

Puff pastry (you can use store bought), roll out into a rectangle and place on parchment lined sheet.

1 bunch of asparagus, rinsed and bottoms trimmed, (then cut into half). 
*Cutting the asparagus stalks in half makes it easier to cut the tart once it is baked, as they can be quite fibrous. 

2 garlic cloves, crushed

300g goats cheese (Chèvre)

Olive oil, fresh pepper and maldon salt or fleur de sel

Sprigs of fresh thyme

In a small bowl combine the goats cheese and the garlic and then spread a thin layer on top of the puff pastry.

Arrange the asparagus side by side,  lengthwise (as in the picture) on top of the goat cheese and
sprinkle with salt, pepper, and thyme. Add the rest of the goats cheese on top (in small dallops) and drizzle with olive oil.

Bake approx 30 min until puff pastry has risen and golden brown. Enjoy!