Goat’s Cheese and Rosemary Rolls – My First Culinary Adventure of 2016

Happy New Year everyone!

I’ve spent today getting reacquainted with my baking spirits, which is always a worthwhile activity, even when it is stinking hot. And even when it’s not always appreciated by others.

And it was important that it happen today. You see, I am starting a new tradition. Okay, more like ‘borrowing’ and running with someone else’s tradition.

 

Goat's Cheese and Rosemary Rolls 1

 

As some of you know, I bought Nigel Slater’s The Kitchen Diaries III when it first came out – no way was I risking that one on the Christmas list… what if no one bought it for me??? I would be bereft of Nigel…

So I had already read his entry for New Year’s Day, which he called Rising. In it, Nigel talks about how the new year comes to his kitchen quietly, with a pot of soup and freshly baked bread. He writes:

‘I like the notion of yeast rising, of new life in the kitchen on the first day of the New Year. Eccentric, daft even, but to me it just feels right.’

Is that not a glorious notion?

And I think that those with bakers’ souls will feel a certain affinity with this notion…

 

Goat's Cheese and Rosemary Rolls 2

 

Yeast rising in the kitchen on the first day of the new year can become a quite a compelling metaphor for an unbelievable number of different things, for an unbelievable number of different people. So don’t forget to make 2016 the best year you can for yourself.

And you can start by joining the fiesta party! Our hostess with the mostess, Angie @The Novice Gardener, and her lovely co-hosts – Judi @Cooking with Aunt JujuMolly @Frugal HausfrauSteffi @Ginger & Bread and Suzanne @A Pug in the Kitchen – are extending the party over the festive season, so come along and share your first dishes of 2016.

 

Goat’s Cheese and Rosemary Rolls

  • Servings: makes 6 rolls
  • Print

 

Goat's Cheese and Rosemary Rolls 1

 

Ingredients

  • 500g white bread flour
  • 7g sachets instant dried yeast
  • 10g salt
  • 350ml water
  • 3 large sprigs of rosemary (finely chopped)
  • 100g goat’s cheese (cut into small chunks)

Method

  1. Mix the flour, yeast and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add almost all the water and mix to a sticky dough.
  2. Continue to mix for a further minute or so – the dough will gradually become less sticky. Add a touch more flour or water until you are left with a dough that is soft and springy, yet slightly sticky to the touch.
  3. Flour a large work surface and gently knead the dough for 10 minutes without treating it aggressively. It should feel soft, smooth, light and springy.
  4. Place the dough in a clean bowl, cover it with cling film and leave it to prove for an hour in a warm place.
  5. When the dough has doubled in size, tip it back onto a floured surface. Knead it again for 30 seconds.
  6. Work the rosemary and cheese into the dough so that they are evenly distributed.
  7. Cut the dough into six equal pieces and shape each piece into small rolls.
  8. Lay the rolls on a floured baking tray, leaving a good amount of space between them.
  9. Decorate each roll with a few rosemary needles on top.
  10. Leave to rise in a warm place under a tea towel for 45 minutes.
  11. Preheat the oven to 220°C.
  12. Bake the rolls for 30 minutes, or until risen and golden-brown. Turn onto a wire rack to cool.
  13. Great as a burger bun. Fantastic eaten warm and slathered in butter.

 

Recipe by Nigel Slater as found on BBC website.

 

Sweet Potato and Goat’s Cheese Pizza

Knife, food processor or mandolin?

Frankly, the mandolin, or v-slicer, is not as easy to use as it appears, and well, it’s potentially very, very dangerous. If you have the correct knife and decent knife skills, you probably wouldn’t look for any other vegetable slicing method.

While I am pretty good wielding a knife, I have to say that I do love my new food processor. The slicing disk attachment sliced my sweet potatoes and onions in thirty seconds.

But is it worth the extra dishes?

Happy pizza month everyone!

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Sweet Potato and Goat’s Cheese Pizza

Recipe makes two 30cm pizzas. Recipe adapted from Australian Good Taste, April 2012

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons dried yeast
  • 1 teaspoon caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 250ml warm water
  • 375g all-purpose flour
  • 2 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 60ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 460g sweet potato (peeled and thinly sliced)
  • 1 small red onion (halved and thinly sliced)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary (finely chopped)
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • 100g mozzarella (grated)
  • 120g soft goat’s cheese (crumbled)
  • 150g rocket
  • 1 ½ fresh lemon juice

Method

  1. In a bowl, combine the yeast, sugar and warm water. Mix, cover and set aside in a warm spot for about ten minutes, or until the mixture is frothy.
  2. Sift the flour and the salt into a separate bowl. Add the yeast mixture and mix to combine into a dough.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for about ten minutes, or until it’s smooth and elastic.
  4. Place the dough in a large, lightly oiled bowl and turn once to coat the dough in oil. Cover with cling wrap and set aside in a warm spot for 1 hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.
  5. Preheat oven to 240°C.
  6. Lightly grease two oven trays.
  7. Turn the dough out again onto a lightly floured surface and knead for a couple of minutes until smooth.
  8. Separate the dough into two equal portions and roll each portion into rounds or rectangles.
  9. Combine the garlic and 3 teaspoons of oil and brush over the two pizza bases.
  10. Toss the sweet potato, onion, rosemary and 3 teaspoons of oil until combined and spread evenly over the pizza bases.
  11. Scatter each pizza base evenly with pine nuts, mozzarella and goat’s cheese.
  12. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the sweet potato is tender and the pizza base is crisp.
  13. Place the rocket, lemon juice and remaining oil in a bowl and toss to combine. Scatter over the cooked pizza and serve.

Goat’s Cheese Ravioli with Peas and Sage Butter (the cheat’s way) – Pasta is my Lifelong Friend!

I promise I’ll lay off the goat’s cheese posts for a while after this one…

I live within walking distance of the ‘little Italy’ of my city. This means I have access to an assortment of restaurants, delis and specialty stores. Not to mention a plethora of ice creameries and gelaterias.

Because of this, I tend to be able to cheat quite a bit when it comes to certain Italian foods. If I want fresh ravioli I don’t have to wait until I have time to make it… I can simply walk to the cute little store and see what fillings they have on offer that day.

I tend to keep my sauces for ravioli fairly simple, so that flavour wise, the delicate filling of the ravioli is still the star of the dish.

So when I saw that they had goat’s cheese ravioli, I instantly thought of sage, and you can’t have a beautiful sage-infused sauce without butter… And don’t forget the peas!

Goat’s Cheese Ravioli with Peas and Sage Butter (the cheat’s way)

Image

Ingredients

  • 500g goat’s cheese ravioli (fresh if possible)
  • 80g unsalted butter
  • 8 to 10 fresh sage leaves
  • 250g peas (if fresh, shelled; if frozen, blanched and refreshed)
  • 80g parmesan (finely grated)
  • Handful of rocket to serve

Method

  1. Cook the ravioli according to the packet instruction. (If you have fresh, non-packaged ravioli, remember to simmer not boil the pasta or they may split.)
  2. In a frypan over medium heat, melt the butter and continue to heat until it has turned a golden colour.
  3. Add the sage leaves and move them gently through the butter, allowing them to sizzle for a few seconds.
  4. Add the peas and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper if you are so inclined.
  5. Drain the ravioli when cooked and return to the pot. Pour the sage butter over the top (including the pieces of sage) and toss to coat the ravioli.
  6. Serve with grated parmesan cheese and some fresh rocket.

Fried Goat’s Cheese and Fig Salad with Raspberry Balsamic Glaze

This salad’s been on the backburner for a while now, but I found some lovely fresh figs yesterday at a new deli that opened up near me.

Then I spent a nice long time perusing the deli’s shelves for any manner of new cheeses, oils, dressings, I could go on and on here… I know it’s important to support local business and farmers and such, but when your local industry is just not producing what you want, you have to buy imported.

I’ve been looking for raspberry balsamic glaze for quite a while now, so when I managed to find it, imported of course, along with the figs, I skipped straight to the cheese section for some goat’s cheese.

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And seeing as how there’s a few days left in July, which is soft goat’s cheese month according to Fromage Homage, I’m going to submit this to the Cheese Please! recipe blog challenge.

Fromage Homage

Fried Goat’s Cheese and Fig Salad with Raspberry Balsamic Glaze

Ingredients

  • 150g soft goat’s cheese
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg (lightly beaten)
  • 150g baby spinach (or rocket)
  • 4 figs (fresh, stems cut off, cut into quarters)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons raspberry balsamic glaze*
  • Vegetable oil for deep-frying

Method

  1. Set up three bowls, one containing the flour, another the egg and a third with the panko breadcrumbs.
  2. Using a sharp knife that’s been lightly greased with oil, cut the goat’s cheese into 12 segments.
  3. Roll each segment into a ball and then flatten gently.
  4. Working with one piece of cheese at a time, coat the cheese in the flour, dip in the egg and then cover with the panko breadcrumbs.
  5. Place the prepared cheese pieces on a plate or sheet pan and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
  6. While the cheese is chilling, toss the baby spinach or rocket with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Divide among two bowls and top with the fresh figs.
  7. Fill a heavy-based frying pan with enough vegetable oil to fry the cheese pieces and heat over medium heat (the oil should be ready when a few panko breadcrumbs sizzle and turn golden in 10 seconds).
  8. Working in two to three batches, add the crumbed cheese to oil and fry for approximately two minutes on each side, or until golden. Remove cooked cheese with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
  9. Top the salad with the fried goat’s cheese, drizzle with the raspberry balsamic glaze and serve.

* If you can’t find raspberry balsamic glaze, you can make your own balsamic glaze. In a small saucepan over low heat, combine ¼ cup of balsamic vinegar and 2 tablespoons of sugar (both brown and white sugar work well). Stir for about 3 minutes or until the sugar dissolves and has become syrupy. Allow to cool before adding it to the salad.

Twice-Baked Goat’s Cheese Soufflé with Rocket and Walnut Salad

Goat’s cheese soufflé has been a recipe that’s been floating around my head for a while. A long, long while. I don’t have the kind of patience required to make a dish such as this on a ‘work’ night. And, well, Sundays are hit and miss; sometimes I want to spend all day in the kitchen, others, not so much. So that just leaves two days a week to make these fairly easy but time-consuming little morsels of creamy, cheesy yumminess.

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What spurred me into action, however, was stumbling upon Fromage Homage, and subsequently, the Cheese Please! recipe blog challenge.

This blog clearly understands the awesomeness that is cheese!

The chosen cheese for July 2013 is goat’s cheese, and I just had to join in and play.

Fromage Homage

Twice-Baked Goat’s Cheese Soufflé with Rocket and Walnut Salad

Makes 4 soufflés

Recipe adapted from Jill Dupleix, as published in Delicious Magazine.

Goat’s Cheese Soufflé Ingredients

  • 60g unsalted butter
  • 60g plain flour
  • 350ml hot milk
  • 100g soft goat’s cheese*
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon thyme (chopped very finely)
  • 4 eggs (separated)
  • ½ cup thin cream
  • ½ freshly grated parmesan

Rocket and Walnut Salad Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 200g rocket
  • ½ cup walnuts (toasted and chopped)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease 4 1 cup ramekins.
  2. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat for about 1 minute until it begins to foam. Lower the heat and then stir in the flour with a wooden spoon until well combined. Return the heat to medium-low and stir constantly for 1 minute until a smooth paste has formed.
  3. Gradually add the hot milk, stirring constantly for 2 minutes, until a smooth béchamel sauce type consistency has been reached. Bring to the boil and then remove from the heat.
  4. Add the mashed up goat’s cheese and lemon thyme, season with salt and pepper, and stir until smooth. Using a whisk, mix in the egg yolks, one at a time. Allow the mixture to cool to warm before you move onto the next part – it will not combine well if it’s hot.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk eggwhites with an electric beater to soft peaks.
  6. When the béchamel and goat’s cheese mixture is warm but not hot, gently fold in one-third of the eggwhites using a large metal spoon. Repeat this, gently, twice more until all the eggwhites have been incorporated.
  7. Fill each ramekin with the mixture so that they are each three-quarters full. Place them in a roasting pan and fill the pan with enough boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 20 minutes or until golden and risen. Remove from pan and cool.Image 
  8. Increase the oven to 220°C and line a sheet pan with baking paper.
  9. Gently, run a knife around the edges of the soufflés and invert them onto the tray. Again, very gently, turn the soufflés the right way up and position evenly on the sheet pan.
  10. Pour 1 to 2 tablespoons of thin cream over the top of each soufflé, scatter with the parmesan, then bake for 10-12 minutes until cheese is golden and the cream is bubbling.
  11. Meanwhile, for the salad, place the rocket in a salad bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar and 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. Toss to coat.
  12. In a separate bowl, combine the remaining vinegar and oil with the Dijon mustard and the walnuts. Allow the walnuts to marinate in the dressing until you are ready to toss them together with the rocket.
  13. Serve while the soufflé is hot.

* I used Soignon’s Fromage de Chevre with herbs and garlic.

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