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Posts Tagged ‘Cheese’

Goat Cheese Tart

This rich and flavorful tart makes a splendid main course for company.  I served it tonight with a composed platter of vegetables (asparagus, fingerling potatoes, yellow bell peppers, cherry tomatoes and kalamata olives) over mixed greens, and good crusty bread.  The fat content makes this a treat , rather than an everyday dinner, but one that you will thoroughly enjoy!

Serves 8.

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

12 Tbsp. (1 ½ sticks) cold butter plus 1 Tbsp.

¼  cup ice water

1 tsp cider vinegar

2 large shallots, chopped

10  ounces goat cheese

1 cup heavy cream

3 eggs

3 Tbsp. chopped basil leaves

Oregano, ½ tsp

Garlic powder, ¼ tsp

Thyme, ¼ tsp

Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Crust:

Combine the flour and ¼ teaspoon salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Cut butter into large pieces and add to the bowl, pulsing until the butter is the size of peas. Add the ice water and vinegar all at once and process just until the dough becomes crumbly. Transfer the dough into a Ziploc bag, quickly work it into a disc, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly-floured board and roll it out large enough to fit into a 9 inch tart pan.  Transfer the dough to the pan, and roll the edges with a rolling pin to even them out. Fit a piece of aluminum foil onto the dough and fill with beans or pie weights. Bake for 30 minutes.

Filling:

Heat the remaining tablespoon of butter in a small pan and sautée the shallots over low heat for 5 minutes, or until starting to carmelize. Place the goat cheese in the bowl of the food processor and process until crumbly. Add the cream, eggs, basil, ¼  teaspoon salt, and the pepper and process until blended. Stir in the cooked shallots. Pour the goat cheese mixture into the shell (if the shell has shrunk, there may be leftover filling).

Bake for 40 minutes, until the tart is firm when shaken and the top is lightly browned.

Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.  Also good at room temperature.

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Cauliflower Gratin

I invited my aunt and uncle for Christmas dinner, and really wanted to make something special and indulgent, while still respecting their need to eat in a heart-healthy way. I found this recipe on one of my favorite blogs, Sticky, Gooey, Creamy, Chewy (great name, isn’t it?!).   I made just a few changes, to lighten it a bit.  It turned out to be a delicious, festive side dish that was so good none of us missed the cream or potatoes we’d served in previous years — a hit with young and old alike.  I served it with grilled beef tenderloin with a red wine reduction sauce, haricort verts, and a pear tart for dessert ~ a mostly healthy indulgence.

adapted from Barefoot in Paris

Ingredients:

1 (3-pound) head cauliflower, cut into large florets
Kosher salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups hot reduced-fat milk
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/4 cup freshly grated Gruyere
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Steam the cauliflower florets in a large pot for 5 to 6 minutes, until tender but still firm. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Add the flour, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes. Pour the hot milk into the butter-flour mixture and stir until it comes to a boil. Boil, whisking constantly, for 1 minute, or until thickened. Off the heat, add 1 teaspoon of salt, the pepper, nutmeg, 1/4 cup of the Gruyere, and 1/4 cup of the Parmesan.

Pour 1/3 of the sauce on the bottom of an 9 by 13″ baking dish. Place the drained cauliflower on top and then spread the rest of the sauce evenly on top. Toast the bread crumbs with 1 Tbsp. butter, and sprinkle on top. Season with salt and pepper. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the top is browned.

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