Foodie Friday: Recipe for Belize Goat Cheese Lovers!
Foodie Friday: Recipe for Goat Cheese Lovers!
Who knew that something so simple could taste so good?
Goat cheese, with its pristine white color and distinct flavor is one of the most amazing foods in the world, a humble basic for some, a gourmet delight for others.
We have plenty of goat cheese enthusiasts visiting our restaurants daily either at our Mariposa Restaurant, Macal River Camp Restaurant or downtown San Ignacio's Guava Limb Cafe. We also use this cheese in several of our dishes. So, we thought our food and beverage department would find a goat cheese class very informative.
We invited Mrs. Collet, a longtime friend of the Flemings to give the F&B department a short but knowledgeable class on how to use and pair this delicacy. She brought some of her famous homemade goat cheese for the staff to taste and enjoy. She also gave us some helpful tips and mouthwatering recipes that our chefs will be sure to try!
Goat cheese has been made for thousands of years, and was probably one of the earliest made dairy products. In the simplest form, goat cheese is made by allowing raw milk to naturally curdle, and then draining and pressing the curds. It can range in taste from strong and pungent, to delicate and mild and also come in many shapes.
Did you know that red wine goes great with goat cheese? Actually, most wines being white, red or rosé, that’s young, fresh, unoaked and lightly chilled pairs perfectly with goat cheese. Yummy!
Soft Goat cheese is easily enjoyed by using it as a spread on fresh bread, bagels or crackers. Perhaps you're more of a health-conscious person and would prefer something lighter? Go for hard goat cheese and crumble it over your fresh organic greens! Amazing!
And talking about amazing....here is a savory recipe that goes amazingly good with goat cheese:
GOAT CHEESE VEGETABLE TART
- 4 sheets (give or take) of phyllo
- 1/2 C melted butter
- Black pepper, freshly ground
- 3 T olive oil
- 1 sweet onion, sliced
- 2 large cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2 pound of white mushrooms, sliced
- 2 red bell peppers, sliced
- 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 4 ounces crumbled goat cheese
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Cut the four sheets of phyllo in half, and working one sheet at a time, brush with the melted butter and sprinkle with fresh pepper. Place the sheet into a 9 inch tart pan with a removable bottom that has been placed on a parchment lined baking sheet. Continue with each sheet, rotating the pan slightly each time, draping the ends over the rim of the tart pan in a handkerchief pattern. Or... you could just piece together a bunch of torn pieces of phyllo like I did, buttering each, and seasoning with freshly ground pepper.
- Bake until golden brown and crispy, about 7 to 12 minutes. As it is baking, you may have to reach in and press it down with a spatula if it puffs up. I had to do that a couple of times. Cool on the sheet pan on a rack.
- When the shell is cool, gently remove it from the tart pan and place it on a platter.
- In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium to high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring often, until soft and somewhat translucent, but not browned.
- Add the mushrooms and peppers and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are cooked through.
- Add the thyme, salt, and pepper, and stir.
- Add the goat cheese, stir until heated but not melted, and immediately spoon the mixture into the tart shell. Spread with a spoon or spatula.
- Serve the same day the tart is made, either warm or at room temperature. The filling is good the next day on crackers.
We trust you will enjoy this newfound Belizean delicacy!