Category Archives: goat cheese

Goat Cheese & Green Onion Stuffed Chicken Breasts

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If you love goat cheese and are of the mindset that everything tastes better with bacon, then these chicken breasts are for you. A simple filling of goat cheese and green onions turns ordinary chicken breasts into a fancy, yet fast and easy, week night dinner.  Yes, that’s right. You can have stuffed chicken breasts that seem fancy in the middle of the week.

I do love goat cheese but not all goat cheese is created equally.  Because the goat cheese really makes this dish, be sure to find one you like for this recipe. I prefer one from my local market that has a soft texture and is mild yet tangy. I did taste a lot before happening on this perfect variety though so don’t hesitate to do the same. But once you have your goat cheese, this recipe really comes together in a snap. And the results? Well, everything really is better with bacon so it’s sure to be a hit.

GOAT CHEESE & GREEN ONION STUFFED CHICKEN BREASTS

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

8 slices thick cut bacon

4 sage leaves

1/2 cup softened goat cheese

1 bunch green onions, minced

1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/2 teaspoon salt, divided

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

  • Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Using a sharp knife, cut a slip into the center of each chicken breast in order to form a pocket. Do not cut all the way through the meat.
  • In a small bowl, combined the goat cheese, green onions, Worcestershire sauce, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the black pepper. Mix well.
  • Place a quarter of the goat cheese mixture into each chicken breast. The cheese may over fill the pocket but that is alright.
  • Place two sage leaves on the to of each chicken breast then wrap each breast with two slices of bacon.
  • Move the wrapped breasts to the prepared baking sheet then sprinkle with the garlic powder, remaining salt and remaining pepper.
  • Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and an instant read thermometer reads 170 degrees.
  • Allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Serves 4

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Zucchini & Goat Cheese Quiche

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This time of year gardens and markets are bursting with zucchini, providing cooks with so many options. These green squashes are so versatile–your dishes can be sweet or savory; it can be eaten raw or cooked; you can bake, steam or saute the squash. The options are endless and here is yet another use for zucchini: quiche.

Quiche is a favorite summer time (or any time of year for that matter) dinner dish for me. It can be eaten hot, warm or cold meaning you can bake it in the morning and not have to turn on the oven come dinner time. And a quiche can be filled with just about any ingredient–including zucchini. This recipe is adapted from Cooking Light and combines thinly sliced zucchini with diced ham and tangy goat cheese. The results are light, flavorful and make for a perfect light dinner. Pair it with a green salad and a cool glass of white wine and dinner is served.

ZUCCHINI & GOAT CHEESE QUICHE

12 ounces zucchini, very thinly sliced
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1 1/4 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 ounces lower-sodium ham, diced
2 ounces plain firm goat cheese, crumbled
2 thyme sprigs, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika

  • Prepare the crust according to the recipe. Roll the dough and press it into a deep dish pie plate.
  • Prick the crust all over with a fork then place a piece of parchment paper over the top of the crust. Place a layer of pie weights, beans or rice over the top of the parchment paper.
  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Bake the for 15 minutes. Remove pie weights and parchment paper and bake for an additional 5 minutes or until crust is lightly browned. Cool slightly.
  • Place the zucchini in a large bowl; sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Let stand 15 minutes or until liquid is released.
  • Drain the zucchini in a colander, squeezing a handful at a time to remove liquid, and pat dry.
  • Combine the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, milk, thyme, pepper, eggs  and flour in a bowl, stirring with a whisk until smooth.
  • Sprinkle the ham and goat cheese evenly over bottom of prepared crust then arrange the zucchini over the cheese.
  • Pour the egg mixture over zucchini, top with the thyme sprigs and sprinkle with the paprika.
  • Bake at 400° for 35 minutes or until egg is set.
  • Let the quiche stand for 10 minutes before cutting into wedges.

Serves 8

Goat Cheese & Thyme Souffle

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I’m always on the lookout for new side dishes and with this recipe from The Splendid Table I stumbled upon a sure winner. It is cheesy, flavorful and did I mention cheesy? I love cheese and if you do as well, you are sure to love this souffle. This souffle includes three cheeses, creamy and tangy goat cheese, mild Gruyere and a nutty Parmesan. I like this combination but I’ve also experimented with other combinations as well, a small amount of gorgonzola pairs well with mild and slightly firm fresh ricotta and a sharp cheddar is nice with Asiago. Feel free to experiment to find the combination you like best.

Souffles look and sound impressive but in reality they are such an easy dish to make. The key to a perfectly light souffle, however, is all in the timing. In order to be served at their most impressive best, you must serve them immediately. For this reason I like to serve souffles with grilled or roasted meat. While the meat is resting I put the souffle in the oven then begin carving minutes before I remove the souffle from the oven. This results in a perfectly executed souffle every time!

GOAT CHEESE & THYME SOUFFLE

6 tablespoons butter, divided

1 cup heavy cream

1 cup milk

2 baby carrots

1 small onion, quartered

5 black peppercorns

1 sprig of thyme

1 bay leaf

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

5 large eggs, separated

4 oz goat cheese,  crumbled

3/4 cup Gruyere cheese, finely grated

Parmesan cheese, finely grated

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/8 teaspoon cream of tarter

2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves

  • Preheat the oven to 450°F.
  • Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter then generously brush it onto the bottom and sides of a 12 in shallow oval dish. Set aside.
  • Place the cream and milk into a saucepan, add the carrot, onion, peppercorns, and thyme.
  • Bring slowly to a boil, and then set aside to infuse for 10 minutes. Strain, discarding the solids.
  • Melt the remaining butter in a medium sized sauce pan.
  • Add the flour and cook for a two minutes.
  • Whisk in the strained cream and milk and gradually bring to a boil, whisking until the sauce thickens. Cool slightly.
  • Add the egg yolks, goat cheese, Gruyére, and most of the Parmesan.
  • Season with the salt, cayenne and nutmeg.
  • Place the cream of tarter and the egg whites in a medium sized bowl and using an electric beater, beat the egg whites until stiff.
  • Fold the egg whites into the cream and milk mixture, mixing gently until they form a loose consistency.
  • Spoon the batter into the prepared dish, scatter the thyme leaves over the top and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes until the souffle is puffed up and golden but the center is still creamy.

Serves 6

Fig, Pancetta & Goat Cheese Flatbread

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It’s Fast Friday again and time for another fast and fabulous dinner suggestion. If you are anything like me, by the time Friday rolls around the last thing I want to do is cook a big meal yet we all still have to eat. The dishes featured in this series aren’t necessarily fancy but they bring together simple ingredients most people already have in their pantries or have easy access to and allow you to put a real meal on the table in between 30 and 45 minutes. Enjoy and if you have your own fast recipes you want to share, please send them my way and I will in turn share them with all of my readers.

Flatbread is one of my favorite go-to appetizers but it is just as good when served up as a quick and tasty dinner. I love homemade pizza dough but sometimes it is necessary to use pre-made dough from the grocery store. And here in Belgium we are lucky enough to have a great variety of quality pre-made doughs to choose from. Because of this, I tend to keep one in my refrigerator for those late days when I need to get dinner on the table quickly.

This combination of sweet fig preserve, salty pancetta and tangy goat cheese is wholly satisfying and reminds me of the Mediterranean. It makes for the perfect end of the week dinner when all I can do is dream of the warmer months ahead.

FIG, PANCETTA & GOAT CHEESE FLATBREAD

1/2 recipe pizza dough or 1 pre-made pizza crust

1 tablespoon olive oil

4 ounces pancetta, diced

1/4 cup fig preserves

4 ounces soft goat cheese, crumbled

1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced

  • Allow the pizza dough to come to room temperature. Depending upon your kitchen this should take about 15 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  • Heat the olive oil in a small skillet. When it shimmers add the pancetta and stirring occasionally, cook until the meat is crispy, about 5 to 7 minutes. Drain off the fat and set aside.
  • Place the pizza dough on a lightly floured surface and roll into a 12 inch circle. The dough should be approximately 1/4 of an inch thick.
  • Carefully transfer the circle to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Spread the preserves over the top of the dough then evenly distribute the pancetta, goat cheese and finally the thyme over the entire surface.
  • Reduce the oven temperature to 425 degrees and bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until the cheese has begun to melt and the crust is lightly browned.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool for one minute before slicing.

Serves 2 (as dinner)

 

Greens & Potato Goat Cheese Tart

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Let me just say that whether they are sweet or savory, I love rustic tarts. Without a crust requiring fussy details or intricate rolling, they are just so simple and forgiving. I think quirkiness is part of their charm. So whether you are looking for a light dinner, an appetizer or even a brunch item, this rustic tart is for you. The basic recipe is from Cooking Light but I’ve tweaked it to make it my own (in other words, to accommodate the ingredients I could find). For my greens I used a combination of baby spinach and kale which when combined with the potatoes made for an earthy and satisfying tart filling. Any combination of hearty greens can be substituted. And the goat cheese? Who doesn’t love goat cheese.

The tart makes a perfect light dinner option when paired with a salad or it can be served either hot or at room temperature as an appetizer. Enjoy!

GREENS & POTATO GOAT CHEESE TART

1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
1/4 cup water
5 cups leafy greens (spinach, kale, Swiss chard)
1 cup vertically sliced red onion
1 cup thinly sliced potatoes
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup goat cheese, crumbled
  • Combine the flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and baking powder in a food processor; pulse 2 times to combine.
  • Combine 1/3 cup oil and 1/4 cup water in a small bowl.
  • With processor on, slowly add oil mixture through food chute; process until dough is crumbly.
  • Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead 1 minute; add additional flour, if necessary, to prevent dough from sticking.
  • Gently press dough into a 5-inch disk; wrap in plastic wrap, and chill 30 minutes.
  • Using both stems and leaves, chop the greens to equal 5 cups.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat.
  • Add the greens and the onion to the pan and sauté for 4 minutes.
  • Stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, potato, and thyme. Remove from heat; cool.
  • Preheat the oven to 375°.
  • Unwrap the dough and roll into a 14-inch circle on a floured surface.
  • Place dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or lightly coated with non-stick cooking spray. Spread the greens and potato mixture evenly over dough, leaving a 2-inch border.
  • Fold edges of dough toward center, pressing gently to seal (the dough will only partially cover the greens and potatoes.
  • Sprinkle pepper and cheese over chard mixture.
  • Bake at 375° for 40 minutes or until browned. Let stand 5 minutes before cutting into wedges.
Yields: 12 wedges

Creamy Gorgonzola Pasta

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It’s Fast Friday again and time for another fast and fabulous dinner suggestion. If you are anything like me, by the time Friday rolls around the last thing I want to do is cook a big meal yet we all still have to eat. The dishes featured in this series aren’t necessarily fancy but they bring together simple ingredients most people already have in their pantries or have easy access to and allow you to put a real meal on the table in between 30 and 45 minutes. Enjoy and if you have your own fast recipes you want to share, please send them my way and I will in turn share them with all of my readers.

Here is a simple pasta dish that has been adapted from Bake Your Day. Whole wheat pasta makes the dish more nutritious and I’ve switched out the asagio cheese for a milder goat cheese. The goat cheese melts really well making for a creamy sauce. And the surprise addition? Dates. They add a hidden sweetness to the dish which counters the sharpness of the gorgonzola. The results? A surprisingly tasty dish that everyone in the family will love. And best of all it can go from pantry to table in about twenty minutes. Now has is that for fast?

CREAMY GORGONZOLA PASTA

12 ounces whole wheat rotini or other small pasta

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 shallot

4 cloves garlic

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/3 cup dry white wine

1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth

3 ounces gorgonzola cheese

2 ounces soft goat cheese

1/2 cup diced dates

  • Cook the pasta according to the manufacturer’s directions. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water.
  • Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet set over medium-high heat.
  • Add the shallots and garlic and saute for 2 minutes.
  • Reduce the heat to medium-low and season with the red pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes or until the shallots are very soft.
  • Add the white wine, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until the wine is slightly reduced.
  • Add the chicken broth, gorgonzola and goat cheeses and dates and stir to combine. Continue cooking and stirring until the cheeses have melted and the sauce is well blended.
  • Add the cooked pasta and enough of the reserved cooking water until the sauce has a consistency that coats all of the pasta. Stir well.

Serves 4

Prosciutto, Goat Cheese & Caramelized Onion Sandwiches

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It is Fast Friday again and time for another fast and fabulous dinner suggestion. If you are anything like me, by the time Friday rolls around the last thing you want to do to cook a big meal yet we all still have to eat. The dishes featured in this series aren’t necessarily fancy but they bring together simple ingredients most people already have in their pantries or have easy access to and allow you to put a real meal on the table in between 30 and 45 minutes. Enjoy and if you have your own fast recipes you want to share, please send them my way and I will in turn share them with all of my readers.

For me, sandwiches are either a hit or miss proposition.  They can make for a satisfying lunch or light dinner, especially when paired with a salad or a bowl of soup, but they must be done right.  I love a combination of flavorful and interesting fillings but if the bread is disappointing, the entire sandwich loses its appeal.  The type of bread I like varies depending upon the filling but for hearty or messy fillings, a crusty bread is a must.

This simple sandwich uses crusty rolls but a French baguette or ciabatta rolls would work as well.  The bread is sturdy enough to absorb and contain the juices from the carmelized onions and makes the sandwich feel more substantial than it really is.  You can eat the sandwich alone or pair it with a bowl of soup.  Best of all, the sandwich is fast to make so you can be eating dinner in no time.

PROSCIUTTO, GOAT CHEESE, & CARAMELIZED ONION SANDWICHES

2 crusty rolls sliced, or the bread of your choice

2 medium-sized red onions, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon sugar

4 ounces goat cheese, at room temperature

4 ounces prosciutto, thinly sliced

8 baby spinach leaves

  • Place a small saute pan over medium heat.  Add the oil and heat until shimmering.
  • Add the onions, sprinkle with the sugar, and toss to coat.
  • Cook the onions for 15 to 20 minutes until they brown and caramelize, tossing occasionally and adding a small amount of water if necessary.  When they are cooked to your liking, remove them from the heat.
  • Divide the goat cheese between the two rolls and spread to coat one half of each bread.
  • Divide the onions and prosciutto evenly between the sandwiches.  Top with the spinach leaves.
  • Cut the sandwiches in half and serve immediately.

Yields:  2 sandwiches

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