Friday, July 27, 2012

Marinated Goat Cheese

I was walking through the grocery store the other day and stumbled upon the cheese section ... ok, ok I was hording over the cheese section like a little cheese lord. Let's be honest, I make a bee line for the dang cheese section the moment I walk into the store. My obsession with cheese not withstanding, on this particular day I found a tub of marinated feta cheese. Of course I had to try it and what I found was soft cheese swimming around in this lovely pool of tangy olive oil with the tartness of a mildly sweet vinegar and spices. It was delicious! Crumbled on salads, over pastas, spread on crackers....or if you are like me, with a fork standing with the frig wide open. Love at first bite. I make all my own salad dressings so I figured, really, how hard can this be. I opted to take a stab at marinating goat cheese because I buy these massive logs of it at Costco and quite frankly, I'm swimming in goat cheese right now but you could absolutely make it with feta (truth be told I also marinated feta I bought at my farmers market...swoon!!) This is a great party hosting trick too!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Balsamic Sauteed Swiss Chard Spiked with Goat Cheese and Raisins

Another summer beauty....rainbow chard. I love swiss chard. It's a tender but hearty green with colorful stems that makes a fantastic side dish. It's a magical bed for any main and this version brings a slight sweetness to the party. I sauteed the chard with slightly caramelized onions, balsamic vinegar and a dash of red pepper and then dot creamy and tangy goat cheese over the top while it's still warm and watch it melt down the edges of the greens. This is a fantastic side dish for my balsamic and mustard spike lamb loin chops. If you had the time, you could certainly fully caramelize the onions, but that would add maybe 30 minutes to the cooking time so I opt for a long saute with a spiked of balsamic to give you a similar flavor. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Oven Roasted Artichokes

Summer always brings an abundance of vegetables. Personally, I quite adore artichokes. They are delicious and have so many uses. Growing up I remember mounds of steamed artichokes sitting next to glistening bowls of melted butter. A steamed artichoke is never a bad thing, but I've been thinking....there must be another way. Roasting vegetables is like the world's gift to the home cook because it's easy and everything comes out super tasty so I figured, let's see how an artichoke does. The idea here is kind of roast-steam combo because you seal the artichokes in little tinfoil packages so they cook all the way through without burning. I stuffed mine with a spin on a classic Italian combination of sharp and salty pecorino, sweetly tart lemon, crunchy panko bread crumbs and garlic. The artichoke gets soft but with a rich deep flavor and you don't need a dipping sauce for these guys. You'll be licking your fingers though.