Go, Go Goat Cheese!
Goat cheese announces itself in every dish—creamy, smooth, tangy—adding a delicious exclamation mark to the end of each bite. Whether used sparingly or as a main component, it will be the star ingredient and can make even the simplest food seem gourmet.
You may have goat cheese in your refrigerator right now, maybe left over from a new recipe or a party, and are wondering what to do with the rest of your eight dollar investment. Here are some simple ways to incorporate goat cheese into the foods you already make. Be warned, you may never want to eat them without goat cheese again!
Besides bringing its own wonderful creaminess to a salad, goat cheese acts as a sort of underline to your salad’s other flavors, making fruits taste sweeter and nuts nuttier. Crumble goat cheese on a mixed green salad; add pecans, almond slivers, walnuts or pine nuts along with dried cranberries, sliced strawberries, diced apples or orange segments. Dress with a simple vinaigrette.
Though plain goat cheese on a quality cracker makes a wonderful appetizer, why not dress it up a bit? Pour a raspberry or fig jam over goat cheese and serve with crostini. Built goat cheese napoleons with roasted, sliced beets and mint leaves and drizzle with balsamic and olive oil. Spread goat cheese mixed with chives, salt and fresh ground pepper on baguette rounds and toast under the broiler until bubbly.
There are few dishes more versatile than a quesadilla with goat cheese in it. Using tortillas and g
oat cheese as your base, build any combination you like depending on what’s in the fridge: chicken and corn salsa; roasted vegetables; bacon and caramelized onions; even just cheddar and goat cheese for a lovely mix of textures. Your kids will like them, too.
In Place of Buffalo Mozzarella
An enjoyable cheese on its own, fresh buffalo mozzarella can be hard to find and has a short shelf life. Substitute goat cheese in your favorite mozzarella dishes, such as using goat cheese rounds, tomato slices, fresh basil and olive oil for a goat cheese insalata caprese. Top a thin, crisp crust with goat cheese, sautéed cremini mushrooms and fresh garlic for a pizza you will not want to share.
Similar to cream cheese, you can find many recipes on the web for goat cheese cheesecake, dessert bars and even goat cheese ice cream! For something simple, make a dessert version of crab Rangoon by mixing goat cheese with chopped dried cherries or cranberries, folding the mixture in a wanton wrapper, freezing the wantons, then flash frying. Sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar before serving.
Besides being incredibly versatile, goat cheese is lower in fat, calories and cholesterol than cow’s milk cheeses and contains more calcium, protein and key vitamins. The more you experiment, the more you will find goat cheese to be a compliment to almost any flavor and the perfect way to dress up your favorite dishes.
Jenny Hart loves browsing this and other food sites on her iPhone. It’s funny how learning to cook has also made her an expert in technology – she can even fix iPhone software issues!