Savory goat cheese, apricot and pistachio appetizers

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These herbalicious and fruity chèvre nuggets are studded with toasted pistachios. What could be better?

MAKES 32

INGREDIENTS

12 oz. goat cheese, room temperature
2 tsp. finely chopped thyme
2 tsp. finely chopped tarragon
2 tsp. finely chopped chives
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
8 dried apricots, quartered
¾ cups finely chopped, toasted pistachios

INSTRUCTIONS

Mix cheese, herbs, salt and pepper in a bowl. Using your hands, roll mixture into 1″ balls. Using your thumb, make a hole in each ball, press an apricot piece into center, and then mold cheese around apricot; roll in pistachios and place on parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Chill 20 minutes before serving.

How to Choose a Goat Cheese

Laura Chenel (legend in the artisan cheese world) posted a helpful video today on her blog and in Facebook. It’s a basic primer on how to select a goat cheese to please your palate. It’s got some good advice, but is by no means exhaustive. There are hundreds of goat cheeses out there, so get busy and start eating your way through the choices!

Couple of videos for you to enjoy!

I stumbled upon Original Fare (PBS) this morning, and watched four episodes in succession. Interesting to see her latest on Raw vs. pasteurized milk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PLQMKh4LBO6xOOGgmTtA5ZqMzncKCeh3D5&v=vtySDYs16vY#t=191

Also, yesterday we filmed a short piece on what happens to the extra curd left over from our hard cheese makes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZ2AjKhkslU

Chèvre, Grape and Walnut Terrine Appetizer

There are never enough goat cheese appetizers in this world. This one sounds amazing, I cannot wait to try it. Just perfect for summer, to accompany a cool, crisp glass of white wine. Nums.

021elevinecookbook

Servings:8
Ingredients
2 cups walnuts, divided
3/4 cup honey
1 cup sliced red grapes
2 teaspoons herbes de Provence
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 tablespoons finely grated orange zest
1 tablespoon fresh squeezed orange juice
1 teaspoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 ounces high-quality goat cheese, softened
Directions:
Coarsely chop 1 cup walnuts; chop the remaining cup of walnuts finely. Place finely chopped nuts in a large bowl and add the honey, 3/4 cup sliced grapes, herbes de Provence, coriander, orange zest, orange juice, lemon juice and salt. Slowly mix until all ingredients are incorporated.
Line an 8-to-10-ounce soufflé cup with plastic wrap.
Soften goat cheese to a spreadable point. Use a piping bag or spoon, fill the bottom 1/2 inch of the plastic-lined soufflé cup (this will be the top) with the goat cheese.
Add 1/2 cup of the rough-chop walnuts. Sprinkle half the remaining sliced grapes over the goat cheese. Pipe or spoon more goat cheese on top of the grapes, covering them completely. Spoon in about 1/2 inch of the walnut-grape mixture. Repeat with a layer of goat cheese, the remaining grapes, the remaining rough-chop walnuts, and a final layer of goat cheese (this will be the bottom).
Fold the plastic over the contents of the soufflé cup. Refrigerate overnight.
When you are ready to use the spread, open the plastic wrap and invert a plate over the soufflé cup. Turn the soufflé cup over, separating it from the goat cheese spread. Serve with crackers or bread.

Thanks to Small Bites Big Flavor and Food Republic for the recipe and picture!

Strawberry Lemon Yogurt Bundt Cake

I have already posted straight-up lemon, lime, and chocolate versions of the famous yogurt cake, but I am posting this recipe separately because I want you to know that you CAN make it with frozen strawberries, even though it calls for fresh ones. Of course, it’s probably just that much better with fresh, but sometimes the only strawberry patch I have is the freezer :) Thanks to http://livelovepasta.com for the recipe, and to zumfressen.com for the pic!
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Strawberry Yogurt Bundt Cake

Ingredients
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
3 tablespoons lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon
2½ cups flour, divided
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
8 ounces Greek yogurt
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
12 ounces fresh strawberries, diced; or 12 ounces frozen thawed drained strawberries

Instructions
1
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
2
In a bowl combine 2 ¼ cups flour, baking soda, salt and lemon zest. Set aside.
3
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy; about 3 minutes.
4
To the butter/sugar mixture add the eggs one at a time, then add the lemon juice. Once the eggs and lemon juice are incorporated, alternate between adding the flour mixture and the yogurt mixture. Next, add the milk and the vanilla.
5
In a separate bowl combine the diced strawberries with the remaining flour. Coat the strawberries in flour and add them to the batter.
6
Grease and flour a 10 inch bundt pan and add the batter to the pan. Bake for 1 hour. Allow to cool completely before removing from pan.
7
Sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar.

Nutella Ice Cream — A Scoop of Heaven

Never thought it would make such a difference in homemade ice cream, to swirl a half-cup of Nutella in as it is nearly done freezing. But holy cow, is that to die for!! I realize that most readers will not have access to fresh goat milk (as we do), that makes it even better. Just limp along with fresh cow’s milk and you’ll do fine! Thanks to http://AbeautifulMess.com for the fabulous recipe and photo. We churned ours for a little longer, and it looked like the finest Italian stracchiatella. YUMS!

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Nutella Swirl Ice Cream, makes about 1 quart.

1 1/2 cups milk (whole milk is preferred but 2% is good too)
1 cup sugar
3 egg yolks
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup Nutella

How to make custard ice cream
In a pot combine the milk with the sugar. Whisk together over medium heat so the sugar dissolves. In another bowl whisk together the egg yolks. Pour a few tablespoons of the hot milk mixture in with the egg yolks and stir. Once the egg yolk mixture is tempered add it to the pot of warm milk. Whisk to combine. Continue cooking over medium heat until it thickens, it should coat the spoon. Pour this thickened custard into a bowl with the heaving whipping cream. Stir to combine. Pour into an air tight container and refrigerate overnight.

Pour into your ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer directions for use. Once the ice cream reaches a “soft serve” consistency add the Nutella. Adding the Nutella before this stage can result in all the chocolate settling to the top or bottom of your container. No good—we need Nutella throughout! I found that heating the Nutella (for about 30 seconds in the microwave) made it thinner. This allowed pouring the Nutella into the ice cream while creating more of a swirl effect. Once you’ve added the Nutella, transfer to an ice cream container and freeze until hard.

So simple Figs and Honeyed Goat Cheese

And there you have the recipe — that’s it! As many fresh calimyrna or black mission figs as you like, split open crosswise and stuffed with chèvre that has been sweetened with a tablespoon of raw honey. I try to keep the proportion of chèvre-to-honey at 1 Tbsp honey to 4 ounces of chèvre. And I sprinkle a little bit of cinnamon on top of the stuffed figs. Divine! Makes for a lovely lunch, dessert, or addition to tea. Fresh figs are in stores now, and if you can’t find them, fresh apricots or pitted dates work equally well!