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COOKING WITH FRENCH GOAT'S CHEESES FOOD & COOKING ARTICLE

Chef Sophie Wright shows you delicious recipes to tantalise your taste buds using France's finest goat's cheeses

When we think about cooking with cheese we tend to think of using parmesan in our pasta, or some mature cheddar topped on toast, but there are a lot of different recipes out there involving cheese and similarly there are a lot of different cheeses.

In fact in France alone, there are over 1,000 different kinds of cheeses made, that range from Camembert to Époisses and of course the well known goat’s cheese which delight’s everyone’s palate.

This creamy cheese comes in lots of flavours and textures from the mildest soft cheese to the hardest strong cheese and tastes great when baked in the oven and spread on bread. Made all over France and especially in the Loire Valley and Poitou regions, goat’s cheese is great tasting and also makes a fantastic alternative for those that are allergic to cow’s milk.

In this video, chef Sophie Wright shows you just how easy it is to create a simple but tasty goat’s cheese log slice, roasted beetroot and parsnip salad that you can enjoy anytime.

Sophie Wright

Sophie WrightSophie Wright is an up and coming British chef with an increasing number of TV appearances. She enjoyed success as a young chef, collecting several awards and competing in several notable competitions, including an 8 week cooking trip around New Zealand and becoming the highest achiever of the Craft Guild Of Chef Graduate Awards.

Sophie left Westminster KIngsway college at the age of 19 after 3 years with the titles of "highest achieving competition chef" and "Highest achieving female".

At the age of 20, she was one of Britain's youngest Head chefs at a prestigious London restaurant.

Her TV appearances include a regular slot on ITV's Daily Cooks!, UKTV's Market Kitchen and the popular BBC show Food Poker. She graduated from Westminster Kingsway College, and won 8 gold’s in national competitions during her three years of study.

Sophie now has her first cook book for sale "Easy Peasy" and is currently working on the second along with lots of other exciting projects.

Sophie recently returned from Erfurt Germany with the Culinary Academy team representing Britain where she returned with a silver medal.

Sophie has won over 20 national and internation medals for cookery and was nominated for Competition chef of the year at the Craft Guild of Chef Awards in 2007.

Sophie is teaming up with Electrolux to road show Brittan’s Catering Colleges to promote the cooking industry to young chefs.

 

FRENCH GOAT'S CHEESE, ROASTED BABY BEETROOT AND PARSNIP SALAD RECIPE

Ingredients

4 small French goat's cheese disks
2 large parsnips
8 baby beetroots
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 sprigs thyme
2 tbsp olive oil
Sea salt and pepper
200g salad leaves (red chard, rocket, mâche, frisée

Dressing:
2 tbsp sherry vinegar
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
Juice ½ lemon
1 tbsp chervil
1 tsp runny honey
3 tbsp hazelnut oil

How to make

  • Pre-heat oven to 200°C.

  • Remove the stalks from the baby beetroots and drop in a pan of simmering water and boil for 15 minutes until tender. Once cooked, cut the beetroots in half. Drain them well.
  • Peel the parsnips and cut into eighths from base to tip. Remove any of the tough core from the centre of the parsnip.
  • Lay them on a baking tray with the cooked and halved baby beetroots and coat in the maple syrup, olive oil and the thyme leaves which should be picked from the stalk. Season with sea salt and black pepper.
  • Place in to the pre-heated oven and cook for 20 minutes until they start to turn crispy around the edges.
  • While the vegetables are cooking, make the dressing by combining the Dijon mustard, sherry vinegar, honey and lemon juice. Using a mini whisk, slowly pour in the hazelnut oil until a smooth, thick dressing has been made. Season with salt and pepper and add in the fresh chervil.
  • Now, place the goat's cheese disks onto a separate baking tray and place into the hot oven for 8 to 10 minutes to allow the middle of the cheese to melt.
  • Now, mix the chosen salad leaves with the roasted parsnips and beetroots. Dress lightly before piling the salad on to 4 separate plates and then placing the hot cheese next to the salad.
  • Drizzle with a little of the left-over dressing.

Serves 4

LINGUINI WITH FRENCH GOAT'S CHEESE, CHERRY TOMATOES, BASIL AND GARLIC RECIPE

Ingredients

250g crumbled French goat's cheese from a pyramid or disk
200mls extra virgin olive oil
8 cloves peeled garlic, thinly sliced
500g cherry tomatoes cut in half
1 bunch picked basil
1 lemon
Salt and pepper
1 packet linguini pasta

How to make

  • Put a large pan of salted water on the stove to cook the pasta.
  • Once the water has started to boil, drop in all the linguini and cook as per packet instructions.
  • Put all the olive oil in a saucepan along with the thinly sliced garlic. Fry over a low heat, stirring occasionally until the garlic starts to go slightly golden.
  • Add in the sliced tomatoes and allow them to wilt in the oil, the skins will start to shrivel and the juices will start to form a sauce.
  • Add in the goat's cheese along with a squeeze of lemon juice, black pepper and a pinch of salt.
  • Drain the pasta once it is cooked to al dente and add to the sauce.
  • Now add in all the basil and combine well.
  • Serve immediately.

Serves 6

FRENCH GOAT'S CHEESE, GRILLED NECTARINES AND PARMA HAM SALAD RECIPE

Ingredients

200g French goat's cheese pyramid
4 whole nectarines, ripe
8 slices Parma ham
100g pine nuts
2 red endives
50g broad beans, peeled
½ bunch fresh basil

For the dressing:
2 tbsp runny honey
Zest 1 orange
Juice 1 lemon
100mls olive oil
1 tsp whole grain mustard
Salt and pepper

How to make

  • Half and quarter the nectarines and remove the stone.
  • Pre-heat a griddle plate or barbecue until it's really hot. Rub the quarters with a little olive oil and lay them on the grill until bar marks start to appear. Once this has happened, turn them over and allow to cook on the other side.
  • While they are cooking, make the dressing for the salad by mixing the mustard, orange zest and honey together with a pinch of salt and black pepper.
  • Slow whisk in the olive oil to make a thick dressing.
  • Toast the pine nuts in a dry, hot frying pan until they are golden.
  • Remove the core from the endive and remove the leaves.
  • Now, assemble the endive into a bowl and toss with half of the dressing.
  • Scatter with the warm grilled nectarines, slices of torn Parma ham, fresh broad beans and crumble on the goat's cheese.
  • Pour the toasted pine nuts into the remaining dressing and pour over the salad.
  • To finish, tear off a few basil leaves and serve immediately.

Serves 4

GRILLED FRENCH GOAT'S CHEESE AND WALNUT PESTO CIABATTA RECIPE

Ingredients

75g French goat's cheese from a log
1 ciabatta roll
1 handful rocket
1 courgette
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 lemon

For the pesto:
50g walnuts
1 small bunch basil leaves only
1 small bunch flat leaf parsley
50g grated parmesan
75ml extra virgin olive oil
Juice and zest 1 lemon
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
Salt and pepper

How to make

  • Start your sandwich by first making the pesto. This can be done up to a week in advance.
    Take the parsley and basil leaves and place in a food processor along with the chopped garlic, walnuts, parmesan, olive oil and lemon zest.
  • Blitz to a chunky paste, before adding the lemon juice, salt and pepper.
  • Make sure you taste it for seasoning. You may need a squeeze more lemon.
  • Heat up a griddle pan to the highest setting.
  • Slice the courgette very thinly. I prefer to do this using a swivel-head peeler so you get very thin ribbons but a knife will do the job.
  • Coat them in olive oil, season with salt and pepper and lay them on the hot griddle pan. Leave them to cook until bar lines start to appear, turn them over, add a squeeze of lemon juice and leave to cook on the other side for about the same length of time.
  • While the courgettes are cooking, cut the ciabatta in half, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with a little sea salt.
  • Lay the bread cut side down onto the griddle pan and allow to char for a few minutes.
  • Spread both sides of the warmed bread with the walnut pesto.
  • Once the courgettes are cooked, lay them on to the pesto-covered ciabatta and crumble over plenty of goat's cheese, drizzle with yet more olive oil and place under a hot grill until the cheese starts to melt and bubble.
  • Once cooked, lay on plenty of rocket, place the two halves of the sandwich together and eat straight away.

Makes 1 sandwich

For more delicious goat’s cheese recipe ideas visit
www.frenchgoatscheese.com

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