Brie en croûte

Brie en croûte 11

This just happened in my kitchen.

There are no words. I will not even attempt at writing a post befitting of this recipe. I will just tell you how to make it yourselves, and know that, if I should do nothing else at all, I will have left the world a tiny bit better than I found it.

We should all worry less about what others do, do more of what makes us happy, and eat more cheese.


Brie en croûte 8

(This picture… I know, NOT sexy. But I found it impossible to capture the oozing molten cheese flood in a sexy way, when all I wanted was to bury my face in it)

One year ago on May the Cheese Be With You: Provolone Salad

Other Brie recipes: Baked Cherry Brie Bites, Chips del Diamant, Strawberry Almond Brie Salad

Brie en croûte

Brie en croûte 10

Servings: 1, if it were up to me. Probably more like 4, though, or 8, depending of the size of your brie round

Prep time: 45 minutes

You will need:

  • 1 Brie round
  • 1 sheet of round puff pastry, large enough to cover the entire brie round
  • 3/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, cut up into little chunks (more if using a large brie round)
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 egg + 1 tablespoon water, beat together
  • apples, crackers, veggies or any other dip-able fare you can come up with

Brie en croûte 1

To begin with, roll out the puff pastry sheet onto a flat surface and place your little brie round right in the middle.

Brie en croûte 4

In a small bowl, mix the tomatoes with the thyme.

Brie en croûte 3

Spoon (in my case, more like heap) the mixture onto the brie round, as well as around the sides.

Brie en croûte 5

Then gather the pastry up to create a little pouch, and cinch it shut. You can also get creative and make nice variations and spectacular designs.

But I am lazy. I hereby officially extend the invitation to be lazy with me.

It will taste the same. Promise.

Now brush the puff pastry pouch with the egg wash, the place in a medium oven for about 20 – 30 minutes, or until golden brown.

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Allow it to cool for a bit before digging in, or, you know, blistering pain.

Brie en croûte 6

Serve with the crackers, apple slices et al.

Enjoy. 🙂

Clara

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Zucchini Goat Cheese Patties

zucchini patties 2

Avui faig país. Fa ja més d’un any que tinc un blog de cuina amb formatge en un país gastronòmicament molt ric (i en molts altres aspectes també, què coi!) i em dedico a fer receptes amb Emmentals, Bries, Cheddars i Parmesans. I no és que no estiguin bé, de fet són deliciosos, però i un bon tall d’Urgèlia? I un mató de Montserrat? I un Recuit de Fonteta? I un Tupí d’Ossera?

Avui reivindico el formatge de km 0, perquè ens les donem de patriotes i ens posem l’estelada fins i tot a les calces però després anem al Caprabo i comprem formatges de tot arreu menys de casa nostra. I mentrestant el nostre patrimoni formatger queda reduït a vendre’s en firetes d’artesans de pobles perduts.

Doncs no, menys postureig nacionalista, menys creure’ns més catalans perquè tenim mil i un gadgets amb estelades i rucs que hem comprat al tot a cent xinès de la cantonada, que fa estelades com podria fer banderes d’illes de la polinèsia, i més recolzar els nostres productes i els nostres productors. Si volem aixecar un país, posem-nos-hi de veritat, collons!

(Com que explicar tot això a la recepta en anglès per al públic internacional és una mica complicat, us dic que el que allà és goat cheese és en realitat un formatge tendre de cabra de Montbrú, uns formatgers del Moianès. Suau però amb molta personalitat, així amb un punt àcid, boníssim).

zucchini patties prep 2

One year ago, on May the Cheese Be With You: Chips del Diamant

Zucchini Goat Cheese Patties

Servings: 12-14 patties (depending on the size)

Prep time: about 40 min

You will need:

  • 2 medium zucchini, shreaded
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 2 tablespoons dill
  • 1/2 crumbled goat cheese (or feta, if you prefer)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour (or corn starch)
  • 1/2 teasppon baking power
  • about 1 cup bread crumbs (enough quantity to thicken the paste)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt

This will be a lot like making your own hamburguers, but with zucchini instead of meat. You’ll see.

First of all, put the shreaded zucchini into a strainer, toss with the salt and let it stand for about 10 minutes. After this time, the zucchinis will have let go the major part of their water. (If right after reading this sentence a little anoying voice inside your head is singing Frozen’s “Let it go”, don’t worry, I have exactly the same problem as you). So, squeeze the zucchini until as dry as possible and set aside.

zucchini patties prep 1

Beat the eggs in a large bowl (large enough to contain all the other ingredients). Mix in the dried zucchini, onion, cheese, garlic and black pepper, then add the flour and baking powder and stir until well incorporated.

zucchini patties prep 4

Now you’ll probably have some too-liquid-to-be-patty-shaped mixture, so add bread crumbs and stir until thick enough to form little patties (but don’t add too much bread crumbs or you’ll obtain some nice zucchini and goat cheese rocks when cooked).

Heat 4 tablespoons olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Form patties of about 1,5 tablespoons of mixture each and fry them unil golden brown on both sides (I’m not saying you have to fry them one at a time, but don’t overfill the pan or you’ll end by having one huge zucchini patty to share with the entire family). Let them dry a little on a paper towel-lined plate and that’s it.

zucchini patties prep 3

You can used them either as a starter or as a side dish for salmon, for example, as I did, or you can even turn them into some nice vegetarian hamburgers.

zucchini patties 1

Enjoy! 🙂

Annie

Greek Salad

Greek Salad 5

So I’ve been gone for a while.

You see, I’ve changed apartments, and currently my entire life is in boxes. It’s been three weeks since I last saw my socks. I haven’t cooked since – oh, I can’t even remember when. My kitchen appliances are scattered to the four winds, and it seems like I have at least three worm holes in my new apartment.

A salad is all I’ve managed to throw together. It’s a good salad, mind you, and the weather here does seem to warrant salads and ice cream. But making ice cream is quite out of the question. So salad it is. I’ve made this countless times, and it’s always a hit. I call it Greek salad, although any Greeks out there will probably scoff at my ignorance. Oh, well, so be it.

Call it what you like, but I’m tellin’ ya, this tastes of summer.

One year ago on May the Cheese Be With You: Goat Cheese and Leek Pasta

Other feta cheese recipes: Spanakopita, Feta Bites, Feta and Herb Sweet Potatoes, Walnut Feta Cookies

Other salads: Strawberry Almond Brie Salad, Provolone Salad, Pistacio Mozzarella Salad, Date Bacon Parmesan Salad

Greek Salad 6

Greek Salad

Servings: varies

Prep time: 20 minutes

You will need:

  • fresh mixed salad greens
  • cucumber, peeled and diced
  • black olives, pitted and sliced in half
  • feta cheese, cubed
  • pita bread, cut into quarters
  • olive oil and balsamic vinegar, to taste
  • oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste

Greek Salad 1

This is quite straightforward. Heat up your grill and add a drizzle of olive oil. Lay out the pita quarters in a single layer on the grill, and sprinkle with oregano. Allow to brown until nice little lines appear, then flip them one at a time and sprinkle with oregano again. When the other side has browned as well, remove them from the grill and place on a paper-towel lined plate.

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Meanwhile, toss the greens, cucumber, olives and feta in a large bowl. Now, you can either arrange the pita quarters around the salad bowl, or you can dish up the salad and artistically place a few quarters on the side. Or just eat them like they’re chips. No, really, I betcha you can’t stop at one.

Greek Salad 2

Serve with a drizzle of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Voilà, summer holiday on a plate. And it’s very nearly healthy.

Enjoy 🙂

Clara

Greek Salad 7

Mini Cheeseburgers

mini cheeseburgers 1

A casa tenim una tradició sagrada, i és que el dia del teu aniversari esculls el sopar. No és que la resta de sopars de l’any siguin gaire dictatorials, de fet normalment es fan a quatre mans i sempre s’accepten propostes, però aquell dia pots menjar el que et vingui més de gust. No et cal pensar que estigui equilibrat amb el dinar, ni que tingui més part de verdura que d’hidrats de carboni, ni res semblant. Que vols pizza? Doncs pizza. Que ja has menjat pasta per dinar i després de sopar aniràs a dormir i la pizza t’anirà directament al cul? És completament igual.

Això ara pot no semblar gaire estimulant, perquè habitualment ja penses en què fer per sopar, però si ets petit i estàs acostumat a arribar a casa i trobar-te el plat de verdura al davant, tenir carta blanca per un dia és tot un esdeveniment. Tant, que aquest any la meva germana ha decidit que pel seu sant volia repetir el privilegi. De fet, més d’un mes abans ja tenia el menú pensat i clar, amb la il·lusió que li feia el seu sopar, pobreta, no li diràs que no, oi?

I ha demanat un menú festiu absolutament caòtic: figuretes de peix arrebossat (de les que són conglomerat pur i tenen forma d’estrella i de peixet i de cavallet de mar), brandada de bacallà amb torradetes i mini hamburgueses.

Sí, no pega ni per casualitat, però què esperàveu d’un menú ideat per un cervellet supercreatiu de 9 anys?

I jo, l’encarregada de preparar aquest sopar, per intentar salvar la situació i donar una mica de glamour a la diada de Sant Jordi, he transformat la seva petició de mini hamburgueses en tres mini cheeseburgers d’autor.

mini cheeseburgers 2

Swiss cheeseburger

  • Mustard
  • Emmental
  • Mushrooms

swiss cheeseburger

Honey Goat Cheeseburger

  • Goat cheese
  • Honey
  • Oregano

honey goat cheeseburger

Parmesan Pesto Burger

  • Pesto sauce (made of basil, pine nuts, parmesan and olive oil)
  • Parmesan slices (or Grana Padano, if your budget is reduced, as mine is)

parmesan pesto burger

There’s no need to explain how to put it all together, right? Just cook, assemble, melt and eat.

Enjoy! 🙂

Annie

Spanakopita

spanakopita 2

Avui això va de Grècia una altra vegada. I, per tant, va de formatge feta i de pasta filo i, per tenir les consciències tranquil·les, d’espinacs. L’spanakopita és un altre plat que vaig descobrir en el meu viatge turbulent a Grècia de segon de batxillerat, d’on també van sortir els farcellets de feta, i que vindria a ser com la versió grega de la quiche. És fàcil, bona, verduril i formatjosa, i trobo que té un punt exòtic que et pot fer quedar bé en cas de necessitat. Que ho té tot, vaja. I ara la teniu vosaltres.

One year ago on May the Cheese Be With You: Cheddar Cookies

Other feta recipes: Walnut Feta Cookies, Feta and Herb Sweet Potatoes, Feta Bites

Spanakopita

Prep time: about 1h

Servings: 6

You will need:

  • 1 medium size onion, chopped
  • 1 kg fresh spinach or 500 g frozen spinach, thawed
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 250 g feta cheese, crumbled
  • about 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 package filo dough
  • salt and pepper to taste

Start by preheating your oven to 200ºC. In a large pan, cook the onion with a drizzle of olive oil for 10 minutes, until transparent and soft. Add the spinach, salt to taste, and cook for another 5 minutes. Drain any remaining water from the spinach (specially if you’re using frozen spinach) and let it cool for a while.

spanakopita prep 1

In the meantime, mix the eggs with the feta cheese, salt, pepper and parlsey, until having a baby-cat puke-resembling mixture.

spanakopita prep 2

When the spinach is at room temperature (or, at least, cooler than before), add it to the egg and feta bowl.

Now to the tricky part. It’s not that complicated, but you’ll need to be fully concentrated. Take a small bowl or glass you have and pour a couple tablespoons of olive oil in it. With a brush (a cooking brush, please, otherwise your spanakopita will turn blue or red or any other colour used before) coat a 9x13x2 inches baking dish (or something with a similar size). Carefully place a sheet of the filo dough (be careful, they are extremely fragile) on the baking dish, making sure it covers all the edges. Don’t worry if there’s some dough outside the baking dish, leave it there and don’t cut it, we’ll need it at the end to close the spanakopita. When the first sheet of dough is in place, paint it with some olive oil and put another sheet on top. Repeat the whole process with half of the dough sheets.

spanakopita prep 3

Now, pour the filling on top and spread it well with a spatula.

spanakopita prep 4

Cover it with the remaining filo sheets, one at a time and brushing with olive oil, as before. Take the edges of filo dough and fold them to close the spanakopita. With a sharp knife, slightly cut the upper part of the pie into six pieces. Bake it for 35 minutes or until well set in the inside and toasted and crunchy in the outside.

spanakopita 1

Enjoy!

Annie

Crispy Zucchini and Corn Gnocchi

Crispy Zucchini and Corn Gnocchi 5

“Life is a combination of magic and pasta.” -Federico Fellini

So, pasta. Specifically, gnocchi. I love that stuff. They’re like pasta, but better than pasta. They’re like riotous balls of glorious Italian sunshine. They’re endlessly versatile. You can make them out of cheese.

Gnocchi are the food of the gods. Forget nectar and ambrosia. When no one was looking, or while the Spartans and the Athenians and the Persians where killing each other, or while the Greeks were hiding in their wooden horse at the gates of Troy, or while – well, you get the picture – while their worshippers were busy elsewhere, the gods were stuffing their faces with gnocchi. No, seriously, I’ve been reading into it. Prometheus was chained to that stone not for stealing fire, but for stealing the secret recipe for gnocchi. There’s been a massive mistranslation throughout history. Not fire – gnocchi.

OK, I may or may not have made up that last bit.

But they’re seriously good.

And this recipe is seriously easy. And you end up with crispy-soft gnocchi, a creamy sauce, and even vegetables, to keep the health-nut in you happy.

Life doesn’t get much better than this.

One year ago on May the Cheese Be With You: Strawberry-Almond-Brie Salad

Other Parmesan recipes: Spaghetti alla Carbonara, Parmesan Potato Wedges, Three Cheese Stovetop Lasagna, Parmesan Poppy Seed Twists, Date Bacon Parmesan Salad, Parmesan Lollipops, Rosemary Parmesan Butter

Crispy Zucchini and Corn Gnocchi 7

Crispy Zucchini and Corn Gnocchi

Servings: 4

Prep time: 30 minutes

You will need:

  • 1/2lb, or 300gr, fresh gnocchi
  • 2 medium zucchini, diced
  • 4oz, or 100gr corn
  • 1/3 cup cream
  • 2 or 3 tablespoons Parmesan
  • basil, fresh or dried, to taste
  • olive oil, for cooking
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large skillet. Add the gnocchi and leave unstirred for about 4 minutes, until the bottom is nicely browned and crispy. Toss the gnocchi and continue cooking until browned all around. Set aside.

Crispy Zucchini and Corn Gnocchi 3

In another skilled, cook the zucchini and corn, stirring occasionally until soft and lightly browned.

Crispy Zucchini and Corn Gnocchi 2

While the vegetables are cooking, beat the Parmesan cheese into the cream until well combined.

Crispy Zucchini and Corn Gnocchi 4

Crispy Zucchini and Corn Gnocchi

Remove the vegetables from the heat and stir in the cream and cheese mixture. Finally, add the gnocchi to the vegetable skilled, season with salt, pepper and basil to taste, and serve hot from the pan.

Enjoy!

Clara

Crispy Zucchini and Corn Gnocchi 6

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

broccoli cheddar soup 1

L’estiu de segon de carrera vaig decidir que volia aprendre anglès, però del de veritat, del d’anar pel carrer i entendre la gent, no del de “fill in the gap” i de “will or going to”. Per sort, tinc familiars a Estats Units, i vaig pensar que passar l’estiu allà, en plan immersió lingüística de dos mesos, seria una bona experiència. Així qu,e tot just acabats els exàmens de juny, vaig fer la maleta (pot semblar trivial, però empaquetar-te tot l’estiu en una maleta de 23 kg no és una feina fàcil), em vaig renovar el passaport i apa, vol en destinació Atlanta.

I sí, va ser un molt bon estiu. Vaig aprendre que els Estats Units supermolons de les pel·lícules no tenien res a veure amb la realitat, que al mig del camp l’Amèrica profunda és molt profunda, que conduir un tractor tallagespa pot ser molt divertit i que enlloc esmorzaràs com a la International House of Pancakes. Vaig aconseguir un anglès relativament fluid (almenys més del que tenia abans), vaig convertir-me en la reina de Say yes to the dress, de Bridezilla, de Super Sweet Sixteen i de tots els realities que vaig trobar (tot sigui per millorar la comprensió auditiva) i vaig descobrir la meva nova sopa preferida, la sopa de cheddar i bròquil.

broccoli cheddar soup prep 4

One year ago on May the Cheese Be With You: Spinach-Bacon-Goat Cheese Quiche

broccoli cheddar soup 3

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Adapted from my new favourite blog Six Sisters’ Stuff

Servings: 2

Prep time: 45 min

You will need:

  • 1 small broccoli (about 400 g) cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 garlic, minced
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 tablespoon grated parmesan
  • 1 cup grated cheddar
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • salt and pepper to taste

broccoli cheddar soup prep 1

In a small pot (large enough to contain the entire soup later) sautée onion and garlic for a coupe of minutes, until soft and slightly translucid. Add butter and flour, and stir until light brown and bubbly.

broccoli cheddar soup prep 2

At this point, resist your temptation, do not eat the onion roux, and add chicken broth. Stir for a couple of minutes, until the roux is fully dissolved in the broth, and add broccoli, salt and pepper (Note: be careful with the amount of salt, specially if you’re using dehydrated chicken broth, as they tend to be quite salty).

broccoli cheddar soup prep 3

Cook at medium heat for about 25-30 min, then add cheeses and milk, and keep stirring until the cheddar is totally melted. And that’s it, warm comfort almost healthy cheesy soup.

broccoli cheddar soup 2

Enjoy!

Annie