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.

Brie en croûte 7

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

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

Feta and Herb Sweet Potatoes

Herbed Sweet Potatoes 5

Short and sweet is the motto for today. Thanksgiving is around the corner, fall is slowly sputtering out, and the Christmas lights of downtown Barcelona are already shining merrily through my bedroom window. The frantic pre-Thanksgiving and pre-Christmas activity is wearing me down and driving me up the walls at the same time, but holiday season is on, and I love it.

So, short and sweet it is. Today’s recipe would be amazing as a lighter Thanksgiving side dish, or as a fall-themed dish for any day of the week, really. And trust me when I say, it’s good. It’s very, very good, and even half way healthy.

And I may or may not have eaten the whole tray all by myself.

Do yourself a favor, and make this. It comes together amazingly fast, and the oven does half the work anyway. Did I mention it´s good?

Let’s get the show on the road.

For another feta cheese recipe, check out these Feta Bites. You’ll thank me later 🙂

Herbed Sweet Potatoes 6

Feta and Herb Sweet Potatoes

(Adapted from the incoparable William Sonoma)

Servings: 2 large or 3 small

Prep time: 45 minutes, 30 minutes of which are baking time

You will need:

  • 3 large sweet potatoes
  • olive oil to taste
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 100 gr feta cheese, crumbled
  • about 1/3 to 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 1 or 2 tablespoons dried herbs, preferably thyme or herbes de provence, but really any Mediterranean herb you have at hand
  • juice of 1 lemon

First off, wash and peel your sweet potatoes and slice them into 1/2 inch thick pieces. You can cut them thinner if you like, but you’ll have to adjust the baking time accordingly.

Arrange the sweet potato slice in a singly layer on a baking-paper-lined baking sheet. Drizzle (or drown, if your from the Mediterranean) with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Cover the baking sheet with aluminium foil and bake on high for 20 minutes.

Remove and discard the aluminium foil.

Herbed Sweet Potatoes 3

Up to this point, we’ve prepared your average ol’ baked sweet potato. Now let’s take this puppy over the top.

Herbed Sweet Potatoes 2

Sprinkle the dish with your herbs of choice (thyme really does make the best addition, but I’ve used plenty of other herbs and they all yield delicious results) and the crumbled feta cheese, making sure all your slice get some of the fun. Now, you can sprinkle the pine nuts on top whole, or can crumble them up a bit with a pestle and mortar, as I like to, since it allows for better distributing, and helps blend the flavors a bit more.

Herbed Sweet Potatoes 1

Once you’ve finished all your sprinkling, place the baking sheet back in the oven for another 8 or 10 minutes, until the cheese begins to brown nicely, or until you can’t resist the smell wafting through your kitchen any longer.

Herbed Sweet Potatoes 4

Drizzle the lemon juice over everything, and serve. And eat.

Enjoy!

Clara

Herbed Sweet Potatoes 7

Aubergines au roquefort

aubergines au roquefort

Avui viatgem a França a recuperar un dels formatges més clàssics del món però que havíem tingut del tot abandonat en aquest blog: el Roquefort.

Roquefort

La llegenda explica que un bon dia un pastor es va trobar al mig d’una tempesta i es va refugiar en una cova a esperar que parés una mica. Es veu que li va agafar gana i per aquelles coses de la vida es va trobar amb un tros de formatge d’ovella florit que s’havia deixat unes setmanes abans. Enlloc de llençar-lo com hagués fet qualsevol persona normal, va decidir que tenia gana i que se’l menjava, i va resultar que era deliciós. No sé quan representa que aquest pastor va entrar en aquesta cova, però es veu que l’elaboració d’aquest tipus de formatge té més de 2000 anys d’antiguitat, que no és poc.

1280px-Brebis_lacaune

Aquest formatge, que té DOP des del 1925, pot madurar només a les coves Cambalou a Roquefort-sur-Soulzon (o Ròcafòrt en occità). La llet, que ha de ser d’ovelles de la raça Lacaune, una mena de superovella capaç d’aguantar les dures condicions climàtiques de la zona, que es veu que allà passen de molt de fred a molta calor i calen bèsties resistents, pot ser recollida només dels ramats dels departaments de Lozère, Aveyron, Tarn, Aude, Hérault i Gard. Que si el teu ramat no pastura per allà, encara que sigui pura raça, la teva llet no val un duro, vaja.

northeastfrance

La massa es posa en forma de bola i es deixa madurar uns 3 mesos mínim així a l’aire lliure en aquestes coves perquè entri en contacte amb el mestre formatger de la pel·lícula: el Penicillium roqueforti. Deixeu-vos de tonteries d’ovelles de raça i de pastures; aquí sense el nostre amic roqueforti no tenim res de res.

Tot això és molt bonic, però si mai aneu a una cova i trobeu un formatge florit feu el favor de deixar-lo tranquil i no us el mengeu pas, que el resultat pot ser molt poc poètic…

Aubergines au roquefort

Prep time: 1 hour

Servings: 4

You will need:

  •  4 aubergines
  • about 150g Roquefort (it depends on your love for this cheese, in my case, 150g weren’t nearly enough…)
  • 1 Tbs butter

First of all, wash and cut your aubergines in half. Now, with a sharp kinfe, elegantly draw some lines on each aubergine, until you have a nice net-like pattern like this:

aubergines au roquefort prep 1

The cut must be as deep as you can without choping all your aubergine apart. Remember: the deeper the cut is, the more cheesily-juicy it will be at the end.

Now mix the butter and the roquefort in a bowl using a fork, until you have a nice uniform paste. Place your aubergines in a greased dish and pour the roquefort paste on top, making sure it fills every cut completely. 

aubergines au roquefort prep 2

Cook in a preheated oven at about 180ºC until the aubergines are soft and fluffy and the roquefort has turned golden and crunchy.

aubergines au roquefort 2

Enjoy!

Annie

Potato Dauphinoise

potato dauphinoise 1

Per si encara no us n’havíeu adonat, sóc especialista en coccions al forn. Trobo que és la cosa més pràctica de la història, perquè tu ho poses allà i va fent i mentrestant pots mirar tots els capítols atrassats de Game of Thrones que tens pendents, per exemple, i veure el King Joffrey liant-la parda mentre se’t fa el sopar tot sol. O la Sansa Stark cagant-la com sempre i el Tywin Lannister que és com dolentíssim (com tots els Lannisters, de fet) i la psicòpata de la Daenerys cremant ciutats i tal. Molt educatiu tot plegat.

A més, el forn et permet aconseguir una cosa que et no dóna cap altra tècnica culinària: Sa Majestat el Gratinat. Qualsevol cosa és més bona amb formatge al damunt, estem d’acord, però qualsevol cosa és immensament més bona si el formatge està calent, mig fos mig torradet, allò que fa crec-crec quan el talles. Espectacular.

potato dauphinoise 2

Doncs bé, avui el gratinat ve en forma de dauphinoise de patata, que és una forma fashion de dir “patates gratinades”. En principi la recepta és amb crema de llet però per estalviar calories, que últimament no estic fent gaire exercici per culpa dels Lannisters , l’he substituïda per quark, que a part de tenir molt menys greix és un formatge (i en principi d’això va el blog).

I ja ho veieu, si encara no sabeu com acabarà el pobre Bran allà perdut per les muntanyes anant cap Castle Black i ho voleu saber, aneu engegant el forn!

Potato Dauphinoise

Servings: 6

Prep time: about 1h 30 min

You will need:

  • 1kg potatoes
  • 250g quark
  • 1 cup milk
  • 250g mozzarella (like the one we used for our cannelloni)
  • freshly grated nutmeg
  • salt and pepper

Wash and peel the potatoes and cut them into thin slices. Be careful if you use a slicer! The only thing we want to slice are potatoes; not fingers, nor fingernails, nor any other part of your anatomy you happen to have near the slicer.

potato dauphinoise prep 1In a large bowl mix the quark with the milk and season with nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste. Add the potatoes and stir until well coated. Pour the mixture into a baking dish and sprinkle as much mozzarella as you can/want on top.potato dauphinoise prep 2Now it’s time to bake it at 200ºC. The baking time is difficult to say, it depends on the thickness of your potato slices, the type of potato, the size of your baking dish… I’d say about 1h, but keep an eye on it and check the potatoes for doneness by stabbing them murderously with a knife from time to time. If the mozzarella starts turning brown and your potatoes are far too uncooked, cover your baking dish with aluminum foil until well cooked and then uncover it to let the mozzarella achieve the perfect crispiness.

potato dauphinoise 3Enjoy!

Parmesan Potato Wedges

parmesan potato wedges

Ara us faré una pregunta existencial, i en funció del que respongueu podreu seguir endavant o us demanarem molt amablement que abandoneu aquesta pàgina.

Pareu atenció! La pregunta és: t’agraden les patates fregides?

Si la resposta és un sí rotund, felicitats! Seguiu llegint, que aquesta recepta és especial per a vosaltres. Si la resposta és que no, o bé sou una aranyeta de google que heu caigut a aquesta pàgina per indexar-la (en aquest cas, endavant! com si fossis a casa teva!), o bé sou un àlien. De fet no, jo crec que fins i tot un àlien respondria que sí. A no ser que fos un àlien fet bàsicament de patata; en aquest cas seria canibalisme, i això sol estar socialment poc acceptat. Així que, si sou àliens de patata com cal, que no voleu ser rebutjats per la vostra societat feculosa i patatil, sisplau deixeu de llegir aquesta pàgina. En tenim d’altres que no feriran els vostres sentiments ni els de la vostra comunitat. Moltes gràcies i disculpeu les molèsties.

La resta, tornarem a la qüestió que ens ocupava: les patates fregides. Hem quedat que a tots els que estem llegint això ens agraden les patates fregides. Tinguin la forma que tinguin, en qualsevol moment del dia, acompanyant qualsevol cosa. Sí, acceptem-ho, fins i tot com a plat únic. Són un valor segur per a sopars amb amics, sessions de cine, partits de futbol, reunions familiars i festes diverses, però, com tot, tenen un inconvenient: els qui n’hagueu fet per algun d’aquests esdeveniments més o menys multitudinaris haureu descobert que pelar, rentar, tallar i fregir patates per a molta gent, si no tens una fregidora industrial i un exèrcit d’ajudants, és un martiri.

Doncs bé, per alliberar-vos d’aquest suplici avui us proposo una manera més original, menys oliosa i, sobretot, mooolt més còmoda d’oferir als vostres convidats unes patates amb glamour.

parmesan potato wedges 2

Parmesan Potato Wedges

Servings: difficult to say. No matter what quantity you make, they’ll always want more! It’s like a magician’s vanishing act: Now there’s a truck load of potato wedges. No there isn’t. Houdini would be proud.

Prep time: about 1 hour

You will need:

  • 6 potatoes
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp parsley leaves, chopped
  • 1 cup Parmesan, grated

Preheat your oven to 230ºC. Wash your potatoes (the skin is staying on, so make sure you scrub them well) and cut them into wedges. Actually, the exact shape makes no difference whatsoever, so go ahead and cut them into any shape you like. Half moons, match sticks, orchids, panda bears, anything will do. Mine ended up looking like this:

parmesan potato wedges prep 1

Now place your cut up potatoes in a bowl and cover them with cold water. Let them stand for 15 min, then strain and dry with paper towels.

Place the salt, garlic powder, paprika, and black pepper into a large ziplock bag. Add potatoes and shake them like it’s 2013. You know the drill; Harlem Shake and all that.

 

Now add the olive oil to the bag and shake it all over again. You want your potatoes to be all nice and coated in spice and olive oil goodness.

 

Line a baking sheet with baking paper, then place the potatoes on it and bake for about 30-35 minutes, until they are all brown and cripsy. Because there really is nothing better than brown and crispy potatoes. Right? Wrong. Just wait for it.

While the potatoes are baking to brown and crispy perfection, place the chopped parsley and Parmesan in a large mixing bowl.

Now the magic begins. Place the potato wedges in the parsley-Parmesan mixing bowl and gently fold them in. You want the Parmesan to coat the potatoes. You know you do.

Serve it with ketchup, barbecue sauce, some homemade-style tomato sauce or whatever you want. Or you can do what I did: ditch sauces, just eat them on their own and let Parmesan be the king of the party!

Enjoy!

parmesan potato wedges 3