Goat cheese, often called “chevre” the French word for none other than “goat” pronounced as “shev,” is creamy white in color and ranges in taste from mild to pungent.
Goat cheese is sold fresh, aged, seasoned with herbs, and even marinated in red wine or olive oil and has a variety of textures. This cheese may be creamy, crumbly, or semi firm making it one of the most versatile and flavorful types of cheese available.
You can make a simple but savory dip with six ounces cheese, a cup of sour cream, three green onions chopped, two cloves of garlic chopped, a tablespoon each of fresh parsley and basil, and a few dashes of ground black pepper and sea salt to taste. Mix all of the ingredients well in a blender or food processor and refrigerate overnight or at least for a few hours to allow the flavors to blend together.
Stuff roasted peppers, chicken, or pork tenderloins with goat cheese seasoned with your favorite herbs and spices and you have a gourmet dinner. Sprinkle the crumbled type on top of steamed vegetables or use in omelets to add flavor and interest. Alternatively, top a pizza with the creamy kind, chopped tomatoes, and basil for a simple but scrumptious meal.
Goat cheese also pairs well with fresh fruit and walnuts served with a drizzling of honey. For an incredibly quick appetizer, roll fresh goat cheese in breadcrumbs or finely chopped nuts and bake in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for about 10 minutes until golden and crisp. Goat cheese can even be spread on bagels instead of cream cheese for a different yet delicious taste and considerably less calories, cholesterol, and fat.
To store your goat cheese, keep in mind that exposure to air will cause it to dry out. The cheese should be kept tightly wrapped in wax paper or plastic and then placed in a zip-type bag squeezing all the air out before sealing. Keep the cheese in the refrigerator, preferably in the cheese drawer, if you have one, at a temperature of 40 degrees.
Gourmet Fig and Goat Cheese Recipe
What You Need
- 1 medium sweet onion, sliced
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pound prepared pizza dough, at room temperature
- Flour as needed
- Cornmeal as needed
- Extra virgin olive oil as needed
- 6 ounces goat cheese, shredded
- 6 fresh figs, halved
- 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
Saute the sliced onions in the tablespoon of olive oil until they turn a caramel brown color. Set aside and allow them to cool.
While the onions are cooling, roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to about a 1 inch thickness in either a circular or square shape.
Dust a large pizza pan with cornmeal and place the dough on top. Spread a thin coating of olive oil on the dough.
Sprinkle the goat cheese on the dough followed by the halved figs, place them cut-side up, then the mozzarella and the rosemary.
Bake the gourmet fig and goat cheese pizza for 15 to 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
With just a few simple ingredients you can make a delicious and filling pizza for lunch, dinner, or for feeding a crowd. Chicago pizza and its distinctive types with the deep dish variety being the most popular is a favorite of many and you can easily replicate the style at home.
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