Bittersweet Chocolate & Chevre Truffles

serves 4-6

6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
6 oz. fresh unsalted chevre (try it with Appleton Creamery orange chevre!)
2 tbls. confectioner’s sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/8 tsp. lemon extract
cocoa powder
ancho chile powder
cinnamon

In a stainless bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, melt the chocolate, stirring til smooth. Remove the bowl from the pan and let the chocolate cool slightly. In a bowl, whisk together chevre, sugar, vanilla and lemon extract until light and fluffy. Whisk in the chocolate until the mixture is combined well. Chill the mixture covered with wax paper for 1 hour, or until it is firm.

Roll heaping teaspoons of the mixture into balls. Divide into 3 bowls. Roll one bowl of truffles in cocoa powder, one in pure ancho chile powder and one in cinnamon. Chill the truffles on a baking sheet lined with waxed paper for 30 minutes, or until they are firm. The truffles keep in an airtight container, chilled for 3 days.

Makes about 24 truffles.

Lemon-Muscatel Sauce for Truffles

24 oz muscatel or orange muscat wine
3 tbls sugar
1 cup lemon juice

Reduce to 1 cup in a non-reactive pot. Thicken with a touch of arrowroot or cornstarch if desired. Add 1 tsp fresh lemon zest strips.

Garnish

peeled & seeded orange sections
roasted filberts
marjoram leaves

Coat a 9-inch plate with the lemon sauce.
Set one each of the three truffles on each plate. Alternate with orange sections. Coat one roasted filbert in the lemon sauce and place in the center of the plate. Sprinkle a few marjoram or lemon thyme leaves onto the sauce.

Shrimp with Two Cheeses

1 lg can whole Italian tomatoes
1/4 C olive oil (use the oil from the chevre)
1 tsp each oregano and basil (fresh is better)
2 T capers
butter
1 lb. shrimp (shelled)
1 tsp finely chopped garlic
1 pinch red pepper flakes
salt and pepper
3 oz. Appleton Creamery feta (—> or all one kind of cheese)
3 oz. Appleton Creamery chevre in olive oil

Cook tomatoes until reduced somewhat. In another pan, heat olive oil, add garlic and cook for a moment, stir in tomatoes, herbs, pepper, capers, salt and pepper to taste. Heat butter in a heavy skillet and add shrimp. Cook very briefly, until they turn pink. Spoon sauce into a baking dish, arrange shrimp on top, crumble cheese and scatter over all. Bake in 350-degree oven for 15 minutes, or until bubbling hot. Serve with rice or noodles and a green salad.

Serves 2

Sweet Potato Puree with Goat Cheese & Truffle Oil

Goat cheese and truffle oil add rich flavors to the humble sweet potato.

2 1/2 pounds red-skinned sweet potatoes (yams), peeled, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
4 ounces soft fresh goat cheese (such as Montrachet), crumbled
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
1 teaspoon white truffle oil*

Cook sweet potatoes in large saucepan of boiling salted water until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain. Transfer sweet potatoes to processor. Add cheese and process just until mixture is smooth. Add butter and truffle oil.

Process just until blended. Season puree with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.) Stir puree in large saucepan over medium heat until heated through. Transfer puree to bowl and serve.

*Available at Italian markets, specialty foods stores and some supermarkets nationwide.

6 servings

Bon Appetit

Pasta with Goat Cheese & Asparagus

1 pound asparagus
2 tablespoons chives, chopped
1 pound fettuccine
5 ounces plain goat cheese
2 tablespoons butter
salt & pepper to taste

Scrape and trim the asparagus. Slice into 1/4 inch lengths. In a kettle bring 3 quarts of water to a boil. Add the fettuccine, boiling vigorously for 9 to 12 minutes. Drain the pasta.

Melt the butter in the kettle and add the asparagus. Saute for about 1 minute and add the fettuccine, goat cheese, chives, salt & pepper. Pour in the reserved water. Toss well and serve.

Lobster Risotto

This recipe is brought to you by Mo’s Passion ©
The surprise in this dish is the pockets of warm chevre you will surely love!

5 cups chicken stock
3 tablespoons butter (unsalted)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 medium sweet onion minced
1-1/2 cups arborio rice
3 whole lobster, cooked and picked
5 oz. Appleton Creamery classic plain chevre
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1 teaspoon fresh basil
salt and pepper to taste

In a large saucepan, heat stock and keep it at a low simmer. In a heavy bottomed saucepan, combine the butter, oil and onions and saute till the onions are translucent. Add the arborio rice and stir making sure each grain is coated in the butter/oil mixture. When the rice becomes shiny, add a ladle full of stock. Cook, stirring constantly, till the rice has absorbed most of the stock, 1-2 minutes. Add another ladle full of stock and stir until rice has absorbed the liquid; repeat this process untill the rice is tender, about 17-20 minutes. The rice should be tasted at regular intervals to insure it is cooked properly! Remove the saucepan from heat once the rice is cooked and gently fold in the lobster, cheese and herbs. You will want the cheese to be in the dish in chunks. Salt and pepper to taste and let the rice sit for 2-3 minutes so the cheese melts. Serve in shallow bowls.

Copyright 1999 Mo’s Passion

Parsnip Flan with Steamed Lobster ©

Steam 2 1- to 1-1/4 # lobsters for 15 minutes and chill to touch. Pick out meat and keep tail and claws in tact. Slice tail into medallions.
Warm Parsnip Flan

3 large parsnips
3 large eggs
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
5 oz. Appleton Creamery Herb and Garlic chevre

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Peel and cut the parsnips into 1″ pieces. Place into a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and cook until tender (when pierced with a fork) 5-10 minutes. Drain and pat dry. Place in the work bowl of a food processor and puree. Add eggs one at a time. Add heavy cream, S.& P. and process just to incorporate. Add chevre. Butter 6 large ramekins and fill them with the mixture. Place ramekins in a water bath and bake 35-40 minutes, until slightly puffed and an inserted knife comes out clean. Let rest 5 to 10 minutes, then turn out onto a bed of mixed baby greens.

Sprinkle with a good balsamic vinegar and arrange lobster pieces around flan on top of greens.

©2001 Mo’s Passion Inc.

Goat Cheese Cake with Poached Sour Cherries

For the cake:

2 pints (4 C) sour cherries, pitted
2 T flour
9 oz. goat cheese
1/2 C plus 1 T superfine sugar
1/4 C cornstarch
pinch of salt
1/2 vanilla bean or 1/2 t vanilla extract
5 large egg yolks
5 large egg whites
for the poached sour cherries:
1/2 C sugar
1 C sweet riesling
1 3-inch cinnamon stick
3 star anise
1 pint (2 C) sour cherries, pitted

1. To prepare cake: heat oven to 350 degrees, with racks positioned halfway and two-thirds down. Place a kettle of water over high heat to bring to a boil. Spray oil in 24 4-oz metal cups, 2 12-cup mufin pans or a 9-inch springform pan,and set aside. In a mixing bowl, toss cherries with flour. Divide cherries among cups or scatter in springform pan. Set aside.

2. Using an electric mixer, beat together goat cheese, 1/2 C sugar, cornstarch and salt. Add pulp of vanilla bean or vanilla extract. Add egg yolks one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk egg whites to soft peaks.Add remaining T sugar, and continue to whisk until stiff but not dry. Mix about 1/2 C egg whites into cheese mixture to lighten it, then gently fold in remaining whites. Spoon batter into cups or pan, filling cups about 3/4 full.

4. Place cups or springform pan, its bottom made watertight with foil, in a baking pan. (Muffin pans will need two baking pans.) Carefully pour boiling water to halfway up sides of cups or springform pan. Cover water-filled baking pans tightly with aluminum foil. Place in oven. If using two pans, place one on middle rack and the other on rack below, switching and reversing pans halfway during cooking to ensure even baking. Bake until cake is puffed and firm to touch, about 20 minutes for individual cakes, about 30 minutes for a single cake. Remove pans from water bath, and allow to cool, then refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour.

5. While cake cools, prepare poached sour cherries: In a medium saucepan, combine sugar and 1/2 C water. Place over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Add riesling, cinnamon, star anise and cherries. bring to a boil, then use a slotted spoon to transfer cherries to a bowl. Allow to cool. Continue to boil liquid until it is reduced by half. Remove syrup from heat, and allow to cool.

6. To serve, drizzle cherry syrup on each plate, and place cake on top. Top cake with poached cherries, and serve.

Yield: 24 small cakes or 1 9-inch cake.

Goat Cheese Souffle with Thyme

butter, plus 2 T parmesan
1-1/4 C milk or cream
bay leaf, thyme springs, 2 thin onion slices
3 T butter
3 T flour
salt & pepper
cayenne
4 eggs yolks
1 C goat cheese
6 egg whites

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter a 6-C souffle dish or an 8-C gratin dish and coat with parmesan. Heat milk with herbs until it boils. Set aside to steep, then drain.
Melt butter in sauce pan. Stir in flour, whisk in milk all at once and stir vigorously for 1 minute as it thickens then add 3/4 tsp salt, pepper, cayenne. Remove from heat. Beat in egg yolks one at a time until well blended then stir in the goat cheese. Don’t worry about smootthness.
Beat egg whites with a pinch of salt until it forms firm peaks, then stir 1/4 into base to lighten mixture. Then fold in the rest, transfer to prepared dish, put in center of oven and lower heat to 375. Bake 30 minutes until golden and just a bit wobbly in the center. Remove. Scatter thyme over the top and serve.