Green Lasagne

Perfect for St. Patrick’s Day!

Serves 6.

3 T salt
3/4 lb. fresh spinach pasta, uncut, 3 sheets
2 10-oz.pkgs. frozen chopped spinach
1 Cup ricotta
1/2 Cup parmesan
black pepper
1/2 Cup basil pureé (made by pureeing 8 C basil and 1/4 C olive oil)
11 oz. chevre (soft mild goat cheese)
3 T heavy cream
1-1/2 Cups Bechemel sauce

Cook pasta–undercook–soak in cold water.
Cook spinach–drain well.
Mix ricotta and 2 T. parmesan, salt & pepper.
Mix basil, 3/4 chevre, and cream.
Drain spinach, squeeze out liquid, mix with ricotta.
Drain pasta.
Preheat oven to 375 degree F oven.
Layer: Bechemel, pasta, spinach/ricotta, pasta, Bechemel, basil/chevre, pasta, Bechemel, chevre (plain), parmesan.
Bake 10-15 minutes til bubbling and browned.

From the Silver Palate Cookbook.

Baked Goat Cheese with Spicy Tomato Sauce

1/2 T olive oil
1-1/2 cups chopped onion
pinch sugar
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small serrano chili pepper, seeded and minced
1 pound vine or plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped, or 1-1/2 cups canned tomatoes, drained
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
2 T dry white wine (optional)
1 T minced fresh parsley
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
8 ounces Appleton Creamery goat cheese

In large skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Add onion and sugar; cook, stirring often, until onion begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, and serrano chili. Cook, stirring often, until mixture is medium brown in color, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, orange juice and wine. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add small amounts of water if mixture becomes too dry. For a chunkier sauce, cook less. Remove from heat, stir in parsley and season with salt and pepper.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Form goat cheese into 8 medallions and put in small, shallow baking dish and surround with tomato sauce (do not cover the cheese with sauce).

Bake, uncovered, until sauce begins to bubble at edges and cheese is hot, about 20 minutes.

Serve warm with toasted baguette rounds. Makes 16 servings.

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