Posts Tagged ‘goat cheese’
I finally got my hands on a purple sweet potato!!! One day at lunch I noticed that Qing was eating something that had a beautiful purple color and I immediately knew what it was. You see, months earlier I had been searching for purple sweet potatoes after finding out they existed at all. Unfortunately my search produced no results. That was until Qing informed me that her friend grows them in his backyard! The very next day she came in and handed me the biggest sweet potato I have ever laid my eyes on. In other words, I am going to be making more than one recipe out of that baby.
This purple beauty came into my life at the perfect time too, because I recently discovered that November is “Better Nutrition Month”. Orange fleshed sweet potatoes are praised for being one of the best sources for beta-carotene (the precursor to Vitamin A). But what about purple sweet potatoes? Their purple color is caused by anthocyanins which have important antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. But no matter the color, sweet potatoes contribute greatly towards your daily intake of Vitamin A and antioxidants. Totally nutritious and delicious! Now let’s make some gnocchi out of it, because it’s my favorite thing to make out of potatoes.
Obviously, I do not expect you to find your own personal purple sweet potato grower but you can most definitely make these gnocchi with a regular sweet potato. I am not aware of any taste difference, but my color preference is most definitely biased. However, when trying to decide what kind of sauce to make with these gnocchi I was perplexed. At first I thought of a pancetta butter sauce, but felt like that was just an easy way out after the butter sauce I served with another sweet potato gnocchi recipe I posted. But then I though of the guiltless alfredo that I love so much and decided to change it up a bit with goat cheese instead of using cream cheese. Now I want to smother everything in this goat cheese alfredo sauce. It’s so stinking good! And not overpowering, for those of you that might not enjoy a strong goat cheese flavor.
PURPLE SWEET POTATO GNOCCHI WITH GUILTLESS GOAT CHEESE ALFREDO
Serves 4, with some extra sauce
1 lb purple sweet potatoes (about 2 cups cooked and mashed)
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1/4 tsp nutmeg
3/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
3/4 cup flour
2 cups 2% milk
3 oz goat cheese
2 Tbsp flour
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp light butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish
- For the Gnocchi: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Pierce the sweet potatoes with a fork. Bake the sweet potatoes until tender and fully cooked, between 40 to 55 minutes depending on size. Cool slightly.
- Cut in half and scoop the flesh into a large bowl. Mash the sweet potatoes and transfer to a large measuring cup to make sure the sweet potatoes measure about 2 cups.
- Transfer the mashed sweet potatoes back to the large bowl. Add the egg, salt, nutmed, and pepper and blend until well mixed. Add the flour, 1/4 cup at a time until a soft dough forms. Lightly flour a work surface and place the dough in a ball on the work surface. Divide the dough into 6 equal balls. Roll out each ball into a 1/2-inch wide rope. Cut each rope into 1-inch pieces.
- If desired, roll the gnocchi over the tines of a fork using your thumb. Transfer the formed gnocchi to a large baking sheet lightly sprinkled with flour. Continue with the remaining gnocchi.*
- For the Alfredo: In a food processor or blender, combine milk, cream cheese, flour, and salt. Process until smooth and set aside.
- In a medium-large sauce pan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add garlic and saute for about 30 seconds.
- Add the milk mixture to the pan. Stir constantly for about 3-4 minutes until the sauce begins to simmer. Keep stirring and let it cook for a few minutes more. It should become thicker.
- Remove from heat. Stir in Parmesan until melted and cover the pan immediately.
- Let stand for at least 10 minutes prior to using. It will continue to thicken to desired consistency.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the gnocchi in 3 batches and cook until tender but still firm to the bite; they will float when they are done. Drain the gnocchi using a slotted spoon and sprinkle with olive oil to prevent sticking.
- Serve (I served it with pecan crusted chicken).
*If you would like to save some of the gnocchi for later, after forming the gnocchi, freeze on a cookie sheet in a single layer then transfer to a sealed freezer bag. When you want to cook them, proceed with directions, although they may take a tiny bit longer to cook.
Source: Gnocchi adapted from Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Sage Browned Butter Sauce. Alfredo adapted from Guiltless Fettuccine Alfredo.
Ever since I first discovered the deliciousness that is gnocchi, I was under the impression that they were all created from potato. But recently I discovered they can also be created with ricotta – which sounds like it would be richer and more flavorful. Especially more so if using goat-milk ricotta! So I busted out my gnocchi board for the first time and got to work.
I haven’t made gnocchi in years, but remember the first time I ever made them – it was in my high school Italian class and I thought they were the most precious things ever. We didn’t do anything fancy to make them ridged, just cut them up into little pieces and boiled them, but their freshness was nothing like I had ever tasted before.
This time around I added the ridges, but unfortunately they were not very pronounced as I had hoped for visually. They still did their job holding onto the sauce, but I was expecting deeper, bigger ridges like you see on those you buy in the store. I am not sure why I expected that since I knew how small the ridges were on my gnocchi board. Sometimes my brain doesn’t make sense.
The original recipe said it served six. I do not see how that could’ve been possible without being served alongside some other dish. I barely got three servings out of this, and honestly it took a lot of will power not to make it a two-serving recipe. I could’ve eaten the entire pan in one sitting, it was that freaking amazing. Guess who will never be found buying pre-made shrink-wrapped gnocchi from the grocery store again?
And homemade gnocchi is pretty quick to make, especially compared to other homemade pastas which require the pasta rolling devices. You just roll these up into long logs, slice them up, roll on a gnocchi board (or the back of a fork or cheese grater), let sit in the fridge for a few minutes, then boil in water until they float. Add preferred sauce.
In this scenario I went for a butter sauce complimented by California walnuts and fresh thyme. Don’t forget a nice sprinkle of Parmesan before serving!
GOAT CHEESE RICOTTA GNOCCHI WITH WALNUT THYME BUTTER SAUCE
1/2 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 cup 100% whole wheat flour
12 oz. goat-milk ricotta (1 cup soft fresh goat cheese mixed with 3/4 cup cow’s milk ricotta)
6 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/3 cup chopped California walnuts
1 Tbsp chopped thyme, plus more for garnish
Salt & pepper
- Mix together the flour and ricotta (or ricotta and goat cheese), and knead until a nice soft dough forms. Cut the dough into 4 even pieces. Roll each piece out into a 1/2-inch-thick rope and cut each rope, with a pastry cutter or knife, into 3/4-inch pieces. With your thumb, roll each piece of cut dough against the back of a handheld cheese grater, the back of a fork, or on a gnocchi board. Place the gnocchi on trays dusted lightly with flour and place in the refrigerator.
- Bring 6 quarts salted water to a boil. Drop the gnocchi into the boiling water and cook until they rise to the surface, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove with a spider or slotted spoon. Reserve 1/4 cup of pasta water.
- Meanwhile, melt the butter in a 12-inch sauté pan. Once it begins to foam, add the walnuts and thyme. Sauté a few minutes, until the butter begins to brown and the walnuts are lightly toasted, 2 to 3 minutes. Whisk in the reserved pasta water and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Toss the gnocchi in the butter sauce, sprinkle with some fresh thyme, Parmesan, and serve.
Source: Adapted slightly from Fine Cooking.
Steph’s Virtual Bridal Shower: Stuffed Flank Steak with Potato Cakes and Amaretto Chocolate Cheesecake
Kita, from Pass the Sushi, contacted me about contributing to Steph’s (from Steph’s Bite by Bite) surprise virtual bridal shower and I definitely knew I wanted to be a part of it. Even though some of us (myself included) are already donating desserts to her dessert bar for the big wedding day, this was a fun idea to do in addition since it is after all, a surprise! Who doesn’t love surprises?
Another thing that I really liked about this idea, is that even though I am very aware that Steph is fully capable of pleasing her soon-to-be-hubby’s belly, she will now have a big new list of great date-night meal ideas to play with. I don’t know if that was the original intention behind this masterful plan, but I think it makes sense.
I decided to go all the way and do a full meal. Naturally, I created a huge mess in my kitchen making everything for this, but I drank a glass of wine in the process so it make it not seem so bad. And had another glass after cleaning up after myself. And then maybe I invited Katie over and we finished the whole bottle while watching Project Runway and being amused by my cat playing with a rubber band. Maybe… yes. Yes, I am getting sidetracked.
I prepped the potato cakes first, then let them sit for a few minutes while I prepared the flank steak. Once the steak was in the oven, I cooked up the potato cakes. The timing was just perfect and I can’t believe how well it all went together. The juicy flavorful steak was served curled up on top of the crunchy potato cakes that were super moist and heavenly. It is a fancified (I may have just made that word up) meat and taters!
As for the cheesecake, it was the logical choice for the end of this meal. With the Italian-ish feel of the steak, having a dessert with Amaretto and mascarpone just seemed right. And it is made one day in advance so the kitchen mess gets spread out between two days. But the dessert really doesn’t make much of a mess. Except maybe a mess of your diet, because I decided it needed a drizzle of Nutella on top while I was at it. Go ahead and try to tell me I was wrong.
Happy surprise virtual bridal shower, Steph!
FLANK STEAK STUFFED WITH SUNDRIED TOMATOES, GOAT CHEESE AND BASIL
10 oz. (ish) flank steak
2 oz. goat cheese, brought to room temperature to soften
1/4 cup sundried tomatoes, drained and chopped
3 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped
Salt and pepper
1 Tbsp olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Butterfly the flank steak, and then pound is to flatten it slightly. Sprinkle both sides of the steak with salt and pepper.
- In a bowl, combine the softened goat cheese, sundried tomatoes, basil, a few grinds of pepper. Spread the mixture on top of the flank steak, and then roll it up to form a log. Secure the steak with kitchen twine or toothpicks.
- Heat a large, ovenproof skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the flank steak and brown it on all sides. Place the flank steak in the oven to finish cooking to your desired level of doneness (about 1o minutes for me). Place the steak under a foil tent to rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing.
SPINACH POTATO CAKES
Makes one dozen
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 cup packed fresh spinach, stems removed
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 large Idaho potato, boiled and mashed
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/4 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup dried bread crumbs
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup canola oil
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the butter, melt, then add the spinach and cook, stirring, until wilted. Transfer to a cutting board and let cool. Squeeze the spinach dry and finely chop; place in a large bowl. Add the egg and stir until well combined. Add the mashed potatoes, Parmesan, and lemon zest, and season with more salt and pepper; stir until well combined. Stir in the bread crumbs and flour until the mixture holds together. Pat into 2-inch by 1/2-inch-thick cakes.
- Pour Panko bread crumb into a shallow bowl. Coat each potato cake and press down slightly to adhere. Gently shake off any excess and transfer to a plate.
- Heat the canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the cakes and cook until lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes per side.
AMARETTO CHOCOLATE MASCARPONE CHEESECAKE BARS
Makes 9 bars
1 stick unsalted butter, cold and cut into pieces
1 cup + 2 Tbsp flour, divided
1/4 cup powdered sugar
8 oz. reduced fat cream cheese, at room temperature
8 oz. mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
3 Tbsp Amaretto
3 large eggs, room temperature
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/3 cup chocolate chips (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8″ x 8″ square pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang, and set aside.
- Cut the butter into 1 cup of the flour and powdered sugar until crumbly. Press evenly into the prepared pan. Bake for 15 minutes or until light brown.
- Meanwhile, beat cream cheese in large bowl until smooth. Add mascarpone and 2 Tbsp flour; beat until smooth, occasionally scraping down sides of bowl with rubber spatula.
- Gradually add sugar and beat until smooth. Beat in Amaretto. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.
- Divide the batter in half. Add cocoa powder to one of the batters and mix until fully incorporated.
- Pour chocolate filling into pie shell. Carefully spoon plain Amaretto batter on top. Scatter chocolate chips if using.
- Bake cheesecake until top is golden and cake is almost set (center 2 inches will still move slightly when pan is gently shaken), about 40-50 minutes. Cool cake on rack 1 hour before refrigerating uncovered overnight. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and keep refrigerated.)
- Before serving, lift out of the pan using the overhanging parchment paper before cutingt into 9 squares. Drizzle melted Nutella over the top is desired.
I know it says Breakfast, but I totally ate this for dinner last night. I lacked the patience to wait until the morning to make it because it just looked so good! After all, I have been saying that I need to cook more Breakfast-y things to share with you all, but no one ever said that it had to be eaten at a Breakfast hour.
The goat cheese adds a little tang making to jazz up these quesadillas, but not too much to overpower the rest of the ingredients. The hardest part was flipping the quesadilla over (some of the filling fell out but it recovered), and the recipe is easily doubled for a larger number of hungry bellies.
Writing this post makes me wish I had it again for Breakfast this morning – why did I only eat cereal? Guess I still need to work on cooking things for the Breakfast hour.
Makes 2 quesadillas
4 large flour tortillas (I used whole wheat)
4 eggs, lightly beaten with a pinch of salt
1 cup raw baby spinach
2 chicken, pork or soy sausage patties, cooked and roughly chopped
1 Tbsp butter, divided
1/4 cup goat cheese crumbles
1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
Hot sauce to taste
- Scramble the eggs in a small skillet with half of the butter. Once scrambled, scoop eggs into a small bowl and set aside.
- Heat up a large skillet and drop the rest of the butter in. Lay a tortilla flat down then sprinkle with half of the eggs, sausage bits, goat cheese, spinach, mozzarella cheese and a drizzle of hot sauce. Lay other tortilla on top and press down. Cook quesadillas until golden brown on both sides. Repeat with remaining ingredients.
- Slice into quarters and serve.
Source: Eat, Live, Run
I give to you the grand finale of basil week – cheesecake with goat cheese and peaches roasted in basil itself! After covering the three main meals of the day, I knew I had to figure out something with basil for dessert. But basil doesn’t strike me as something I would really want in a dessert. So here is how this recipe came to be:
I wonder if there is anything dessert-like with basil saved in my recipe folder – search for “basil”.
Hmm Annie’s Eats has a strawberry bruschetta that looks amazing. Goat cheese, basil and strawberries? I think I can work with that. What about a cheesecake with goat cheese? Then the strawberries and basil on top? Hmm, let’s search for goat cheese recipes.
Ooo this recipe from Whole Foods has roasted pears on top with rosemary to go with the goat cheese cheesecake. Maybe I could swap the rosemary for basil? Does basil go with pears? Or maybe peaches? Yea peaches are stupid amazingly good right now, I can totally do that. But where on earth will I ever find peach juice? Let’s improvise…
From there I followed the recipe from Whole Foods pretty close for the cheesecake itself (I made minis instead of a big full cake), then using the recipe as inspiration I did my own thing for the roasted peaches and sauce. And you know what? It rocks. The slight tang from the goat cheese works beautifully with the sweetness of the peaches. And the basil, although not the main focus, adds that little bit of extra.
GOAT CHEESE CHEESECAKE WITH BASIL ROASTED PEACHES
Makes 24 mini cheesecakes
GRAHAM CRACKER CRUST
1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 Tbsp sugar
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
2 (8- oz) packages reduced fat cream cheese, cut into pieces
3 (4-oz packages fresh goat cheese, crumbled
2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1-1/4 cups sugar
2 ripe but firm peaches
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp grade A dark amber maple syrup, divided
3 Tbsp agave syrup, divided
2 basil leaves, plus more for garnish (optional)
1 Tbsp water
- For the crust, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place crumbs in a medium-sized mixing bowl and pour in butter. Stir until crumbs are thoroughly moistened.
- Press crumb mixture into the bottoms of 1-12 lined cupcake pans. Place pan on a baking sheet and bake until crust is golden brown and firm, about 6-8 minutes.
- For the cheesecake, reduce oven heat to 325 degrees. Place cream cheese, goat cheese, lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. With an electric hand mixer, beat until just smooth, scraping down sides of the bowl as needed. In two or three additions, beat in sugar until mixture is creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating and scraping down sides of the bowl after each addition. Continue to beat until mixture is very smooth.
- Pour batter into prepared crusts. Bake until edges of cheesecake look set and the center is still soft and slightly jiggly, 20 to 25 minutes. Place pan on a rack to cool completely in the pan. Then cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.
- Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees. For the roasted peaches, halve them and remove pits. Put butter, lemon juice, a tablespoon of maple syrup and 2 tablespoons agave in a medium baking dish. Bake for a minute or two, just until butter melts. Swirl to mix ingredients, then place peaches, cut side down, in dish along with basil leaves. Bake for 15 minutes, basting with cooking liquid, until tender. Transfer peaches to a plate to cool. Cut each half into 6 slices (24 total).
- Place remaining agave and maple syrup in a small bowl with water. Strain juices from baking dish into bowl and stir to combine.
- When cheesecake has thoroughly chilled, remove from pan. Stir cooled sauce and drizzle sauce on the top with a peach slice and a basil leaf.
Source: Adapted from Whole Foods
As I mentioned yesterday, I have a decent amount of basil needing a purpose. To begin my basil quest, I searched through my recipe folder and the most recently saved was this dish by Jenna from Eat, Live, Run. Good enough for me!
This is such a quick and satisfying recipe. Who knew just a few ingredients and a couple of steps could put something like this on your plate? The gnocchi cooks so fast, and then all you do is mix in the rest of the ingredients and poof! Instant happy belly. Definitely a basil success.
1 package pre-made gnocchi
5 oz goat cheese
1/2 cup cooking water leftover from boiling gnocchi
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup torn basil leaves
- Cook gnocchi in boiling salted water for a couple minutes until all the gnocchi float. Drain and save 1/2 cup water.
- Transfer the hot gnocchi to a large bowl, add goat cheese, cooking water, cherry tomatoes and basil. Mix well so cheese melts.
- Season with a little black pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
Source: Eat, Live Run
I am still hung up on how delicious basil-goat cheese stuff pizza crust is. So much so that I decided to take that same stuffing and put it inside of a burger. And then what goes better with basil than tomato? Enter this fantastic creation, if I may say so myself . It’s the same idea as a chicken Parmesan burger, but with some flair. Or maybe it’s like that stuffed crust pizza, but in burger form. It doesn’t matter what it’s like because it’s delicious all on it’s own.
(One of these days I’ll make my own burger buns to go along with such fabulous creations. For now I try to snag the next-day bakery items for $0.99.)
Would you like zucchini fries with that? Check back tomorrow!
8 oz goat cheese
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1 lb ground chicken breasts
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup plain bread crumbs
2 Tbsp tomato paste
2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt and pepper
4 slices fresh Mozzarella
Balsamic vinegar, for garnish (optional)
4 buns, toasted
- Blend together the goat cheese and basil in a small bowl, set aside.
- In a medium bowl, lightly mix together the chicken, Parmesan, bread crumbs, tomato paste, Italian seasoning, minced garlic, and salt and pepper. Let sit for 30-40 minutes then form into 4 rounds.
- In the palm of your hand, make a hole in the middle of one round of meat, stuff with goat cheese mixture and pinch closed before flattening into a patty. Repeat for remaining rounds of meat.
- Preheat a George Foreman grill (or outdoor grill, lightly greased). Grill the burgers for about 4 minutes, rotate then cook for another 3 minutes or until the juices run clear. Top each chicken burger with a slice of Mozzarella and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar is desired. Place on toasted buns with some lettuce.
Source: The Spiffy Cookie original
Let the bidding begin!!
Now for something new!
I was so excited when Ryan from POM Wonderful contacted me about sending a case of their 100% pomegranate juice. I had never actually had anything with pomegranate that I can recall, so once it arrived and chilled in the refrigerator I cracked open a bottle and took a sip. (You have to know what something tastes like before you can make anything with it after all.) This may not be news to anyone, but it’s so good!! Immediately ideas starting forming in my head of what to make with the juice. Unexpectedly, the first thing that I came up with is this pomegranate-goat cheese ball – perfectly paired with the homemade wheat thins!
I actually made a syrup from the pomegranate juice first, in order to get the right consistency once added to the goat cheese. Using the juice straight out of the bottle would’ve created more of a dip, which would’ve been tasty too I am sure. But I envisioned it rolled up in sliced almonds. And that vision turned into a tasty spread fit for any of your favorite crackers. I think it may be good on veggies too, but I somehow didn’t have any around to try it out myself.
But my story of this pomegranate creation isn’t over. After I snacked on this for a little while yesterday, I went to the gym for a quick 30 min jog. While stretching afterwards, I noticed a rash on my legs. Upon further examination, the splotches spread all the way up my legs to my hips. Now, I have no known food allergies of any kind but here I am the next day, and the rash is not going away. (Actually it is getting worse – it’s now on the top of my feet, going up my back a little, and intensified on my knees.) I really hope I am not allergic to pomegranate. I just discovered it’s tastiness! But it is the only new thing that mingled with my daily adventures yesterday. Although I did take that sip of it the day before and it did nothing to me, and I find it strange that a food allergy would react on my legs and not my throat/stomach. I may conduct an experiment on myself by drinking more POM once this rash goes away, to see if it returns.
8 oz goat cheese, softened
1 Tbsp pomegranate molasses/syrup
Honey, to taste
1/4 cup sliced almonds
- In a small bowl, blend the goat cheese and pomegranate syrup together. Add honey to taste (I used two drops).Place in refrigerator until firm.
- On a flat surface place a piece of plastic wrap. Spread out the sliced almonds in a single layer.
- Once firm, form the goat cheese into a log (or you could do a ball). Roll in the almonds until covered and gently press to ensure they stick. Wrap in the plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve. Enjoy with your favorite crackers.
1 cup POM 100% pomegranate juice
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp lemon juice
- In a small, uncovered saucepan, heat pomegranate juice, sugar, and lemon juice on medium high until the sugar has dissolved and the juice simmers. Reduce heat just enough to maintain a simmer. Simmer for until the juice has a syrupy consistency, and has reduced to 1/4-1/2 cup.
- Pour out into a jar. Let cool. Store chilled in the refrigerator.
Source: Pomegranate-Goat Cheese Ball is a Spiffy Cookie original. Pomegranate Syrup/Molasses adapted slightly from Simply Recipes.
Quick non-food discussion. The sales going on right now are killing me. I’m trying to be good and not shop for things I don’t really need or have the money for, but my physical and internet mailbox are full of coupons and sale information. Must trash/delete before viewing, but sometimes I just have to look. What if that one thing I’ve wanted for months finally went on sale? Right?? Then again, with how packed my schedule has been this month I don’t think I’d have time to shop anyway… but there’s the internet. I need to lock away my debit & credit cards.
On to this pizza! The crust = amazing. So much so that it may become the “normal” crust for any pizza I make. I tried it with both the creamier and crumblier types of goat cheese and I’m definitely all for the creamier version. When I first bit into the crust, it reminded me of the goat cheese gnocchi dish. Did I say this crust was amazing yet? ‘Cause it is.
For my first round with this crust, I went with an expected pairing: tomatoes and mozzarella. But I threw in some extras with pesto (to compliment the basil in the crust) and some bacon! Being a meatatarian I had to have some sort of meat on my pizza O:-). It’s going to be difficult to convince myself to try other toppings with this crust though, because I think I nailed it on this one already!
5 oz goat cheese
1/3 cup freshly chopped basil
1/4 cup prepared pesto
8 oz fresh Mozzarella, sliced
1 Roma tomato, sliced
4 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
Fresh Parmesan Cheese
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees with the pizza stone on the middle rack; let preheat for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, roll out the dough and place on a corn-meal dusted pizza peel.
- In a small bowl, combine goat cheese and basil until mixed. Along the outer edge place goat cheese around the entire rim. Fold dough over top and press down to seal the top to the bottom.
- Smear the pesto over the pizza dough. Cover the pizza thoroughly with mozzarella. Next, lay thin slices of Roma tomatoes over the mozzarella, followed by the crumbled bacon. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the pizza.
- Shimmy onto the pizza stone and allow to cook for 20-25 minutes (or according to your dough recipe’s directions), or until golden and bubbly.
Gnocchi is one of my all-time favorite pastas. And although it is supposed to be heavy and filling I still manage to eat well more than a single serving (which if you have seen me eat before, is not really all that surprising). I suppose my stomach is extra muscular in order to manage the potato weight. Or you could be like many of my friends and claim I have a tapeworm. Whatever the reason, it is irresistible. Especially once you have some freshly made – the vacuum packed unrefrigerated kind just doesn’t compare. Unfortunately I don’t get around to making it myself on a regular basis, but if you’re lucky it can be found at your local Italian grocery. Valenza Pasta in Memphis, TN is my go-to place for gnocchi, as well as for other Italian items. They make all of their pasta on-site and is then flash-frozen to retain freshness. Also, there are a few pre-cooked frozen meals which I have yet to try but have heard many great things.
This recipe I found while browsing the Target website and noticed that Giada de Laurentiis has her own cookware. It was a sample recipe for one of her baking dishes, originally titled Baked Gnocchi. However, I did not feel like the title gave full credit to this dish. Since I changed it up slightly I decided to rename it to at least include the other significant players. Usually I serve this dish with chicken, but last night was the Lab-Holiday dinner and there was plenty of food to go around as to not worry about adding extra protein to my dish. I did double the recipe to make sure there was enough, but what I have posted here is the regular-sized version.
I also must add that before I cooked this dish I was never too keen on goat cheese. That all changed after one bite.
1-17 oz package potato gnocchi
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 Tbsp flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp nutmeg
3 oz fresh baby spinach
4 oz goat cheese with garlic and herbs
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Cook gnocchi until they float (or according to package directions); drain.
- Place in a lightly greased baking dish.
- In a medium saucepan, whisk together the cream, chicken broth and flour over medium heat.
- Continue whisking until simmering and thickened, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the salt, pepper and nutmeg. Add spinach and toss to coat.
- Pour mixture over the gnocchi and spread the spinach to cover.
- Crumble the goat cheese over the top and sprinkle with parmesan.
- Bake until golden, about 10 minutes.
Source: Giada de Laurentiis