Posts Tagged ‘Cheese’

Cheesy Artichoke Bread

October 2nd, 2011

Artichoke bread

A quick shout-out to Patrice, of Circle B Kitchen.  She came up with this recipe for what is probably the most amazing quick bread I’ve ever made.  A word of caution for when you make it, though – make sure there are people come over after you do the baking.  Otherwise there’s a good chance you’ll eat then entire loaf yourself.  It’s just that good.

Goat Cheese, Pea and Pesto tarts

July 31st, 2011

Goat cheese, garlic and pea tarts

Sometimes random, leftover ingredients can come together to make the tastiest little dishes.  This was one of those times.  I had a handful of fresh market peas, some local goat cheese and half a package of puff pastry sitting in my fridge.  Pulled together with some of last week’s garlic scape pesto, they make a delightful little appetizer.

Half a block of puff pastry
Garlic scape pesto (basil pesto would do in a pinch)
Soft goat cheese
Fresh peas

Preheat oven to 400ºF.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the block of puff pastry into a 12×9 inch rectangle.
Slice the rectangle into 12 equal squares.
Spoon a scant teaspoon of pesto onto the centre of each square.  Top with another teaspoon of goat cheese, then sprinkle on some peas.
Fold two opposite corners of the square into the centre, covering the toppings.  Fold the other two in the same way.
Gently lift the tarts into the cavities of a muffin pan and bake for 15-20 minutes or until puffed and golden brown.
Let cool on a cookie rack before serving.

Watermelon and Arugula Salad with Toasted Halloumi

July 21st, 2011

Halloumi with arugula and watermelon salad

I have been dying to grill up some halloumi ever since I saw package of it at the Creative Cleaver.  I’ve only ever had it in coastal restaurants before now, and it’s great to be able to toast some up at home.  I can see myself serving smaller squares as appetizers at my next party – or maybe skewering grilled cubes on toothpicks along with watermelon and tomatoes.

For my first homemade halloumi dish, I paired the cheese with a simple watermelon and arugula salad.  The crispness of the salad really set off the warm crunch of the cheese.

1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 cup olive oil
salt & pepper

a few handfuls of small arugula leaves
1/8 of a seedless watermelon, cut into small cubes
1/3-inch thick slices of halloumi

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk the mustard into the lemon juice and vinegar.
In a thin stream, slowly pour in the olive oil, whisking madly to incorporate.
Toss in the arugula and watermelon.
Season to taste with salt and pepper

In a small frying pan, without oil, grill the slices of halloumi over medium heat.
After two minutes of frying per side, serve over the salad.

BBQ Chicken Pizza

June 5th, 2011

BBQ Pizza

After a dreary, wet spring, there’s a chance that summer may actually happen.  What better way to celebrate than a barbecued chicken pizza?

3 cups flour (more or less)
1 package active dry yeast
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup warm water
2 tbsp canola oil

barbecue sauce
cooked chicken, cut in chunks
mushrooms, sliced
red onions, thinly sliced
mozzarella cheese, grated

In the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer, stir together 1 1/2 cups of flour, yeast and salt.
Add the warm water and beat for 3 minutes, regularly scraping down the sides of the bowl.
Using a dough hook, stir in the rest of the flour, mixing until the dough becomes smooth and elastic.
Knead the dough by hand on a lightly floured surface for another 5 minutes.
Split the dough into two smaller balls and cover with a light tea towel.  Let rise for 30-60 minutes.

Once the dough has risen, form each ball into a thin pizza crust.
Preheat a side burner of your barbecue for about 5 minutes.  To cook the crust, you want low, slow, indirect heat.
Arrange the dough on the grill, making sure it isn’t directly over the lit burner.  Cook, rotating occasionally, until the bottom is lightly browned.
Flip the pizza dough, top with sauce and toppings, close the barbecue lid and turn the burner down to low.
Grill the pizza until the cheese is melted and the crust is golden brown.

FARM (finally)

May 3rd, 2011

After wanting to visit for the past two years, I finally made it to Calgary to have lunch at FARM, Janice Beaton’s sweet little bistro.  It was a late lunch – 2:00pm – so I’d missed out on the sandwiches.  No worries there, as the salads looked like the perfect meal for the first epically sunny day of spring.

Salad at FARM

I had the spring salad, which featured Broxburn cherry tomatoes, crispy torn croutons, pickled red onions and thin slices of fresh asparagus and green beans.  The dressing was buttermilk-based – perfect with the chunks of 3 year cheddar that replaced the salad’s usual smattering of feta.

The restaurant’s decor is casual and homey, with blackboard menus and kitchen-style chairs.  As I was on a quest for shoes and didn’t have a cooler to safely transport any food purchases, I skipped the temptations of the attached cheese shop.  This also kept me from breaking out into any long-winded, Monty-Python-inspired speeches.  Next time, I’ll come properly equipped to bring home some of the local cheese and sausage and make the most of the Janice Beaton experience.

Farm on Urbanspoon

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