Appetizers

Baked Cabecou

Yields 4 appetizer-sized servings
Prep time: 25 minutes, plus time for freezing
Cook time: 15 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup panko
  • 1 teaspoon dried herb blend, such as Herbes de Provence or Italian herb blend
  • 8 rounds Laura Chenel’s Herb Cabecou, plus 3 tablespoons of the packing oil, divided (see Note)
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 6 cups mixed salad greens or baby arugula (2 1/2 to 3 ounces)

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a small, shallow bowl, combine the panko, herb blend, and 1 tablespoon of the Cabecou oil. Working one Cabecou round at a time, dip both sides into the panko mixture, pressing gently on both sides and all edges to adhere the crumbs and arranging the coated rounds on a small rimmed baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the freezer for at least an hour or, covered, up to 2 days.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  3. Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and bake until the panko is lightly golden, about 15 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the remaining 2 tablespoons of Cabecou oil with the vinegar, shallot, salt, and pepper. Add the greens, then arrange the greens on plates or a platter.
  5. Arrange the baked cheese on top of the greens and serve.

NOTE
This recipe is also great with Spicy Cabecou or Truffle Cabecou—for Spicy Cabecou, substitute 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes for the dried herb blend.

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Ahi Tuna & Spicy Cabecou Stacks

Yields 4 appetizer-sized servings
Prep time: 35 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 rounds Laura Chenel’s Spicy Cabecou, plus 3 tablespoons of the packing oil
  • 6 ounces raw sushi-grade ahi tuna, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 3/4 cup 1/4-inch diced cucumber
  • 1 small avocado cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • Sea salt
  • 1/2 small jalapeño, very thinly sliced
  • Cilantro sprigs, for garnish
  • Taro chips, for serving (optional)
  • Soy sauce, for serving (optional)
  • Chili oil, for serving (optional)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Arrange the Cabecou rounds on plates. Ideally using a ring mold, top with the ahi, cucumber, and avocado, adding a sprinkle of salt between each layer. Arrange a few slices of jalapeño on top, drizzle with the Cabecou oil, and garnish with the cilantro. Serve the chips, if using, on the side and the soy sauce and chili oil, if using, at the table.

NOTE
To give this dish a Latin spin, instead of taro chips, soy sauce, and chili oil, serve it with tortilla chips, lime wedges, and hot sauce.

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Baked Goat Brie with Spiced Rosemary-Scented Honey and Red Wine Cranberries

Recipe by Faith Gorsky, www.AnEdibleMosaic.com

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Yield: 4 servings
Prep time:  15 mins
Cook time:  15 mins

INGREDIENTS

  • ½ cup (60 g) whole dried cranberries
  • ½ cup (120 ml) water
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) dry red wine
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • ⅛ teaspoon allspice
  • 3 tablespoons walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary, plus more for garnish
  • 1 (5 oz/142 g) wheel of Laura Chenel’s Goat Brie
  • Crackers or sliced baguette, for serving

DIRECTIONS

  1. For the topping, add the cranberries, water, wine, honey, and allspice to a small pot. Bring to a boil and then turn the heat down and simmer until the liquid is reduced by about ⅔, about 6 to 10 minutes. Turn the heat off, cover the pot, and let the cranberries steep for 15 minutes. After steeping, bring the cranberries back up to a boil and cook until the liquid is syrupy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the walnuts and rosemary.
  2. For the brie, preheat the oven to 350F. Once the oven is preheated, unwrap the brie and place it onto an oven-safe baking dish. Bake 12 minutes.
  3. Serve the brie warm with the cranberry mixture spooned on top along with bread or crackers.
Baked Goat Brie with Spiced Rosemary-Scented Honey and Red Wine Cranberries 2.jpg

Tostones with goat cheese and fig rum spread

Tostones with Chef's Chèvre and fig rum spread

Yields 4 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10-20 minutes

 
Laura Chenel Chef's Chèvre

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 green or slightly yellow plantains
  • 1 tub of Laura Chenel's Chef's Chèvre
  • 150g dried figs
  • 1.5oz aged rum
  • 3oz water
  • 1/2tsp cinnamon
  • 100g cane sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • enough olive oil to fill pan 1/2"
  • cold salt water

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a food processor, combine dried figs, rum, water, cinnamon, and sugar until smooth - salt to taste.
  2. In a nonstick skillet, fill 1/2" with olive oil and set over medium heat. To prepare plantains, slice on a sharp bias so plantains are about 1" thick. Fry until plantains start turning golden brown. Remove from oil and let drain on paper towels. transfer to cold salt water bath for at least 1 minute then remove and let dry on paper towel. Put once fried plantains back into oil and smash with spatula until less than 1/2" thick. Fry until edges are browned.
  3. Serve immediately on a plate with Laura Chenel's Chef's Chèvre and the fig rum spread. 
 
 Tostones with Laura Chenel's Chef's Chèvre and fig rum spread

Tostones with Laura Chenel's Chef's Chèvre and fig rum spread

 

Pesto Puff Pastry Tart with Garlic & Chive goat cheese, Arugula, Watermelon, and Strawberry-Balsamic Drizzle

Pesto puff pastry tart with Garlic & Chives goat cheese, arugula, watermelon and strawberry-balsamic drizzle

By Faith Gorsky, www.AnEdibleMosaic.com

Yields 9 to 12 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 (17.3 oz/490 g) box frozen puff pastry (you will only need 1 sheet of puff pastry), thawed
  • 3 tablespoons pesto (homemade or store-bought)
  • 4 oz (115 g) Laura Chenel’s Garlic & Chives Goat Cheese Log, crumbled
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons good-quality balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons strawberry jam
  • 1 pinch black pepper
  • 2 cups fresh arugula
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh seedless watermelon

DIRECTIONS

  1. Thaw the puff pastry according to the package directions; preheat the oven to 375F.
  2. Unfold the pastry out onto a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silpat liner. Spread the pesto onto the pastry, leaving about a 1/4-inch rim all the way round. Dot the crumbled goat cheese on top. Use a sharp paring knife to poke a few holes in the pastry.
  3. Bake the pastry until golden brown, about 20 to 25 minutes, and then cool the pastry to room temperature.
  4. While the pastry bakes, make the strawberry-balsamic drizzle. Combine the jam and vinegar in a small saucepan; bring to a boil and then cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Cool to room temperature (it will thicken more as it cools).
  5. To serve, top the cooled tart with the arugula and watermelon, and drizzle on the strawberry-balsamic sauce.

Zucchini and Cabecou stacks with Fresh Mint, Pine Nuts, and Crispy Prosciutto

Zucchini and Cabecou stacks with Fresh Mint, Pine Nuts and crispy prosciutto

By Faith Gorsky, www.AnEdibleMosaic.com

Yields 6 stacks/6 appetizer-sized servings
Prep Time: 8 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes

INGREDIENTS

- 2 medium-large zucchinis, sliced into 1/2-inch thick rounds (see Note)
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided (see Note)
- 3 slices prosciutto, diced
- 12 rounds Laura Chenel's Marinated Cabecou Goat Cheese in Herbs
- 4 tablespoons sweet green peas (see Note)
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted until light golden in a dry skillet
- 2 stalks fresh mint leaves (stems discarded)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Toss the zucchini with 1 1/2 tablespoons oil, and cook it until tender, but not mushy on the grill or under the broiler (about 8 minutes under the broiler, flipping once halfway through). Cool to room temperature.
  2. Add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil to a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the prosciutto and cook until crisp, about 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain any excess oil.
  3. To assemble the stacks, place a zucchini round on a plate; top with a goat cheese round, another zucchini round, another goat cheese round, and then a zucchini round on top (so you get 3 layers of zucchini and 2 layers of goat cheese).
  4. Sprinkle the prosciutto, peas, pine nuts, and mint on top of the stack and around the plate. Serve at room temperature.

NOTES

Zucchini: Look for zucchini about 2 inches in diameter; you’ll need 18 zucchini rounds for this recipe so you may have a few extra slices of zucchini that you can use for something else.

Extra-Virgin Olive Oil: I reserved the oil from the goat cheese and used that for this recipe.

Green Peas: You can use frozen or fresh peas. For frozen, thaw the peas under warm running water and drain well. For fresh, blanch the peas for 90 seconds, plunge into ice water, and drain well.

As a fun twist on this recipe, you could try eggplant instead of zucchini and use Laura Chenel's Spicy Cabecou Goat Cheese instead of the Cabecou in herbs. I would be tempted to serve that as a simple summer supper for two.

Making a Cheese Plate

Plating Tips
Always serve cheese at room temperature.  Remove hard cheeses from the refrigerator an hour or two before serving to let the flavors develop. Soft cheeses or small portions need less time.  A Cheese dome, overturned bowl or light cloth is very useful to prevent the cheeses from drying out while they come to room temperature. When cutting full wheels or large wedges, try to keep the shape of the cheese intact. Cut wheels first in half, then into triangles. Use a selection of attractive boards, marble, slate, platters or individual cheese plates.For a buffet, provide a separate knife for each cheese ­ spreaders for soft cheeses, sturdy blades for hard cheeses. Make sure any plate decorations or leaves are clean and dry.

Easy Cheese Course Accompaniments
Breads & Crackers:  French baguette, sweet Italian, rustic artisan loaf; olive, raisin or walnut breads are especially good with blue cheeses. Fruit:  Figs, apples, grapes, pears, peaches or melons when in season. Dates, quince paste, dried apricots or other dried fruit work well in winter.  Chutney and other relishes are frequently used ­ especially with English style cheddars.

Figs and got cheese make natural cheese-plate partners because goat cheeses like to be paired with slightly sweet, fruity flavors; we love to cut a fresh fig in half and place 1 tsp. of goat cheese (like Laura Chenel's Chabis) over each half.

Laura chenel's summer fig log appetizer with fresh figs and basil

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Our Summer Fig Log is fresh and delicious.  Paired with basil and fresh figs in season, this is a perfect summer bite.

Makes 10-12 appetizers.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1-5.4 ounce log Laura Chenel’s Summer Fig Log
  • 5-6 fresh ripe figs
  • 5-6 large fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

DIRECTIONS

1. Depending on the size of the fresh figs, slice each in half or into quarters. Slice the basil leaves into ½-inch wide ribbons.

2. Place a slice of fresh fig onto each basil leaf ribbon. Top with 1 tablespoon of Summer Fig Log and fold the basil leaf over the top of the fresh goat cheese. 

3. Drizzle each appetizer with the balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

4. The appetizers can be garnished with smoked paprika, cracked black pepper or chili flakes if desired.


Recipe by Chef Jacquelyn Buchanan
Laura Chenel’s and Marin French Cheese, 2015

Laura Chenel’s 4 Peppercorn Chabis and Black Pepper Biscuits with Smoked Salmon and Dill

Black pepper biscuits with smoked salmon and 4 peppercorn Laura Chenel's Chabis

The biscuits are very tender and delicate. The flavor works well with fillings such as sausage, prosciutto or smoked salmon. The biscuits would also be a delicious side for soup or a salad.

Biscuits

Makes 48 appetizer size biscuits

Ingredients

  • 5 ounces (⅔ cup) Laura Chenel’s 4 Peppercorn Chabis
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes
  • 1 cup buttermilk, divided
  • Coarse black pepper for garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, salt and pepper together in a large bowl.  Using fingertips, rub the butter into the dry ingredients until a coarse meal forms.
  2. Rub in the fresh 4 Peppercorn Chabis until well mixed. Add ¾ cup buttermilk and stir with a fork until the dough comes together.
  3. Pat the dough out on a lightly floured surface into a ¾-inch round. Using a floured 1½-inch diameter cutter cut out biscuits and place on parchment lined baking sheets. Gather scraps together gently, pat out dough and cut additional biscuits. 
  4. Brush the top of the biscuits with the remaining 2 tablespoons buttermilk and sprinkle with coarse black pepper.
  5. Bake until golden brown, 16-18 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through baking time. Cool biscuits on rack.

Smoked Salmon Filling:

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces hot smoked salmon
  • Zest and juice from ½ lemon
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
  • 1 tablespoon good quality mayonnaise

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl break or shred the smoked salmon into fairly large pieces.
  2. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, dill and mayonnaise to the salmon. Stir the mixture until well combined.
  3. Split biscuits in half horizontally. Spread bottom halves with a thin layer of sweet butter. Divide the salmon among the biscuits. Top each with a dill sprig and biscuit top.


Recipe by Chef Jacquelyn Buchanan
Laura Chenel’s, 2015

Mushroom Appetizers with Laura Chenel’s fresh goat cheese and Pesto

The mushrooms on their own are a perfect last minute appetizer. When they are served with greens and garnishes as below, they make a great starter salad.

Serves 4

Ingredients

2 cups Laura Chenel’s Chef’s Chèvre (can be substituted with Chabis or Original Log)

12 large white or crimini mushrooms

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 cup basil pesto (purchased, or your own favorite recipe)

2 cups mixed salad greens

1 basket of cherry tomatoes, tops off and rinsed

1 bunch radishes, rinsed, topped and tailed*

½ cup pine nuts, toasted

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Wipe the mushrooms clean of debris with a damp paper towel and break off stems.

  • Place the mushroom on a baking sheet and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast, tops down, for 5 minutes. Turn the mushrooms upside down on the baking sheet and drain moisture that has gathered inside the caps of the mushroom.

  • Preheat the broiler to medium. Mix the Chef’s Chèvre with the pesto until combined. Dividing evenly, fill the mushrooms with the mixture. Place the mushrooms under the broiler until the cheese browns, about 2 to 3 minutes.

  • Toss the greens with your favorite vinaigrette and distribute over the bottom of the serving plate as a liner.

  • Place the mushrooms on the greens and garnish with the radishes and cherry tomatoes. Sprinkle with the pine nuts.

Recipe by Chef Jacquelyn Buchanan
Laura Chenel’s

Eggplant & Pesto Appetizer

Ingredients

½ cup Laura Chenel’s Chef’s Chèvre

2 Japanese eggplants

1 tablespoon kosher salt

¼ cup olive oil

¾ cup pesto (prepared, or your own)

½ cup toasted pine nuts

Instructions
1. Slice eggplant lengthwise into ” slices, salt slices and drain for ½ hour. Blot dry and brush with olive oil.

2. Preheat stovetop grill pan or outdoor grill. Lay eggplant slices on hot grill, cook 2-3 minutes or until tender, turning once. Remove from grill and hold at room temperature.

3. Spread eggplant slices with Laura Chenel’s Chef’s Chèvre, top with pesto and toasted pine nuts. Roll eggplant slice around filling and secure with a toothpick.

Serve at room temperature or warm on a bed of marinara sauce.

Deviled Eggs with Laura Chenel’s Chèvre and Pesto

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These are easy and delicious!  Comments from tasters has been that they are more  “cheesy” than “eggy.” If you want a smaller bite for a dressier occasion, the filling would work well on toast points or crackers.  You could “sieve” or finely chop the whites and have an inside out deviled egg.

Makes 12 deviled eggs

Ingredients

½ cup Laura Chenel’s Original Log

6 large eggs*

3 teaspoons of basil pesto (purchased or your own favorite recipe)

½ teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon mayonnaise

Salt and pepper to taste

Aleppo pepper** or Smoked paprika (optional)

Instructions

  • Place eggs in a sauce pan that can accommodate them in one layer. Cover eggs with cold water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. When the water comes to a boil, turn off the heat and cover the pan with a tight fitting lid. Leave the eggs, undisturbed, for ten minutes (timing is very important here). Drain the hot water from the eggs and run cold water over the eggs until cool to the touch. Let the eggs sit in the cold water for five to ten minutes and then crack the shells gently. Peel the eggs starting at the smaller pointed end. Running cold water onto the egg while you are peeling it will help to remove the shell.

  • So that you have centered eggs, note the location of the yolk. Carefully, cut the eggs in half.

  • Remove the yolks from the whites to a small flat bottomed bowl. Using a fork, mash the yolks thoroughly. Stir in the pesto, Dijon, chèvre and mayonnaise until well blended. Since some pestos can be quite salty, taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper if necessary.

  • Fill the egg whites with the yolk mixture using either a piping bag and tip or a spoon. Garnish with Aleppo pepper or smoked paprika.

Recipe by Chef Jacquelyn Buchanan
Laura Chenel’s Chèvre

* The egg cooking instruction is a method used by many chefs. The eggs can be cooked using your favorite method if desired. Another tip is to use eggs that are a couple of weeks old. Very fresh eggs are difficult to peel because the inner membrane is very close to the shell.

**Aleppo pepper is a Turkish crushed chili with ancho-like flavor, slightly tart with a mild heat.

Savory Chevre Pops

Savory Laura Chenel's Chèvre Pops 

Fresh Chèvre is a perfect background for many savory flavors.  It is intriguing to try these pops on their own but they can also be a fun component to incorporate into pairings.  Beer, wine and cider all seem to go very well with a variety of savory chèvre flavors. 

Makes 16 - ½ ounce pops. 

INGREDIENTS 

  • 8 ounces Laura Chenel’s fresh Chèvre (Chef’s Chèvre or Chabis) 
  • Coating ingredients of your choice*  

DIRECTIONS

  1. Using a 1 tablespoon cookie scoop**, portion the chèvre and drop onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.
  2. Refrigerate the chèvre portions for 15 minutes. Place coating ingredients into small shallow bowls or pie plates.
  3. Remove the sheet pan from the refrigerator and roll each portion into balls. Place the balls into the coating ingredients and roll around until they are evenly covered. Plastic food service gloves are recommended to help with rolling the chèvre.
  4. Remove the chèvre balls from the coating and place into small paper candy cups. Gently insert a lollypop stick into each ball, if desired.

Recipe by Chef Jacquelyn Buchanan
Laura Chenel’s and Marin French Cheese, 2015  

Snipped chives, chopped rosemary, parsley, cilantro, lemon, lime or orange zest, smoked paprika, curry powder, sesame seeds or poppy seeds will all make great coatings. 

**  A 1 tablespoon cookie scoop will be marked as #70. They are available at cookware stores in different sizes. You can vary the size of your chèvre pops by changing the scoop number.