Ingredient Knowledge

Roasted Beets & Fried Goat Cheese

Posted on Oct 2, 2013 in Brunch, Healthy Eats, Ingredient Knowledge, Sides & Appetizers | 0 comments

Roasted Beets & Fried Goat Cheese


How to Roast Beets

You can’t beat beets! According to Men’s Health beets are amongst the top 10 best foods you can eat.  Besides all the wonderful vitamins and minerals it provides and its amazing ability to tie die your favorite tee, yes I use to tie die….don’t judge, it is also delicious to eat! For the longest time, beets most definitely scared me.  Besides buying them canned and putting them in my juicer, I had no idea what to do with them.  Especially whole and raw.  Eeek! So I decided to face my fears and realized that beets aren’t so scary after all. In fact, they are incredibly easy.Roasted Beet & Goat Cheese Salad

Beets are the most flavorful during the spring and fall.  When you are picking it out look for small to medium firm beets that are smooth without soft spots. When you buy them whole, they have long leafy stems that are also edible and kind of taste like spinach.  You can sauté them up or use them in soups, but if don’t want them at all you can trim the beets a couple inches off the stem for easier storage.

The best way I found to roast them is with absolutely nothing….that’s right you heard me NOTHING! Just pop them in a 375 degree oven for about an hour skin on.  Do trim off the stem however about an inch away from the root.  You may want to line your pan with some foil as the liquids will start to ooze as it roasts just for easier clean up.

Fried Goat Cheese & Beat Salad

After all the beets have cooled, simply peel off the skin which will be very easy and loose.  And the beets are ready to be used.  Just a little tip since the beets do stain.  Use gloves during this process. See easy peasy! Why would anyone be scared of a beet?

I’ve always been a fan of beets and goat cheese.  The smooth sweetness of the beet is fabulous with the tangy creaminess of the goat cheese and frying them with a coat of panko gives it a really nice crunch. I also added Hazelnuts and a Balsamic reduction to this recipe which just pulled it all together. If you haven’t had beets & goat cheese together before.  You must try it!

Roasted Beets & Fried Goat Cheese

Ingredients

  • 4 Medium Roasted Beets (see instructions above)
  • 16oz Goat Cheese (1 Log)
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 cup Panko (Japanese Bread Crumbs)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Garlic Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Dried Thyme
  • 1 teaspoon Oregano
  • 3 teaspoons Dried Parsley
  • Salt & pepper

Garnish

  • Chopped Hazelnuts
  • Balsamic Reduction

Note

You can either buy the balsamic reduction or make it yourself.  To make the balsamic reduction, heat balsamic vinegar in a saucepan at a simmer for about 30-40 minutes until it become thick enough to coat the back of the spoon.  Voila balsamic reduction!

Directions

Step 1
Freeze the goat cheese log for about 15 minutes prior to slicing. To easily slice goat cheese, use a serrated knife and make it sure it is clean after each slice. Or you can always use non flavored dental floss as well. Slice the goat cheese into 8 slices. Place them on a plate and chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
Step 2
In a medium bowl good for dredging, beat the egg. In a separate bowl, mix the panko, garlic salt, thyme, dried parsley, salt & pepper. Heat a pan over medium heat with oil & butter. Dredge each goat cheese slice in the egg and then coat both sides with the panko mixture.
Step 3
Fry each on each side each goat cheese slice just until it turns golden brown. You do not want the goat cheese to get runny and melty.
Step 4
Peel the roasted beets and slice into rounds, about 1/2" thick. Arrange alternating rounds of fried goat cheese & rounds of beets. Top with chopped hazelnuts & drizzle with balsamic reduction. Serve immediately.

 

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Zucchini Cakes

Posted on Sep 25, 2013 in Healthy Eats, Ingredient Knowledge, Sides & Appetizers | 0 comments

Zucchini Cakes

 I don’t know if there is another vegetable or fruit for that matter that can be used in as many savory dishes as it can in dessert dishes, then the Zucchini.  The carrot may be a close competitor but then its sweet flavor always shines through and even the zucchini’s second cousin, the squash can’t compete.

The Zucchini is definitely something we probably all grew up eating.  Whether it be fried, steamed, spiraled in a salad, baked in a lasagna, stewed, sautéed, grilled, roasted or baked into a bread, we’ve all had zucchini and we love it!

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Different Uses for Different Types of Flour Cheat Chart

Posted on Sep 21, 2013 in Baking Tips, Ingredient Knowledge | 0 comments

Different Uses for Different Types of Flour Cheat Chart

Flour is not flour is not flour! Everything from the soil the wheat is grown in to the amount of rainfall  before harvest can influence the flour you get.  Luckily for us, we don’t need to worry about the temperature of the soil of the wheat when it was harvested to determine if the flour is right to use, but knowing the different types of flour available in your every day grocery store and what to use them for is incredibly important when it comes to baking.  The biggest factor that will affect the quality product your flour will product is the amount of protein in the flour.

Different Types of Flours

**As a general rule, high protein bread flour is best for yeast breads and low protein cake flours is best for cakes.**

The higher the protein breads produce more gluten, which gives elasticity, strength and a great chewy texture to yeast breads but is disastrous for quick breads, cakes, muffins and pancakes and anything that needs tenderness.

Here is a quick chart of flours from low protein to high protein and the best uses for them.

You can also play around too! I remember when I was creating recipes for my cookie company, because I LOVE LOVE LOVE chewy cookies, I played around with using bread flour for even a little more gluten and chewiness, but in the end I stuck with All Purpose Flour because they could get a little tough.  But who knows, you might just love that! 🙂

 

Kitchen Printable Flour Chart

Free Printable of the Different Type of Flours

 

 

 

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Neuf-awho? Neuf-awhat? Neufchatel Cheese & Strawberry Stuffed French Toast

Posted on Sep 20, 2013 in Breakfast, Brunch, Ingredient Knowledge | 0 comments

Neuf-awho? Neuf-awhat? Neufchatel Cheese & Strawberry Stuffed French Toast

 Neufchatel cheese reminds me of my given name.  The name I suffered through all the way up until 8th grade when I finally decided to drop my Chinese first name no one could pronounce (and one I won’t mention here 😉 to go by my middle name Elizabeth.  Life suddenly became easier and those that avoided me for fear of pronouncing my name wrong suddenly seemed so relaxed when saying hi. That’s kind of the way I feel about Neufchatel Cheese. Even though I see it at the store every time I reach for the Cream Cheese, I always avoided it having no idea how to pronounce it and having no idea what it was. I probably still don’t know how to pronounce it but after getting to know it a little better it’s really just as simple as its sister Cream Cheese.

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Chipotle Peppers Just Smoke Dried Jalepenos?

Posted on Sep 15, 2013 in Healthy Eats, Ingredient Knowledge, Vegetarian Main Dishes | 2 comments

Chipotle Peppers Just Smoke Dried Jalepenos?

It took me years to realize that chipotles were an actual pepper that was extremely popular in Mexican cuisine and not a delicious fast food make your own burrito place. And then another few years to realize they were just smoke dried Jalepenos and not a super exotic pepper only grown in the deep mountains off the Mexican coast line. Who knew?  I love their smokey flavor and soft subtle heat that hits you slowly in the back of the mouth. So seductive.

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