As Valentine's day is around the corner, I was asked to come up with recipes which can be made as a Valentine's day meal, or dishes which show my love for French goat's cheese.
This challenge was not complicated for me as I'm already in love with this ingredient.
Valentine's day for me is not about a fine dining meal with expensive ingredients such as foie gras, truffles or oysters...(for this we have Christmas), Valentine's day for me is more about who you share your meal with, and the story behind the dish you share with your loved one.
I've come up for this challenge with two recipes: goat's cheese croquettas as my boyfriend and I spent a lot of times in Spain each year and I wanted to add a twist of goat's cheese to my favourite classic Spanish dish. The second recipe is goat's cheese tostadas, as I love to start my weekend with a toast with goat's cheese in the morning.
Here's the list of shops where I usually go to buy my goat's cheese: Une Normande a Londres (Borough Market), La Fromagerie (Marylebone), Androuet (Spitafields), Whole Food market (Piccadilly or Kensington) and Waitrose.
Goat's cheese croquettas
Ingredients for 10 croquettas:
- 150g Serrano ham
- 150g crumbly goat's cheese
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 45g of unsalted butter
- 40g plain flour
- 350ml full fat milk
- pinch of nutmeg
- pinch of pepper
- 1 beaten egg
- 100g breadcrumbs
- 1L oil for deep-frying
In a large saucepan, heat the oil and 45g of unsalted butter. Add the ham and the goat's cheese.
Stir in 40g of plain flour and continue to cook over a low eat for 10 minutes.
In another sauce pan, add 350ml of full fat milk and gently warm it to just below a simmer.
When the milk is warm, add it gradually to the ham, flour and goat's cheese mixture, stirring all the time to obtain a smooth béchamel. Continue to cook at low heat for an extra 10 minutes. Add the pinch of nutmeg and pepper.
Once ready, remove the mixture from the heat and let it cool down in a bowl. Cover the bowl with cling film, pressing it down on to the top of the béchamel.
Put the preparation in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
Few hours later, prepare two little plates: one with the beaten egg and the other one with the breadcrumbs.
Using your hands, form a ball of the size your want with the béchamel. Dip this ball into the beaten egg and then roll it into the breadcrumbs to coat every side. Leave your breaded croquettas to rest on a plate.
Heat the oil for deep-frying, I don't have a deep-fryer so I poured the oil into a deep sauce pan.
Fry all your croquettas for about 3-4 minutes (it really depend on their sizes) until they are golden brown. Remove your croquettas from the oil and drain them on a kitchen paper.
They are ready to serve.
I served mine with a mix of salad & rocket and a little bit of truffle honey on top.
Goat's cheese tostadas
Ingredients for 2 toasts:
- 100g goat's cheese curd
- 5 chopped cherry tomatoes
- pinch of salt
- pinch of herb de Provence
- 2 pieces of bread
Toast your two pieces of bread for 3 minutes, while they are still warm, spread 100g of goat's cheese on top and add the chopped cherry tomatoes.
Add seasonings and some herb of Provence. Your tostadas are ready to be served.
I usually have my tostadas for brunch. For an indulgent treat you can replace the cherry tomatoes by some truffle honey or some caramelised onions.