Friday 11 April 2014

Five Ways with Capricorn Goat's Cheese

Last year I won a "best blog award" sponsored by Capricorn goats cheese, and my prize was... a year's supply of goat's cheese! I was very pleased and quite intrigued to see how much a year's supply would turn out to be, and whether they would send it all in one go... luckily they sent me vouchers instead. I received 24 vouchers, each for 100g of goat's cheese worth £2, which works out at a packet of goat's cheese every fortnight. Unfortunately it took me a little while to find anywhere that would accept the vouchers  - through trial and error I found that the only supermarkets which appear to stock Capricorn are Waitrose and Tesco and the vouchers could only be used in store and not for online orders. There was a small Waitrose and a small Tesco near my office (there is neither near my home) and for several weeks I went in only to find the shelf space for the Capricorn cheese empty. I'm not sure if they were having supply issues - this was near the start of the year when big parts of the west country suffered from flooding and Capricorn is based in Somerset after all. Eventually the goat's cheese came back in stock and I was able to use my vouchers, though Tesco told me I could not use more than one voucher at a time. Even so, it won't be hard to use them all!

I love goat's cheese, particularly the soft kind, and there are so many things you can do with it. Here I'm going to give you five ideas.

First of all here's an idea from my mum as I gave her a few of the vouchers: grilled mushrooms with goat's cheese. You need one large portabello mushroom per person, which you fry on both sides in plenty of oil to keep them moist. Slice the cheese and place on top of the mushroom, and place under a hot grill for a few minutes. These are great as a starter or as part of a salad.

Speaking of salad, goat's cheese is a lovely addition to any kind of salad but one flavour it goes particularly well with is pear. For this salad I made some toast - Melba toasts would probably be better to use here - and used little gem lettuce as it's my favourite kind. Peel and slice a ripe pear and arrange on the plate and then place a portion of goat's cheese in the middle. This is particularly nice if you warm the cheese in the microwave for a few seconds so it softens and the inside is runny. Finally drizzle with balsamic glaze or balsamic vinegar and serve.

From salad to burgers... my staff canteen at work was advertising a burger with goat's cheese one day which I thought sounded lovely, and wasn't something I had eaten before. But when I got to the counter I found that while the sign said goat's cheese, what they put in my burger was most definitely stilton. Never mind... so the next time I cooked a burger at home I decided to try it with a slice of goat's cheese. If you haven't tried this particular combination then I recommend it!

I don't often eat gnocchi and have never made it before but I do enjoy it, so when I came across a recipe on the BBC Food website for goat's cheese gnocchi I decided to give it a go. It's fairly simple to make but there is obviously a trick to getting it just right as mine was quite doughy. To make enough for three or four people (depending on appetite) you need:
2 large potatoes
200g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
150g goat's cheese

For the sauce:
200ml chicken stock
150ml double cream

Peel the potatoes, bring to the boil and simmer for 20-25 minutes until tender. Mash the potato and gradually add the flour, mixing together to make a dough. Add the goat's cheese and mix in.

Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface into a long sausage shape and cut into small pieces.

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and drop in the gnocchi. They only take a few minutes to cook and are ready when they float to the surface.

To make the sauce, bring the stock to simmering point in another pan, remove from the heat and stir in the cream. I made this to go with chicken breasts so I cooked the chicken in the sauce. Add the gnocchi to the pan with the sauce and serve.

On a similar note I decided to make ravioli. You can easily find a recipe for the basic pasta dough online; I have a pasta attachment for my Kitchenaid which is great.

Roll out the pasta and cut into squares and place a few pieces of cooked bacon and a bite-sized piece of goat's cheese on each pasta square.

Place another square of pasta on top and press the edges to seal. Bring a pan of salted water to the boil.

Boil for a few minutes until the pasta is cooked. I served these sprinkled with parmesan cheese - the ravioli parcels are quite uneven so I think I should get the special ravioli attachment for my Kitchenaid next!


  1. I love the filling in your ravioli and will have to try it once I'm not pregnant any more and am allowed to eat it again!

  2. Mmm I love goats cheese, but unfortunately we can't get this brand up here in Shetland. Loads of lovely ideas in this post! Happy eating! :)


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