Tag Archives: goat cheese

Family Catering

Croque-en-Bouches with Mixed Berry and Crème de Cassis Sundae

A couple months ago, my mom told me that she had offered to cater a party for my grandma as a birthday gift and that I was invited to be her catering partner. The catering “service” would include brainstorming, preparing, plating, and serving a five-course, gourmet menu to eight hungry and self-claimed foodie guests. I was 100% on board.

So as soon as I got back home from my end-of-the-spring-semester activities, my mom and I started to prepare for the event. We worked on developing a few dish ideas by looking through all of our recipes from books, Word documents, online bookmarked pages, and collaged cutouts from magazines. We discussed and debated, and about a zillion ideas later, finally put them together into a cohesive and appetizing menu. A shopping list was written and a few days before D-day we began the incredibly long (and tiring) process that was the cooking.

However much time and energy it might have taken, the final result was well worth the effort that it took to develop the menu and then make it a reality—with a few exceptions of course. The gazpacho and avocado mousse with two Parmesan crisps was a much-enjoyed appetizer, but the tomato and avocado lollipops served alongside it, for example, were more of a failed experiment in molecular gastronomy than anything else. Visually, they were perfect, but their rubbery texture and imbalance between the flavorless avocado and acidic tomato was definitely a turnoff. At least we had the delicious and popular pancetta-wrapped fig skewers (stuffed with goat cheese and drizzled with honey) and grilled eggplant dip served with rosemary flat bread to wash it down. Not to mention the paired rosé, whites, and port that my dad served throughout the meal.

Eggplant and Pepper Dip

Food successes and failures aside, the best part about this catering event was, oddly enough, everything but the taste of the food. I loved watching people decipher the menus we’d printed out when we brought out the mini croque-en-bouches and mixed berry sundaes, or listen to the “oohs” and “ahs” and diplomatic “very interestings” in reaction to tasty or not-so-great dishes. It was a time- and energy-consuming endeavor, and I am so glad that everything turned out well (or almost). But more so than that, it was amazing to experience the meal coming together and to then present and share it with my grandma and her closest friends and relatives.


Almost a Veggie Overload

Manon returns for her second post!  Her story includes the vegetable treasures her mother brought from France, as well as the plethora of recipes they tried out.  Stuffed Eggplant recipe after the jump.

Last week my mom went on a four-day long trip to the south of France and bought a car full of fresh fruits and vegetables on her way back. So for the past week she’s been making apricot, peach, and prune jams, and the freezer is full to the brim with frozen pesto and ratatouille. With the endless quantities of vegetables that still remain, we’ve been making every different vegetable recipe we know. There have, of course, been our old classics: various sliced vegetables tossed in a bit of olive oil and salt and pepper and then baked in a hot oven for about 20 minutes, served with couscous or pasta. We’ve also served them cold with a vinaigrette or in a salad. And as my mom is famous for her fruit desserts, there have been quite a few cobblers and tarts as well.

Today though, a brand new recipe entered into our cooking arsenal: inspired by my mom’s magazine recipe binder, we made goat cheese-stuffed eggplant “packages” baked in the oven and served with a fresh green salad and tomatoes. It was pretty great. The outside of the eggplant got crispy and super flavorful, and some of the cheese fell out of the packages and became golden and crispy. Paired with the fresh salad and tomatoes, we avoided having the eggplant become too rich.

Continue reading Almost a Veggie Overload

Recipe: Goat Cheese and Chive Souffles

Breakfast foods are some of my very favorite foods. Unfortunately, I rarely have time to make an elaborate breakfast during the school semester (like the one pictured above), and I settle for a meager bowl of cereal. However, this last week when I was in Philly, I woke early to make these souffles for Claire and her family. They were absolutely amazing–plus, souffles are some of my favorite foods, whether they’re sweet or savory.


Unsalted butter and grated parmesan for preparing souffle dishes

1/2 lb. goat cheese, at room temp.

1/4 C sour cream

5 eggs, separated

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

1/4 tsp. black pepper

3 tbsp. minced chives

3/8 tsp. cream of tartar

3 tbsp. grated parmesan


1. Butter 6 individual souffle dishes and dust the dishes with parmesan.

2. In a large bowl, whisk the goat cheese, sour cream, egg yolks, salt, nutmeg, pepper, and chives together until they are smooth (no goat cheese clumps). This step can also be done with a hand mixer or stand mixer.)

3. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until foamy. Add in cream of tartar and whisk until the egg whites form stiff, glossy peaks. (This can be done with a whisk, a hand mixer, or stand mixer with a whisk attachment. If you do it by hand, you will get pretty tired, but it is totally doable.)

4. Using a rubber spatula, fold in 1/4 of the beaten egg whites into the goat cheese mixture to lighten it up. Gently fold in the remaining egg whites until no white streaks remain. Spoon the souffle batter into your 6 prepared dishes and sprinkle with the 3 tbsp. parmesan.

5. Bake the souffles at 425 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Serve right away (You don’t want your souffles to collapse.).