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French Cheese Recipes
One of the main reasons why I love living in France is the food. I am a fan of French cuisine, especially the countryside style cuisine, the type that it is very simple to prepare and relies on the quality of fresh seasonal ingredients for flavour.
Most people think that French cuisine is elaborate and complicated, when in fact every day meals are easy to prepare. It always amazes me the dishes my friends can concoct in only a few minutes with everyday ingredients. Seeing them at work in their kitchens is a pleasure, seeing them in their garden harvesting the ingredients for dinner is inspiring. Meals are prepared with seasonal ingredients and a love for cooking and eating that is unbeatable.
French Cheese Assortment
Goat cheese: the pyramid
- A cheese guide
In France, it is said that there is a wine to go with every cheese. For example, a Camembert and a Maroilles are two cheeses that are better tasted with a dry white wine like a dry Muscadet from the Loire valley, a dry Pouilly Fumé or a Sancerre.
One of my favourite ingredients of the French cuisine is cheese, especially goat’s cheese made in the region. January and February I have goat’s cheese withdrawal because the local producers keep the goat’s milk for the newborn goats which means that there is none left for my “péché mignon”. I prefer goat’s cheese because it goes through all the nuances, when young it is mild and creamy, sensuously melting in your mouth releasing its flavour slowly. When older, goat’s cheese gets harder and tastes dryer, slightly sharp and less acid than the young version. One of my favourite goat’s cheeses is the Valencay which is shaped like a pyramid with the top cut off. It is a cheese made using traditional methods. When it is young it is covered with salted charcoal ash to preserve it, as it matures a natural bluish mould develops. I like the nutty flavour found when tasting the Valencay, it goes perfect on crackers, bread or just on its own with a good wine like a Sancerre or a Chablis. A Valencay can also be used to make a soufflé, perfect for a dinner starter.
Goat's cheese Souffleé
Goat’s Cheese Soufflé
This is my favourite Goat’s Cheese Soufflé recipe. It needs to be prepared on the spot as you will need to eat it immediately after it comes out of the oven because it will begin to deflate as soon as it hits the dinner table. I vary the goat cheese used for this recipe depending on the strength desired and of course on what is available in the market that day.
Ingredients for 4 to 6 individual soufflés:
2 tablespoons fresh butter
3 tablespoons flour
¾ cup of milk
1 bay leaf
1 ½ ounces of heavy fresh cream or fresh cream cheese
5 ounces firm goat cheese diced (It works well with all varieties of goat’s cheese including blue cheeses like Roquefort)
Salt & pepper
Preparation: I always start this recipe by pouring myself a glass of wine and tasting my ingredients, they look so delicious that I can’t resist them.
Melt the butter in a saucepan under a medium heat. Take care NOT to cook the butter, just melt it. Add the flour, stirring constantly and cook until golden. Start adding the milk slowly, always stirring. Add the bay leaf and season with salt and pepper. Simmer for about 5 minutes stirring your mixture.
Preheat the oven to 375°F and butter your soufflé cups. Remove the sauce from the heat, discard the bay leaf, add the cheeses and stir until smooth.
In a clean bowl, whip the egg whites until they are firm. Mix the egg whites with the cheese sauce slowly with a spatula, do this with folding movements, DO NOT WHIP, fold slowly until both mixtures are completely mixed. Gently fill up your soufflé dishes with the mixture and bake in the preheated oven for about 25 minutes until puffed and golden brown.
Serve as soon as it comes out of the oven.
What's your favorite French cheese? Watch this video to learn about the various types and, perhaps, discover a new preference!
Spinach and Goat’s Cheese Soufflé Recipe
- Spinach And Goat’s Cheese Soufflé Recipe
Known as a challenging dish, Gordon’s version of a soufflé packs a taste punch with its goat’s cheese and parmesan flavour.
Tartalettes au Rocamadour
The Rocamadour is a soft Goat’s cheese whose name means “little goat’s cheese” as the cheese is only about 6 cm in diameter by 1,5 cm of thickness. This cheese is consumed from March to November and it can be eaten as a starter, on a salad or at the end of a meal in a cheese platter. The best wine to go with a Rocamadour is a Cahors. The Tartalettes au Rocamadour are good served on its own as a starter or as a main dish accompanied by a green salad. Most French housewives make their own pastry but I have never been successful at it so I use ready made short-crust pastry.
Ingredients for 4 Tartalettes au Rocamadour :
10 cl milk
10 cl fresh cream
80 g; magret fume (smoked duck breast) or Parma ham.
Ready made short crust pastry.
Preparation: Arrange your pastry in individual pastry moulds.
In a bowl mix milk, cream eggs and 4 rocamadours. Add the magret cut in very small pieces.
Fill your pastries with the above mixture and top it up with a whole Rocamadour.
Bake in a preheated oven for about 20 minutes.
French Cheese Assortment captures a good bit of French cheese culture with Buche de Chevre,Saint Andre, Pont L'Eveque, Gruyère de Comté.