>Goat Cheese and Sweet Corn Tartlets


First off, I must confess to you all..NO I will not, okay but it’s really really bad…  I’m addicted to goat cheese! Whew, that was stressful! I’ve loved goat cheese or often called “chevre” since the second I was  introduced to it. I remember losing my goat cheese celibacy when I was working at Taliesin, and we received 6 logs of  Montrachet Chevre. The smell instantly reminded me of a farm on a sunny summer day and tasted how a goat would smell. The tasting brought back memories of when I was a small boy and we owned a goat named Brownie. The three things I remember from Brownie were that him chewing up a toaster, him jumping over a fence and how he smelt. I really couldn’t tell you why we had a goat or what happened to him. Hmmm. Maybe my Dad will read this and fill us in on Brownie.

If you too are a goat cheese fanatic I recommend trying humboldt fog, bucheron or bucherolle or a goat gouda.  From cheaper, whipped goat cheese to the real, stinky goat cheese with the rinds that gives you a taste like no other, they are all very good! 

Sweet corn and caramelized onions are two things that pair really well with goat cheese, that’s where these tartlets come into play. Try them out and let me know what you think. I thought they were very impressive and packed a huge punch of flavor.
Goat Cheese and Sweet Corn Tartlets

Makes 8 tartlets

10 sheets of phyllo dough
1/2 Cup (1 Stick butter,melted) plus 1 tablespoon
2 1/2 cups sliced red onions
1  teaspoons sugar
8 Ounces fresh goat cheese 
(I used a cheap one like Montrachet)
1 cup fresh corn kernels(2 ears)
(If you don’t have any ears of corn stashed away in the
freezer,the frozen bags of corn from the frozen section at your grocers will do)
Freshly ground pepper to taste

1. Lay 1 sheet of phyllo on a flat surface. Lightly butter the phyllo with a brush, working from the edges towards the middle, layer 4 more sheets over the first, buttering each one.  

2. Cut the layered phyllo into four 6 by 8 inch rectangles. Repeat process with the remaining 5 sheets of phyllo to create 8 rectangles. 

 3. To create that yummy tartlet , take one phyllo rectangle and fold each side over by 1/2 inch. Fold each side over twice more in 1/2 inch increments , to create a rectangular tartlet shell that should be around 3 1/2 by 4 1/2 inches

4. With two fingers pinch each corner of the tartlets to prevent from unraveling when baked. Lightly brush tartlets with butter and used a fork to poke small holes on the bottom. You can chill the tartlets until you’re ready to use if you’d like.

5. In a saute pan, melt 1 tablespoon butter. Cook the onions over medium heat until they begin to soften up and start to brown. 4 mins. Sprinkle with sugar and continue cooking for 3 mins. Remove from heat, let cool completely.

6.Preheat oven 375 degress F. Top each tartlet with layer of caramelized onion, corn, and goat cheese to your liking. Add a touch of pepper, optional. 

7. Bake on nongreased baking sheet for 12 to 15 until crisp and golden.


>Greek Spanikopita – Rich, Savory and Always Delicious


Spanikopita is a rich and savory Greek pastry, layered with spinach, feta, onions, eggs, herbs and good amount of butter, you can see why the Greek eat it as a snack. When feta is not readily available or if your trying to save some money, ricotta can be substituted for feta. Also, I’ve found buying feta in a block is much tastier and cheaper than the crumbled.

There are many forms in which you can make spanikopita such as the pie method, rolled up like a jelly roll, napoleon-stacked or in triangles. It is very versatile and you really have to make it to your liking. Can also get creative and replace part of the spinach with leeks, sorrel or chard to create a different palate.
I chose to do the pie method this time as I haven’t tried it before. It turned out to be a great way to make spanikopita. Here’s the recipe I’ve formed from different sources as well as trial and errors.

1 tablespoon butter, plus 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 Pounds spinach, dried really good with a towel or pressed between two plates
1 Cup (6 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
1/8 teaspoon ground or freshly grated nutmeg
1 Egg plus 1 egg yolk
2 Tablespoons heavy cream
9 Sheets phyllo dough

Oven – 375 Degrees

Grab a saute pan and melt the 1 tablespoon butter. Cook onion and garlic until slightly browned and fragrant, usually about 2-3 minutes. Add your spinach and cook uncovered until coated with butter and beginning to be more tender.  Drain the spinach, Add Nutmeg, salt and pepper. Let sauteed mixture cool completely.

Large bowl, add feta, egg, egg yolk, and cream. Slightly chop spinach mixture and add to your egg mixture. Mix.

1. Brush your pie pan with butter. 2. Lay 1 sheet of phyllo face down on a flat surface and brush lightly with the melted butter working from the edges towards the middle. Lay 2 or more down(depending on your liking or how thick you would like your spanikopita) brushing between each layer. 3. Drape buttered pastry dough over the pie pan and press into place. 4. Add spinach layer.
  5. Repeat steps 1-4  till you have 3 layers or more layers.  6. Bake until golden, 20-25 minutes. Let spanikopita rest for 5 minutes after removal from oven.
Smell it, Eat It, Enjoy it