So here is what I learned from my first attempt at diving into the list of recipes I’m aiming to cook through by 2016.
- I can’t follow directions.
Let me elaborate here. I can follow directions, but I choose not to. It’s a problem. If they tell you to finely mince something, just do it. There’s not always a reason but usually there’s a pretty good one. AKA – when they say finely mince the pistachios, just do it! Or else it looks totally weird. Also when they say buy shelled pistachios, don’t think “oh it probably won’t take THAT long to shell a half cup.” It will.
2. Mom is the artist. I am not.
Case in point: I cannot mold cheese to look like fruit. What ever will I do for the rest of my life?
The season premiere of GIRLS was on Sunday, so I made like Marnie and pretended to be an adult while obviously struggling to exist and function on the most basic human level.
I decided to try and make the ‘Goat Cheese Pears’ to go on my already pretty basic cheese board.
Somewhat odd shaped lumps of cheese rolled in crushed pistachios that were freakin’ delicious. If you have the patience: try the pear thing, it’s adorable when done right. If you’re not into that just roll the cheese into any shape you want and then coat in the pistachios. You can’t go wrong with the crunch of the nuts + the creaminess of the cheese. Total win.
“Fresh Goat Cheese ‘Pears’ With Pistachio Dust”
Cookbook: The Cheesemonger’s Kitchen
Author: Chester Hastings
All italicized sentences are my own additions to the recipe…some additions are helpful. Some are not. You be the judge.
This recipe makes 6 pears – I adjusted and made 2.
½ cup of shelled pistachios (see point 1 above the cut – follow instructions and save the work, buy them shelled!)
12 oz of fresh goat cheese
6 fresh herb leaves, such as marjoram or oregano
Pulse the pistachios in a spice grinder until powdery fine. Depending on the size of your grinder, it might be best to do this in a couple of batches. Pulsing the nuts will prevent them from turning into butter, which, while delicious, is not what we’re going for here. If you do now own a spice grinder (Who the hell actually does? Seriously?) some ambitious knife chopping will do just fine. Pass the ground pistachios through a fine-mesh sieve over a bowl to create an ultrasilky dust (Dude, shut up.). Reserve the remaining pistachios from the sieve for cookies or cakes (or to eat in a bowl while you down the rest of the red wine you started drinking at 4 o’clock. I love Sundays. God said rest, not make cookies and cake with left over pistachios.).
Divide the goat cheese into six golf ball-size pieces. Shape the balls into free-form pears, remembering that nature refuses to make any two alike, so you shouldn’t try too hard either. (You over estimate my commitment to goat cheese sculpting.)
Roll the goat cheese “pears” one at a time, in the pistachio dust until well coated. Shake off any excess pistachio dust back into the bowl.
After the cheese is coated, you can reshape it if needed (Except you told me not to stress about that, so what are you really trying to say here?) but the less it is handled, the brighter the shade of green it will remain. Use the small herb leaves to make the “pear leaves.” (I used sage.)
The “pears” are best served the same day and can be made several hours before serving.
p. 27 – Cheese Boards