Welcome to Shaking Up Chèvre, a six-part collaboration between Goat Cheeses of France—the official US campaign for spreading the word on the tasty goodness of French chèvre— culture, and some amazing food bloggers. Our mission? To hand down tips and tricks on how to cook with and pair French goat’s milk cheeses! First up: author and recipe developer Amy Sherman of Cooking with Amy takes on Selles-sur-Cher and Florette…
Conventional wisdom says cheese should not be paired with seafood, but there are exceptions to every rule. Goat cheese often works surprisingly well with seafood. Think a seeded wheat bread slathered with creamy goat cheese and topped with smoked salmon or orzo with shrimp and tomatoes and goat cheese or even a beet salad with goat cheese and anchovies.
Selles-sur-cher has an edible ash coating, which adds a minerality to the cheese. The interior is creamy right below the ash and a bit fluffier towards the center. The cheese offers that lovely fresh cheese tang but also light herbal grassy notes. These gentle flavors complement the delicacy of seafood. In this recipe I’ve combined it with scallops, and added dill and a touch of garlic, which pair beautifully with both seafood and cheese. The crusty crostini with tender seafood and melting cheese make a wonderful appetizer. Try it with a sauvignon blanc or cava.
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- ¼ pound scallops, diced (preferably dry packed)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh dill, minced
- ½ Selles-sur-Cher wheel, crumbled, about 2½ ounces
- 12 baguette slices, very lightly toasted
- Melt the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the scallops and garlic. Cook, stirring, until the scallops are just cooked through and liquid reduces, about two minutes. Add the dill and cook 30 seconds more. Transfer mixture to a bowl and let cool. Add the cheese to the scallops and stir to combine.
- Preheat broiler. Place the toasted baguette slices on a broiler pan. Top each slice with the scallop mixture. Broil the crostini a couple of inches from the heating element until the bread begins to brown along the edges and the cheese melts, about two to three minutes. Transfer to a platter and let cool slightly before serving.
Florette is a delicate and very creamy bloomy rind goat cheese. I think of it as “goat cheese for beginners”—it’s so mild and gooey it resembles brie. It’s a bit of a blank canvas, and perfect on a baguette but also lovely with fruit. I like it with fresh berries, but this time of year I pair it with figs. Fresh figs can easily be turned into a sophisticated condiment that can be dolloped on top of the cheese or spread on bread. I also recommend serving the compote on a cheese plate with the Florette, toasted nuts, and slices of tart green apple.
- 4 fresh figs
- ½ cup port
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 2 teaspoons orange marmalade
- Chinese five-spice powder, to taste
- Trim the stem and cut each fig into about 4-6 chunks.
- In a medium non-stick skillet, add the port, honey, and orange marmalade. Simmer until the honey and marmalade dissolve and the mixture begins to reduce. Add the figs and simmer; the figs will give off liquid. Continue cooking until the liquid forms a thick syrup.
- Transfer to a bowl and, when cooled, slightly stir in Chinese five-spice powder to taste—start with just a tiny pinch.
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