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Sunday, October 24, 2004

IMBB#9: Layers and Layers

I have been rather busy with non food related (a shock, but it's true!) items lately and only noted the latest IMBB event hosted by Derrickwhen I saw Clotilde's.

I will not, due to circumstances, have a chance to construct this today, but I would like to present a Most Excellent Recipe to the foodblogging community:

Susan Hattie's Goat Cheese Torta

Susan Hattie was a pal of mine on rec.food.cooking. She died some years ago at age 41 after a heart transplant (she had Hodgkins' as a young woman and the treatment really did a number on her internals). I still miss her, but when I make this, I think of her, and know that she would be happy to see both me making it and people enjoying it. It's a great legacy.

I did post the recipe recently in my catch-up, on Oct. 16. Had I known about IMBB, I would have "saved" it, but here goes again.

I have tweaked Susan's recipe to good effect, and my type-up includes the all important "form the layers on waxed paper" step that hers leaves out, but it's all good.


1 large log (8 or 11 oz) soft goat cheese
1 8 oz package cream cheese (lower fat is ok)
1 or more cloves garlic, minced or smooshed
About 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, chopped and patted very dry with paper towels
About 1/4 cup basil pesto (as "dry" as possible)


Leave the cheeses out to soften, and when they are soft, moosh them together in a bowl and add 1 or more cloves mooshed or finely diced garlic (to your taste).

Cover the bowl with cling wrap and refrigerate until the cheese is a bit more set up (1 hour or more). Overnight will not hurt it at all, indeed, the flavors will "marry".

When you are ready to make it, line a small-medium bowl (I believe the one I usually use holds 20 fl oz - smallish serving or large "ice cream"/cereal bowl) with cling wrap in both directions.

On a piece of cling wrap or waxed paper, form about 1/3 of the cheese (less if the bowl is very tapered) into a flat round that will cover the bottom of the bowl well. Flip the cheese into the bowl and smooth out/patch edges.

Cover cheese with a layer either of the drained chopped tomatoes or the pesto.

Form another round of cheese to cover. Flip into bowl (and patch).

Put whichever of the pesto or tomatoes you didn't use last time on top of the cheese.

Form last of cheese into another round. Flip into bowl and patch.

Cover with the cling wrap or waxed paper you used as a surface. Refrigerate until you are ready to serve.

To serve, remove the top covering, cover bowl with a plate (salad size works well) and invert. Remove bowl and cling wrap. Provide spreaders and baguette slices, or crackers. Eat with happy noises.

I don't have a picture because the last time I made it was for my best friend's birthday and several people were watching me unmold it, and attacked it before I could get the camera out!

This gets more garlicky with age, and if you have leftovers, they are stunningly good on pasta.


Comments:
A good story

GK Chesterton: “The poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese.”

Voila: www.tastingtoeternity.com. This book is a poetic view of 30 of the best loved French cheeses with an additional two odes to cheese. Recipes, wine pairing, three short stories and an educational section complete the book.

From a hectic life in New York City to the peace and glories of the French countryside lead me to be the co-founder of www.fromages.com. Ten years later with the words of Pierre Androuet hammering on my brain:

“Cheese is the soul of the soil. It is the purest and most romantic link between humans and the earth.”

I took pen and paper; many reams later with the midnight oil burning Tasting to Eternity was born and self published.

I believe cheese and wine lovers should be told about this publication.

Enjoy.
 
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