Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Three Recipes: Grape, Pistachio and Goat Cheese “Truffles,” Beet “Tartare,” and Camembert Grilled Cheese with Apple

In November of 2013, I went to a cheese fest where there were a number of speakers. Best, for me, was Hosea Rosenberg, who prepared three quick recipes while he took questions from the audience.

A lot of what he talked about was about his experiences on Top Chef, but he also talked about life before and after the show.

And of course he talked about food.

Back when Rosenberg was on the show, he was chef at Jax Fish House. Now, he's got his own catering company in Boulder, Blackbelly Catering. And he seems like he's having a heck of a lot of fun.

Chef Hosea Rosenberg kindly offered to let me post his recipes here, which is pretty awesome.

The grape truffles were really interesting - it's simple in terms of ingredients, but the flavors mingled in ways you might not expect. He said the key is to get a super-thin layer of the goat cheese because the flavor of goat cheese is so strong, it could easily overpower everything else.

I wish I had a photo of the finished products, but the venue wasn't really conducive for taking any photos. The interesting thing was how the goat cheese was a tiny layer. Like, the thickness of ... uh... really thin. As thin as you can get it. Nearly impossibly thin.

Grape, Pistachio  Goat Cheese “Truffles” 
Recipe courtesy of Hosea Rosenberg from Blackbelly Catering
Used with permission; all rights reserved.
serves 4-8

40 fresh, juicy green & red grapes
8 ounces plain goat cheese
8 ounces shelled pistachios, toasted
grey sea salt
truffle oil

1.  Pick grapes, wash gently in cold water and dry on paper towels.
2.  Roll a very small ball of goat cheese in your hands (roughly half the size of a grape) and flatten in the palm of one hand with your thumb.
3.  Place one grape in center of goat cheese and gently work cheese around until grape is entirely covered.  Chill.
4.  Crush toasted pistachios in food processor until very fine.  Place in bowl.
5.  Roll goat cheese grapes in pistachios, gently pressing, until covered in nuts.  Chill.
6.  To serve, slice grapes in half and set on platter with cut side facing up.  Garnish each cut grape with a couple grains of salt and one drop of truffle salt.  Serve immediately.

Beets me

Next up, we have a beet "tartare." But before you start questioning the idea of raw beets, that's not what's going on here. Hosea called it a tartare because it looks like one. The beets are fully cooked.

Beet “Tartare”
Recipe courtesy of Hosea Rosenberg from Blackbelly Catering
Used with permission; all rights reserved.
serves 10

2 pounds large red beets
2 Tbsp mayonnaise
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp lemon zest
2 tsp  fresh parsley, chopped
2 tsp  shallots, chopped fine
2 Tbsp capers, chopped
hot sauce, to taste (optional)
kosher salt
fresh cracked black pepper

Boil beets in water until cooked through, but still al dente.  Remove from water and chill in ice water until cold.  Peel and dice very small.  Combine with remaining ingredients and season with salt, pepper, and hot sauce if desired.

Serve on crackers with shaved hard cheese (queso de mano from Haystack is our recommended choice).

Grilled and Cheesy

The last recipe is a grilled cheese. Yeah, I know. We all know how to make a grilled cheese sandwich. Even our moms knew how to make them. But this one's got a twist, with apples two ways in the sandwich.

And some spices you might not think of.

As far as the cheese, since Hosea is a local, he chose a local cheese. You can find more info on Haystack Mountain's cheeses here.

Haystack Camembert Grilled Cheese with Apple
Recipe courtesy of Hosea Rosenberg from Blackbelly Catering
Used with permission; all rights reserved.
serves one!

bread of choice
Haystack Mountain camembert cheese, sliced
honeycrips apple, sliced
apple jam (recipe below)

Spread butter on one side of two slices of bread and place in hot pan.  Spread jam on one side, top with cheese and apple.  Place other slice of bread on top and press with spatula.  Flip occasionally until both slices are golden brown and cheese is melted.

apple jam:
2 Honeycrisp apples diced very small
2 Tbps sugar
1 tsp dry mustard seeds
2 C apple cider vinegar
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise pod

Combine all ingredients in pot and bring to boil.  Turn heat to low and simmer until thick and jammy. Remove star anise and cinnamon stick. Cool and keep in refrigerator until ready to use.