A WordPress Recipe Challenge ~ going savoury

Time for something savoury for my WordPress Recipe Challenge, and what a perfect dish to prepare and eat. Linda over at The Orange Bee suggested  “Smoked Almond & Peppercorn Goat Cheese Log”  in her words it would  “warm you up and make you smile. It’s soooo good!” And she’s right, it’s soooo good.

I picked up a Goats Cheese Log and made this for lunch alongside a fantastically unseasonal Tomato and Basil Soup (the tomatoes were leftover fridge lurkers from a meal the other week). The Cheese was perfect on some thinly sliced bread, lightly toasted. Such a simple and quick dish to prepare. We decided it would be perfect with a glass of something dry, crisp, white and slightly chilled 🙂 Oh and perfect party food too.

And yes I’ll be making this again, and again. Goats cheese is rich and the crushed almonds, the headyness of the crushed peppercorns and the fresh parsley made for a wonderful coating and contrast. I managed to pick up whole peppercorns (black, white and rose) mixed in with some coriander seeds and Jamaican chilli. Ground up they made for a heady mix.

Here’s Linda’s recipe, I reduced the amount as it was only the 2 of us, and we had some of the mixture leftover. I bet if you are a canny cook you would save it and use it as part of a topping on another savoury dish. But I’ve only just thought of that. Too late now!

There isn’t really a recipe for the tomato soup other than peeling a clove of garlic and a couple of shallots and chopping them up, frying them in some olive oil, then adding lots of chopped tomatoes (skins and all), softening them up, then some vegetable stock, a glug of white wine, a few chopped basil leaves, checking for taste and adding some salt and pepper, a pinch of sugar and 1/4 teaspoon of Marmite. And letting it cook. Then whizzing it till it’s smooth. Roll on summer and the taste of homegrown tomatoes !

Smoked Almond & Peppercorn Goat Cheese Log

Ingredients ~

  • 1/2 cup smoked almonds (about 3 oz / 85g
  • 2 tablespoons mixed peppercorns
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons chopped parsley
  • 2 teaspoons chopped chives
  • 2 4 oz. goat cheese logs
  • thinly sliced red and green apples for garnish

Method ~

  • Coarsely chop the almonds in a food processor or with a hand chopper, place in a small bowl.
  • Crush the mixed peppercorns between layers of a folded kitchen towel or wax paper using a meat tenderizer or other heavy kitchen implement.
  • Add the peppercorns to the almonds. Mix in the salt, parsley, and chives. Mix well and spread the mixture on a plate.
    Roll each goat cheese log in the almond mixture, using your hands to help press it into the cheese, leaving the ends uncoated.
  • Garnish with apple slices and serve with crackers, toast rounds or bagel crisps. It is the perfect accompaniment to a glass of fine wine and conversation with great friends!

Tip: Look for whole mixed peppercorns on the spice aisle of your grocery store and if you can find pink peppercorns be sure to add more of them to the mix. If you purchase the peppercorns in one of those bottles that allows you to grind directly from the bottle – you will need to pull the lid off as that grind is usually too fine for this recipe. It’s best if you can find the peppercorns in a bottle with a screw off lid.
Enjoy!

We certainly did Linda, and thank you for the recipe. I’ll think of you and the bees every time I make this.

As it’s a brisk minus something outlandish this morning I’m going to say at home, wrapped up and warm. No wandering and loitering in the cold for me. I can’t see me being able to use my camera in that kind of cold, the only snap I would hear is of frozen fingers! So it’s a baking day. And to continue the Orange Bee theme I’m going to make her Orange Pound Cake with the cheeky addition of some chocolate chips, this afternoon. Let’s hope the oven is on it’s best behaviour 🙂

And the actual temperature?

-15, yes that is minus fifteen.

Brrrrrrrrrr

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37 comments

  • Eek – minus 15? You are wise to stay in and bake! That cheese log looks gorgeous and I love the coating. Tomato soup is like a hug in a bowl, whatever the time of year!

  • Cheese is my downfall. Goat’s cheese – the banana peel on which I slip…it looks absolutely delectable! Paired with the tomato soup, it looks like the perfect food combination for these arctic temperatures!

  • That sounds delicious. I love love LOVE goat cheese!
    And, I learned a trick last year for getting more flavor out of winter tomatoes – roast them in the oven with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of garlic until they brown just a little on top, then pour the whole pan into your soup pot and continue. Not as good as summer, but much better!

    • hi Marie, roasting the tomatoes is definitely a great idea, I’d normally have done it (if I’d remembered!) but our oven is so cranky, to be honest I’m sure it pumps out more heat than it retains and as it’s next to the freezer, that then wamrs up and goes into overdrive. Life huh? Roll on summer and simple tomato salads 🙂

  • That’s a great way to serve goat cheese, Claire, and your tomato soup sounds delicious and comforting. With those cold temperatures, it sounds like you really needed a bowl of comfort.

  • I love the sound of your peppercorn mix with whole coriander and chilies. I’ll just add the two extra ingredients. Baking sounds like a great thing to do on such a cold day. And don’t even mention cracking fingers…not with a wounded arm that is healing.

    • Thanks Karen, it’s sold in jars here in France and makes for a heady mix, but as you say you can make your own, and get the balance you like. I think getting hold of really good fresh peppercorns is harder than we realise, I had the pleasure of getting some in India, and the difference was astounding, particularly the white and green ones. They were so fresh and pungent. I need to find a good source in the UK again…..

  • I think we have the same phone :D. That is very cold indeed. That looks delicious by the way. I love goats cheese. I love that you’ve flavoured it yourself – great idea.

    • Ha 🙂
      I obviously can’t take the glory for thinking of this dish, but it is inspired. And when you think about it, it’s so simple! You could play around with the flavours depending on seasons and what you have to hand.

    • Hmm the one problem with goats cheese is keeping goats! I still have stories firmly implanted in my head from my mum and her expereinces of goats. The are crazy beautiful creatures. And goats cheese is delicious. But I can imagine it would be VERY hard work!

  • What delicious flavor combinations, Claire: pepper and parsley and smoked almonds. I’m off to check out the orange pound cake now because it is still citrus season.

  • Minus fifteen. Brrrrr indeed. I like the sound of this recipe especially as I am uber fond of goat’s cheese plus it sounds very easy to prepare. Thanks for sharing.

  • Well Claire – how can I ever thank you? What a lovely post and shout out! That goat’s cheese log is great – right? I always have leftover coating and use it on all sorts of stuff. Sprinkled on salads, veggies, other cheeses…I’d love to hear how your orange pound cake turned out with the chocolate chips – I just know it must be sooooo good. YOU need to stay warm – brrrrrrr….but it is February. Your tomato soup sounds like the perfect warmer upper!
    P.S. love your previous photos of the kitty. What a great face he has. Nothing better than free entertainment – cats are good at that.

    • Hi Linda, you gave me the recipe for my challenge so it was a pleasure to make, eat and share it. I was thinking about the herb coating and maybe on a pasta dish would be good too, to make a topping with some cheese. Hope you are having a great weekend, I’m off to finish the cake post 🙂

    • Hi Joanne and thank you. The photography is always a challenge, I’m trying to make things in daylight as it’s easier on the camera and the results. But to be honest I’m getting a bit bored of the same plates and tablecloth!!

  • This just sounds delicious and presents beautifully. I can think of so many ways I could enjoy this when entertaining! And I don’t even know what to say about your temperature! Wishing you warmer weather sooner than later! Debra

    • Hi Debra, and thanks for the wishes, the temperatures will rise, but hopefully not too quickly up here in the Alps. I really recommend the goats cheese too 🙂

  • Good thing you had ingredients handy for a warming soup–those temperatures definitely call for it! The cheese combination sounds grand alongside–or as a dollop in the soup itself. My home mix of pepper in the grinder is black, white and pink peppercorns (plus green, when I have them on hand) with just a few whole cloves stuck in. They bring a tiny surprise to the mix that I like. I need to remember to pick up some Marmite for such applications as your lovely soup concoction, as I’m learning it’s a great shot of umami when added to various recipes.

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