Bob and I have a thing for goat cheese. It all started when we visited the JW Marriott San Antonio last spring. One taste of Chef Jeffrey Surprise's great, goat-cheese-infused scalloped potatoes was all it took to hook us on this milky white cheese and send me searching for ways to use our new obsession. I scored big with my family after trying his recipe. Then I earned extra points with a quick, chicken and goat cheese pizza that sold everyone on the joys of white pizza.
Want to try what's become one of our favorite cheeses? We've teamed up with the folks at Redwood Hill Farm & Creamery to fill one lucky reader's fridge with goat milk cheeses and other dairy delights.
We're giving away a $102 assortment of healthful options from Redwood Hill Farm & Creamery.
You could fill your fridge with 22 dairy delights FREE thanks to Redwood Hill Farm & Creamery. We're giving away a $102 assortment of their award-winning, healthful options, including:
Click "Read More" for details on this delicious prize package and information on how to enter. Contest* ends Jan. 31!
We're giving away a $102 assortment of award-winning, healthful options from Redwood Hill Farm & Creamery, including:
Perfect for wine-and-cheese suppers, these company-worthy cheeses are simply delicious. Top on our list?
Fresh Chevre - A light-textured goat cheese that has no rind. Think cream cheese but softer and fluffier with only 1/3 of the fat and calories. You gotta love that!
Although Redwood Hill Farm Chevre comes in four, fabulous flavors (all included in the prize package described in detail below), being Texans, we're partial to the Roasted Chile, which is laced with tasty green chilies, and Three Peppercorn varieties. Both these treats have just enough kick to get your attention without overpowering your taste buds or the chevre's delicate flavor.
Smoked Goat Milk Cheddar - Aged to bring out the flavor, this smooth cheddar is a great way to get acquainted with the world of goat cheeses. It's mild, milky taste has a noticeable smokiness that complements salty chips, zesty salsas and hoppy beers. Like the chevres, this healthy option is easier to digest and lower in calories and cholesterol than standard cheddars.
And, as a bonus, it can last up to a year unopened in your refrigerator where the flavor just gets sharper and more complex. The only problem is there's no expiration date stamped on the package. As a reminder, I labeled mine so I'd remember when I got it. That'll help IF you don't eat this lucious cheese right away but it didn't last long in our fridge.
Bob and I enjoyed both the Fresh Chevres and the Smoked Cheddar on baked wheat crackers with a full-bodied Chappellet Cabernet Sauvignon. Since both cheeses pair well with the tannins in robust red wines, you could also reach for a Zinfandel.
Although wonderful on their own, these cheeses are also great for cooking. I can't wait to try the Fresh Cherve in the Potato Cheese Chilies recipe below. It would also be yummy over pasta, mixed in scrambled eggs or used in the place of cream cheese in just about any dip, where besides boosting flavor it could help lower calories. A wonderful melting cheese, the Smoked Cheddar's on my must-try list for grilled cheese sandwiches, quesadillas and hamburgers.
Potato Cheese Chilies with Bell Pepper Salsa (recipes below)
This recipe is by Barbara Schack, sister to the late Steven Schack, long-time dairy goat enthusiast and former co-owner of Redwood Hill Farm. Barbara stuffs her chilies with seasoned mashed potatoes. You can mash fresh potatoes or use frozen or instant. To get maximum space for stuffing, select straight poblano chilies.
In a bowl, use a fork or mixer to blend potatoes, chevre, 1/4 cup cotija (or feta), canned chilies, onion and salt.
Wearing rubber gloves, cut poblanos in half lengthways. With a knife, cut seed lump from beneath the stem inside each chili, leaving stem end in place (to form a cup). Pull out and discard veins.
Fill chilies equally with potato mixture. Set chilies in an oiled 9- by 13-inch casserole, filling it. Cover tightly with foil.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.
Uncover; sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cotija (or feta), and return to oven.
Bake until stuffing is dotted with brown, 20 to 25 minutes longer.
Serve chilies with a wide spatula. Add Bell Pepper Salsa and salt to taste.
In an 8- to 9-inch square pan, combine the tomatoes, red bell peppers, garlic and olive oil. Cover tightly with foil.
Bake in a 350-degree oven until tomatoes mash easily, 50 - 60 minutes.
Pour vegetable mixture into a blender or food processor.
Add cilantro, green onions, balsamic vinegar and sugar.
Whirl until coarsely pureed. Add salt to taste.
On the Shelf
You can find Redwood Hill Farms goat milk yogurts, kefirs and artisanal cheeses at RedwoodHill.com as well as at many Whole Foods, Central Markets and other specialty grocers. Green Valley Organics lactose free kefirs, yogurts and sour cream are available at GreenValleyLactoseFree.com and many of the same retailers.
* This contest is only open to entrants in the 50 United States.
Thank you to Redwood Hill Farm & Creamery for providing samples of the artisan cheeses for review and testing.
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