Mushroom and Chestnut Pate with Goat Cheese

Our thanks to loyal cheese customer, Frank Schmidt, for bringing the following delicious recipe to our attention as we’ve adapted from the website, The Year In Food.

16 oz. Cremini mushrooms, stems removed, chopped
1 cup Roasted Chestnuts, chopped
1 cup diced onion
1/3 cup diced shallot
5 oz. plain tub Goatsbeard goat cheese
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
1 Tablespoon fresh chopped thyme, plus more for garnish
2-3 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons dry sherry
sea salt and fresh black pepper
fresh parsley for garnish

Warm a large skillet over medium-low flame. Add 1 Tbsp. olive oil. When warmed, add the onions and shallots. Stir occasionally, making sure not to let the shallots burn, for about three minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute, also being careful not to let the garlic burn.

Stir in the mushrooms and sauté for another five minutes. Add the Sherry and thyme, and season generously with salt and freshly ground pepper.

When the Sherry has mostly cooked off, add the goat cheese and stir just a little to soften the cheese. Fold in the chestnuts. Remove from heat.

Spoon the mixture into a food processor, and add 1-2 tablespoons olive oil, as needed. Puree until chunky-smooth. Taste to see if more salt or pepper is needed.

Serve atop crostini or on crackers. Garnish with freshly ground black pepper, fresh thyme and parsley.

You can make this in advance-the flavors will improve if left to sit overnight. Refrigerate for up to four days.


Spring Salad with Asparagus, Arugula and Walloon Cheese

6 oz. Goatsbeard Farm Walloon Cheese
1 lb. asparagus stalks, trimmed
2 medium shallots, finely diced
1 ½ Tbl. white wine vinegar
3 ½ Tbl. roasted walnut oil
4 cups spring lettuces
2 cups arugula

Cut the Walloon into matchstick pieces and allow to come to room temperature.

Simmer the asparagus in boiling salted water for a minute or so.  It should remain fairly crisp.  Immerse in cold water and then blot dry with paper towels.

Make a vinaigrette dressing by combining the shallots, vinegar and 1/8 tsp. salt in a small bowl and allow to stand for 15 minutes.  Then whisk in walnut oil.

 Dress the lettuces and arugula with a small amount of vinaigrette, and arrange them on a large plate.  Top with asparagus spears and then matchsticks of cheese.  Pour remaining dressing over the salad and serve.

Serves six.


Baked Shrimp with Feta Cheese

¼ cup olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 lbs. tomatoes, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped or 32 oz. canned tomatoes, chopped
1-1/2 lbs. raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
½ lb. Goatsbeard Farm Feta
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Chopped parsley

Heat the oil in a large skillet and sauté onion until tender but not brown.  Add the garlic, and sauté for about a minute.  Add tomato and cook until heated through.  Add shrimp and cook 6-7 minutes or until almost done.  Coarsely crumble the feta into the tomato/shrimp mixture and heat until the cheese just begins to melt.   Adjust seasonings and sprinkle generously with chopped parsley.  Serve immediately with rice or roasted potatoes.

Serves four.


Spring Onion, Spinach and Goat Cheese Bread Pudding


1 lb. country style bread, crust removed, cut into ¾ inch cubes
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 bunches scallions, cut into ½-inch lengths
8 ounces spinach, tough stems removed, washed well and coarsely chopped
2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
4 large eggs
1½  cups half and half
¾ cup sour cream
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
10 ounces Goatsbeard Farm Fresh Goat Cheese, crumbled

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Toast bread crumbs on a cookie sheet until golden—about 10 minutes. 

Melt butter in a large skillet and sauté green onions until soft, about 3 minutes.  Add garlic and spinach and stir, cooking just until spinach wilts.  Season with salt and pepper.

In a large bowl, whisk eggs, half and half, sour cream and nutmeg.  Fold in bread cubes, vegetable mixture, and half the goat cheese.  Season with salt and pepper.  Let stand at least 30 minutes, or overnight.  (Bring to room temperature before baking.)

Transfer mixture to a 9-by-12 baking dish.  Sprinkle with remaining goat cheese.  Place baking dish in a larger roasting pan and fill roasting pan with enough hot water to come halfway up the sides of the baking dish.  Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the pudding is set and the top is golden brown.  Serve hot or warm.

 Serves 8.

(Adapted from Food and Wine, March 2005)


Goat Cheese Cake with Fresh Fruit

12 oz. Goatsbeard Farm Fresh Goat Cheese
¾ cup plus 1 Tbl. sugar
1 -1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. minced lemon zest
1 tsp. vanilla extract
6 large eggs, separated
3 Tb. all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch round cake pan and dust with 1 Tbl. sugar.

Combine cheese with ¾ cup sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Beat in egg yolks, one at a time. Add flour.

In another bowl, using clean beaters, beat the egg whites until firm. Beat one third of the egg whites into the cheese mixture. Gently fold in remaining egg whites. Bake 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean and cake is deep golden brown. Cool for 15 minutes on cooling rack; remove from pan and cool completely.

Invert onto serving plate and dust with confectioner’s sugar. Spoon sweetened fresh fruit on top and serve.

(From The New American Cheese by Laura Werlin)


Serving Cheese

We recommend removing your goat cheese (or any cheese for that matter!) from the refrigerator about 30 to 45 minutes before serving. This allows time for the cheese to develop its full flavor and best texture for serving.

When you open the package you may notice a little moisture—this is natural whey and doesn’t affect the quality of the cheese in any way. Once opened, fresh cheese is best stored in its original packaging or in tightly closed waxed paper. We suggest wrapping aged cheeses first in waxed paper and then in plastic wrap. Check the cheese every few days to be sure moisture isn’t being trapped in the wrapping, or that the cheese isn’t drying out.

  • Fresh rounds can be served whole or sliced with crackers or bread.
  • Fresh plain rounds can be sprinkled with fresh herbs, garlic, cracked pepper, laced with roasted red pepper, pesto or diced anchovies, and drizzled with olive oil.
  • Tubs of fresh cheese can be spread on crackers, bread, pita, or bagels. We like the following pairings in particular:
    • Chipotle cheese with pretzels or tortilla chips
    • Curry cheese with apples or chutney
    • Garlic cheese stirred into scrambled eggs or crumbled into baked potatoes
    • Herb cheese sprinkled on salads or pizza
  • Cut soft-ripened cheeses such as our Missouri Moon or Prairie bloom into wedges before serving. Remember the rind is edible and delicious.
  • Use the Walloon as a grating cheese, or sliced for sandwiches. Slice or cut into cubes before serving with crackers.
  • Moniteau Blue is ideal served in wedges with grapes and crackers. Use it to make your favorite Blue Cheese Dressing or just sprinkle it directly on a salad.
  • Alice Waters created one of our favorite ways to feature fresh goat cheese: Coat ½ inch slices with bread crumbs or chopped pecans, warm in the oven until cheese becomes soft, and place on salad.

Enjoying Cheese with Friends

Many people enjoy including a cheese course at the end of a dinner with friends, often in lieu of a more traditional desert. Generally, between one and two ounces of cheese per person is suggested for this purpose, and a variety of tastes will be appreciated. You might also vary the texture of the cheeses offered—soft, hard, crumbly or ripened. Accompany the cheeses with ripe or dried fruit, bread or crackers and perhaps toasted nuts. Walnuts are especially delicious with fresh goat cheese.

Generally, we find that fresh goat cheese pairs well with crisp white wines such as Sauvignon Blanc or a dry Chenin Blanc. With our soft-ripened cheeses—the Missouri Moon and Prairie Bloom, we suggest a red wine such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Noir. A sherry or port generally works well with the Moniteau Blue. Ask a wine merchant for help with these pairings.

We recommend the following books which are filled with interesting and useful information on cheese—its history, how it is made, the different types and how to use them. Have a look at:

  • The Cheese Course by Janet Fletcher (Chronicle Books, 2000)
  • The Cheese Plate by Max McCalman and David Gibbons (Potter, 2002)
  • The Cheese Primer by Steven Jenkins (Workman, 1996)
  • New American Cheese by Laura Werlin (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2000)

Index of Recipes

Mushroom and Chestnut Pate with Goat Cheese

Spring Salad with Asparagus, Arugula and Walloon Cheese

Baked Shrimp with Feta Cheese

Spring Onion, Spinach and Goat Cheese Bread Pudding 

Goat Cheese Cake with Fresh Fruit