On Sundays, my wife and I usually like to graze throughout the day. Only sometimes do I actually cook dinner. My sister-in-law sent me a goat cheese recipe. So I figured Sunday would be a perfect time to try it. She calls it a Goat Cheese Torta, and it was the first time I’ve ever made a cheese ball, which is obvious from the picture. It tasted good, but looked like a mess. They can’t all be winners.
1. Mix cheese: I got the recipe from my sister in law and don’t have a link to post. But it starts out with 6 oz of goat cheese and 4 ounces of cream cheese. My grocery store only sells goat cheese in 4 or 8 oz options. So I decided I would use all 8 ounces. And I bumped up the cream cheese by another ounce and a half or so. I mixed these together in a large bowl with a silicon spatula.
2. Ball the cheese: Line a bowl with some plastic wrap. Then put a third of the cheese mixture in the bottom. Then, the recipe wants you to put half a cup of pesto on top. In retrospect, this was too much. It started leaking out everywhere, despite my best efforts to constrain everything in layers as the recipe seemed to require.
3. Ball the cheese some more: Top the pesto with another third of the cheese mixture. The cheese mixture is not exactly spreadable, so the exercise quickly devolved into a seemingly impossible task. Pesto and cheese were spilled.
4. Ball the cheese again: When you do get the cheese reasonably covering the pesto, chop up a quarter cup of sun dried tomatoes and top. Top the sun dried tomato layer with the remaining cheese. Cover with plastic wrap and set in the fridge.
5. Wait two hours: in the fridge.
6. Present the cheese ball: After it was chilled, I flipped the cheese ball out onto a plate. Then, I removed the bowl and then removed the plastic wrap. The recipe then wanted you to cover the cheese ball with various herbs. Presumably, this would be partly for taste but mostly for appearance. But I didn’t care how it looked, and there was already pesto inside, so extra herbs seemed superfluous. I skipped the herb applciation step. I served this with home made crackers, triscuit, orange peppers, and carrots.
It looked nasty. But overall, it was good. My wife and I love goat cheese. So anything with goat cheese in it is going to be a hit. The herby garlickiness of the pesto went well with the creaminess of the goat cheese mixture. Then, the sun dried tomatoes provided a nice sweet tart contrast. The dip was best with the triscuit and good with the peppers and carrots. It was not so good with the crackers I made, but this was a problem with the crackers.
I will probably try this flavor combination again, but without all the unnecessary presentation work. For one, I now know that I don’t like making cheese balls. Second, if the pesto were combined with the cheese, rather than laid out as a separate layer, I think it would have loosened up the cheese mixture into a more spreadable and enjoyable consistency.