After several busy weeks preparing for Expo Manger Santé et Vivre Verte, it was nice to have a bit of a lull this week to get back to what I love best.... experimenting in the kitchen! This is where the scientist in me can fully express her creative genius. For me, cooking and science are totally interrelated. Measuring, heating, weighing, mixing.... waiting, watching and tasting. I just love the process.
I'm constantly wondering; what if I mix this and that? Rarely do I follow a recipe to the letter. I have an inner diva that just needs to add my own personal fingerprint to all that I create. I can disappear into the kitchen for days trying to recreate something that I ordered in a restaurant!
This week my inner diva was inspired to create a brand new cheese flavour. I've been working on a blueberry Chèvre for a while now in what little spare time that I have. I tried one with a balsamic reduction which was very good, but a bit messy looking. This week's inspiration was to add fresh rosemary! It worked out beautifully. This is the final product: Rosemary Blueberry Chèvre.
This is a spreadable vegan cashew based cheese which is tangier than any of our other cheeses. Despite it's name, it's not made with any goat's milk.... it's all cashews! It's made with sweetened dried blueberries, lemon rind and fresh rosemary and it's fermented a bit longer to really let the flavours develop. It's lovely on crackers and would make an interesting addition to a cheese board. It's not nearly as sweet as our Holiday Brie since it doesn't contain any coconut oil. It's soy-free, so even those with soy allergies can enjoy this one.
Let me stress that this is a BRAND new limited-edition flavour. That means that we don't even have a label for it yet!! Despite that fact, I have decided to offer it exclusively at La journée de la femme in Alexandria this Sunday. It's that good. I posted the picture yesterday morning and yesterday afternoon there was already someone at the door asking for it! But I'm saving it for Sunday.
On another note.... let's talk about this week's recipe. Quesadillas are one of my regular go-to meals. They come together in less than 10 minutes, and often, that's all the time I have to get something onto my plate. Add a little salsa or guacamole and you have a meal that's full of flavour, and who couldn't use a little more kale in their lives?? I suggest you give this a try.
Kale and Jalapeño Quesadillas
2 whole wheat tortillas
1/4 cup Zengarry Smokey Jalapeño Cashew Cheese
2 handfuls of kale, stems removed
2 green onions chopped
3 Tbsp. of your favourite salsa
Chop the kale into bite sized pieces and sauté in a splash of water until wilted and softened.
Spread Zengarry Smokey Jalapeño Cashew Cheese on one of the tortillas. Sprinkle with sautéd kale, green onions and salsa. Top with the second tortilla. Warm a non-stick skillet. Add your quesadilla to the skillet without oil or anything. Toast on one side for 3 minutes or so until it's golden. Flip it over and toast the other side.
Top with my easy Four Ingredient Guacamole, cherry tomatoes, chopped cilantro or whatever you like.
I brought these to a pot luck recently and they were a huge hit. If you've never cooked with phyllo dough before this is a simple recipe to start with. Just make sure that you don't let your sheets dry out or they get brittle. I keep them moist by covering the sheets I'm not using yet with parchment paper and a damp clean dish towel until I'm ready to use them.
1 package of vegan phyllo dough thawed in the fridge overnight
1 package of Zengarry Gruyère Cashew Cheese
1 pound of asparagus
1 pound of sliced button mushrooms
1-2 Tbsp. fresh sage, minced
2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
olive oil for brushing
Blanch your asparagus in boiling water and then plunge it in ice water to stop the cooking. This way they stay nice bright green and don't get overcooked.
Sauté the mushrooms in a bit of olive oil (or broth or water) until softened. Add sage and balsamic vinegar and sauté for 3 more minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Take your phyllo dough out of the box and lay it on the counter covered by parchment paper and a damp dish towel.
Carefully lay out 2 sheets of phyllo dough one on top of the other. Cover the rest of the sheets with the plastic and damp dishtowel again. Brush the tops of both sheets with olive oil (or spray with cooking spray). Slice your phyllo dough width-wise (so you get 3 long rectangles about the width of a cigar). Lay your stuffings (mushrooms, 2 asparagus stalks and a couple of dollops of Zengarry Gruyère Cashew Cheese) along the bottom of your phyllo rectangle. Roll each rectangle around your stuffings to form a cigar shape. Arrange your cigars on a baking sheet and brush with olive oil.
Cook in a preheated oven at 350 degrees Celcius for about 12 minutes, until your cigars begin to turn golden brown. Remove from the oven and serve warm.
Of our six currently available flavours, one of my absolute favourites is Zengarry's Gruyère with Cumin Seed. It was inspired by my pre-vegan days passion for Lankaaster Cumin Flavoured cheese made locally by Glengarry Fine Cheese in Lancaster, Ontario. I am not the only one who believes that cumin seed belongs in cheese, Glengarry Fine Cheese Lankaaster Cumin finished in the top 3 at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in the Flavoured Cheese category.
Zengarry's Gruyère with Cumin Seed is a semi-firm cashew cheese, cultured with probiotics, blended with a touch of coconut oil and miso and dehydrated to achieve the perfect mature, buttery finish. We use whole cumin seed for a fuller flavour, so you will notice them peppered throughout your wheel.
The complex flavour makes our Gruyère with Cumin Seed hold it's own on a cheese board. I love to serve it with Crunchmaster gluten-free rice and sesame crackers and dried apricots. Fresh mango chutney also pairs beautifully with this creamy treat.
My all time favourite sandwich is my variation of the Ruben; toasted rye bread spread with Zengarry Gruyère with Cumin Seed topped with capers, sauerkraut and some freshly ground black pepper. This packs a double dose of probiotics into one delicious sandwich. Although it does not travel very well since the moisture in the sauerkraut tend to make the toast soggy. So enjoy it freshly made.
It also makes an impressive Gruyère en Croûte with Mango Chutney.
I really hope this post has given you the confidence to give it a try, since, in my opinion, this stellar flavour is not receiving the attention it deserves! Break out of your comfort zone and try it at your next special event!
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