Tag Archives: goat cheese

Red and Yellow Bell Pepper Tartare, a French and Macedonian fusion dish

– pronounced “peeh-per”- means pepper in Macedonian. Piper is to Macedonian cuisine what corn is to a 4th of July meal, a must. It is central to every aspect of cooking, used as the main piece on the plate, as a side dish as well as a spice. Dozens of varieties flavor the local life, each particular piper having its own use. Round peppers with four lobes are used for stuffing, long green peppers for frying in a pan, firm short green or yellow ones are pickled, the long flat and sweet or diabolically hot ones are roasted and prepared with garlic, oil, salt, pepper and vinegar. Finally, and historically ┬áthe most important, are the peppers grown for spice.

In our family, the smell of pepper immediately triggers memories of our trips to the farmers’ markets, of our grand-father biking home with a huge bag of green yellow and read shapes dangling over his shoulder, of our grand-mother cooking lovingly and caning delicious spreads for the winter.

It also reminds me teenage years, when every summer was spent traveling through this wonderful country, swimming in the mountain lakes, strolling through colorful and lively streets, visiting small churches, relishing delicious honey bought from small producers…

Summer-Ohrid Lake-piper, a delightful recurring trilogy.

About this dish : it is a combination between the macedonian memories and the French flavors that I grew up with. Macedonian piper meets goat cheese and balsamic vinegar.

The preparation goes very easily once the peppers are roasted and pealed. The easiest is to prepare them twenty four hours in advance. The rest takes about 10 minutes.

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Zucchini and Goat cheese Millefeuille

As we can finally feel some warmth, fresh dishes start to become more appealing. My first step was to look inside our refrigerator searching for fruits and vegetables that shout “refreshing“. Fresh herbs, zucchini squash…how about something sweet and zesty to add to that, maybe a tad tangy too…yes, a green apple will do. Don’t forget le fromage (cheese), preferably fresh as well…and I was ready to let my imagination flow.

This is my process most of the time. I think of a mood, I think sensation, and then open my fridge for inspiration. Then I look at Loulou to confirm my intuition – always making sure that I choose something she might like, something healthy too. We are very fortunate to leave next to a great produce market and if the fridge is empty, the produce is at hand just steps away.

For this recipe you will need a few tools like aluminum rings and a mandolin. But once everything is on the table, the next steps go really fast.

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Goat Cheese Mint Tomatoes

This is the first of many recipes to come. Why pick this one? So many reasons. Well, first because I found these pretty tomatoes this morning at the market. Also because the recipe is fairly easy and rewarding. Mainly because I love eating it. Especially when you pick your tomatoes in season, especially if you find them in different colors and shapes. Add to that the smell of the fresh mint spreading throughout my kitchen… now you probably understand my choice.

There is almost no need for recipe. Just imagine the bright colors on your plate and the texture of a fresh goat cheese. Add some mint, chives, lemon and mint…That makes me hungry already and it’s barely past coffee time.

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