Feuilette of goat’s curd with olive tapenade (Serves 4)
300g puff pastry
Flour for dusting
250g goat’s curd or soft goat’s cheese (see the note in step 4 regarding goat’s cheese as an alternative)
12 pitted black olives sliced in quarters
4 radishes sliced in rounds
Extra virgin olive oil
Picked herbs such as chervil and tarragon to finish plus a few salad leaves for scattering
For the tapenade:
150g pitted black olives
2 anchovy fillets, optional
1 dessertspoon of small capers
1 tsp of thyme leaves
2-3 dessertspoon extra virgin olive oil
1. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the puff pastry to a thickness of around 2-3mm. Cut eight neat even-sized rectangles (two per portion) measuring around 3cm wide and 10 or 12cm long. Transfer to a baking tray lined with parchment paper and chill for at least an hour. Pre-heat the oven to 180c/gas mark 4.
2. Place another sheet of parchment paper on top of the pastry and cover with a light baking sheet, then bake in the oven for 10 minutes, turning the tray half way through. Check the pastry: the sheets should be light golden brown but crisp and cooked. Cook a little longer if they need a few minutes more. Remove the top tray for the last few minutes if you think the pastry looks too pale in colour. Remove from the oven to cool and, once cold, store in an airtight container for up to 24 hours.
3. For the tapenade: place all the ingredients except the olive oil in a food mixer and process to a paste, then add the oil and blitz in to incorporate. Refrigerate until needed.
4. Transfer the goat’s curd into a piping bag fitted with a 1cm plain nozzle. Refrigerate until needed. Regarding goat’s curd: you can find this in larger delis or good cheese shops and it possesses a lightness of texture and a delicate taste which I find irresistible. If you struggle to find it, buy instead a very soft textured, creamy goat’s cheese (about 150g) then scrape off any outer membrane or coating and discard. Place the goat’s cheese in a small mixing bowl and add one or two spoonfuls of double cream and stir in to soften and loosen.
5. To assemble: lay the eight puff pastry rectangles out on a clean surface, four of these will be bases and four will be lids or upper levels of the feuillete. On each piece, pipe two strips of goat’s curd down the full length. Scatter the sliced olives all over. Now cover the four base pieces by lifting the four upper sections and place these four lids on the four bases, with the goat’s cheese facing upwards.
6. Put a small dab of tapenade on one side of the plate and, with the help of a spatula, lift the pastry onto the plate, the dab of tapenade will help to keep it in place. Do the same for all four. Now spoon some tapenade onto the plate next to the pastry. Scatter with radishes, herbs and salald leaves then drizzle with olive oil and serve at once.
Goat’s cheese and thyme soufflé
This is baked and served in wide oven-proof bowls, not the traditional soufflé ramekin, making it easier to prepare and serve and quicker to cook. Makes six bowls.
30g unsalted butter at room temperature
Clove of garlic
200g freshly grated parmesan
6 free range eggs, separated
400g soft goat’s cheese
150ml double cream
1 rounded dessertspoon of chopped thyme leaves
1. Pre-heat the oven to 200c/gas mark 6. Peel the clove of garlic then rub it round the inside of the bowls. Brush the softened butter inside the bowls, coming three quarters of the way up the bowl.
2. Place the parmesan in the first bowl and shake it round so it covers the butter, sticking to the inside of the plate, then tip the parmesan into the next plate and continue until all are dusted and lined with the parmesan. There should be a little left, set this aside.
3. Whisk the egg yolks until smooth and slightly thickened, then add the goat’s cheese and repeat to combine thoroughly. Add the thyme, seasoning and then stir in the cream to mix. This can be done to this stage in advance, up to two hours.
4. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form then fold carefully into the mixture base. Divide between the prepared bowl and sprinkle on the last of the parmesan.
5. Place on a baking sheet (or over several if necessary) and bake in the oven until puffy and golden and just set in the middle, about 8 – 10 minutes. When serving, remember to warn guests that the bowls are piping hot.
Geoffrey Smeddle is the chef patron of The Peat Inn by St Andrews, Fife Ky15 5LH 01334 840206 www.thepeatinn.co.uk