Friday, 22 June 2012

goats cheese and fennel risotto with pea and pernod served with goats cheese and cornish cheddar straws

... as you all know I live in the heart of the countryside... surrounded by nature's bounty... the sound of the cows bellowing in the field across from the cottage drifting through the open doors on a warm sunny day... so this morning as I lay in bed with the glorious summer sunshine streaming in through the gap in the curtains it was an unfamiliar tinkling of bells that gently woke me from my slumber... I could hear the clip-clop of cloven hooves trotting up my driveway and the gentle butting of horns on my front door... was that a bleating I could hear...?

... I feel very fortunate to have been included in the #CapricornChallenge... i'm not sure how she did it... did she walk all the way from Somerset...? but this morning Ethel the Goat delivered a beautiful hamper to my door... as you can see, the hamper is filled to brimming with glorious goodies as well as some divine Capricorn Somerset Goats Cheese... my challenge (although one could hardly call it challenging to cook with such inspirational produce) is to create some delightful dishes and blog about them...

.. it's win-win really... I get to cook and eat some yummy stuff... you hopefully get some inspirational recipes and lovely Ethel gets the chance to bleat about her wonderful cheese... to find out more about the challenge and Ethel herself check out the website...

goats cheese and fennel risotto with pea and pernod
in my humble opinion there are no 3 ingredients that go together better or are more reminiscent of summer evenings that fennel, pernod and goats cheese... yes it's a bit of a liquorish kick but it's subtle enough not to be overpowering and deep enough for the goats cheese to remain a light flavour to the final dish... oh and the aroma in the kitchen...

1 medium onion - finely chopped
1 medium fennel bulb - finely chopped
300g risotto rice
1 capful of pernod
2 pints good quality vegetable stock
a large handful of peas
100g Capricorn Goats Cheese
butter and olive oil

- melt some butter and olive oil in a heavy pan then add the onions and fennel and saute until soft

- add the rice and stir so that the rice soaks up the vegetable juices

- throw in the pernod and stir

- add the stock 100ml at a time, stirring after each addition until the stock is absorbed - this really shouldn't take too long, roughly 15 minutes

- once all the stock has gone you should be left with a thick but creamy risotto - add the peas, stir and then the goats cheese, stir once more and set the dish aside for 4 minutes before you serve.

goats cheese and cornish cheddar cheese straws
these are a super-fast but always impressive accompaniment for the risotto... barely worthy of a recipe but here goes...

1 sheet of ready rolled puff pastry
a wedge of strong cheddar - I used a cornish cheddar to keep in theme
40g Capricorn Goats Cheese

- pre heat the oven to 190C and line 2 baking trays with parchment

- dust your work surface with flour and lay out the pastry

- sprinkle with grated cheddar and bits of goats cheese

- fold the pastry over and roll out again

- repeat once more then cut into strips, twist, sprinkle with dried thyme and bake for 20 mins or until golden

eat and of course enjoy!



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