A Near Perfect Food

18 Feb

I was raised in the South. Port Arthur, Texas, specifically, a coastal town a literal stone’s throw from Louisiana. Being so close to Louisiana, many people in my hometown were Cajuns, my father’s side of the family included. Throw ‘The South’, ‘Texas’ and ‘Cajuns’ all together and you end up with people who overflow with hospitality and share a deep, intense love for food.

The house in which I was raised was no exception. My parents were two of the most hospitable people I’ve ever encountered. Someone was always in the guest room, on the sofa, borrowing the car, invited to dinner. Additionally, our life as a family revolved around food. What and when we would eat took precedence over just about everything else.

I tend to live by the example my parents set. If someone enters my home, their comfort is my goal and I feel embarrassed unless they immediately have at least the offer of food and drink. Given the house is a bit of a train station, with a parade of people coming in and out the door, I’ve developed some staples over the years I can throw together quickly or, better yet, have sitting in the fridge ready for use. The goat cheese spread below is first on the list, given the ease with which it is prepared. Oh, and then there’s this: it tastes really, really good. No, really. Even people who think they don’t like goat cheese devour this.

This stuff is so good, in fact, most of my friends get irritated if it doesn’t hit the counter soon after they arrive. Where’s the goat cheese? On the rare occasion I’ve been slacking and haven’t a ramekin of this waiting in the fridge, watch out.

Trust me. There is a reason this is the first food item I am posting on this blog.

GOAT CHEESE SPREAD

- 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- Fresh Rosemary  (1 or 2 sprigs)
- 11-14oz log of quality unflavored goat cheese, in big crumbles
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- Olive oil
- Fresh black pepper

1) In the food processor, chop the cloves of garlic and the fronds off the rosemary sprigs.

2) Add the goat cheese, the lemon juice, and a few grinds of black pepper (don’t be shy with the black pepper) along with a couple of healthy glugs of good quality olive oil. Start the processor and blend, adding olive oil as needed. You want it creamy but not too soft and smooth, not runny. Add more pepper to taste if you like.

3) I put it in small ramekins such as in the picture. This recipe will usually fill three or four 4-oz ramekins. Cover them with foil and stick in the fridge. You can serve them right away but they get even better over time.

4) Before serving, take the spread out of the fridge and let sit on the counter for about 15 minutes so that it softens just a touch.

5) Serve with crackers, fresh rustic bread and/or crudite. Oh, and white wine. Always “serve with wine”, right?

** This keeps in the fridge at least a week. I’ve waited much longer to serve it, once over three weeks, and no one has yet died. It serves many purposes beyond a perfect appetizer. This spread is terrific to have waiting when you come home from a vacation, for instance, and the house is usually empty of good food. Or on a night when you don’t have time to cook and want a light supper. A ramekin of this spread, some olives and some good crusty bread is a great dinner for me. Additionally, some studies indicate goat cheese doesn’t cause the lactose problems of other types of dairy. Give it a try.

25 Responses to “A Near Perfect Food”

  1. Patrick Hare February 19, 2012 at 6:42 am #

    Love the site, love the concept. Two of my favorite things. Let’s pick a night and eat some good food while we enjoy a good film.
    I did enjoy The Artist. Fun to see a well done silent and the score was fantastic. Saw a couple good films at Sundance this year – look for Middle of Nowhere, Detropia and Safety Not Guaranteed. Looking forward to trying the dip. ;o)

    • onfoodandfilm February 21, 2012 at 3:11 pm #

      Thanks, Patrick! I appreciate the kind words and am glad you like it. I am always up for movies and food, would be great to hang out for sure. Shoot me an email.

  2. SJ February 19, 2012 at 6:51 am #

    I love it! “I’ve waited much longer to serve it, once over three weeks, and no one has yet died.” Perfect. My philosophy of feeding my friends is “as long as everyone survives the soup course, we’re good!”

    • onfoodandfilm February 21, 2012 at 3:12 pm #

      LOL SJ…

      • SJ February 21, 2012 at 3:17 pm #

        It’s true… I keep a selection of the best local takeaway menus and their numbers on speed dial… just in case!

  3. Betty Provost February 19, 2012 at 6:58 am #

    Tom, this makes me want to run out and get some goat cheese! And brings up fond memories of visiting at your folks’ house.They were indeed two of the most gracious people, always enjoyable to be with. Whatever else about Port Arthur, it did blend those amazing cultures of food, music and southern hospitality. Beautiful blog you’ve created!

    • onfoodandfilm February 21, 2012 at 3:12 pm #

      Thank you, Betty, thanks for checking it out! Port Arthur really was a terrific place to grow up, such incredible people.

  4. Phyllis Harb February 19, 2012 at 7:44 am #

    Love your blog Tom! Not a goat cheese lover but my daughter is and I will share this with her.

    • onfoodandfilm February 21, 2012 at 3:13 pm #

      Phyllis, let me know.. and as I said, even people who hate goat cheese devour this stuff. Perhaps we can make a convert of you!

  5. Mary Barras February 19, 2012 at 9:13 am #

    I adore you, Tom Provost! From one of your favorite crazy Port Arthur Cajuns!

    • onfoodandfilm February 21, 2012 at 3:17 pm #

      Hey there, woman! I sure miss you. Would be so wonderful to see you sometime.

  6. Cheryl Bogart February 19, 2012 at 9:48 am #

    You should take a look at the movie ARTOIS THE GOAT! It is about following your dreams and yes, it includes wonderful goat cheese! It was written and directed by Cliff and Kyle Bogart with close family ties to Port Arthur, TX! Cliff and Kyle spend every holiday in Port Arthur with the entire Linthicum family.

    You can find Artois the Goat at http://www.artoisthegoat.com

    • onfoodandfilm February 21, 2012 at 3:19 pm #

      Cheryl, yes, I really enjoyed it! I am looking forward to their next one as well!

  7. lovelyladycakes February 19, 2012 at 11:28 am #

    whoooo trying this goat cheese spread!! Thanks Tom!! xoxo

  8. christian February 19, 2012 at 12:44 pm #

    I’ve made a spread just like this for years, but never with the lemon juice. I usually add thyme too, and a splash of olive oil. I’ll try the lemon next.
    Good stuff.

  9. Christopher February 20, 2012 at 7:31 am #

    As one who has had this spread at your home many time, I must say: it truly is “a near perfect food.” Next time you generously serve some up to me, give me a heads up, so I can make some broad dipping croutons to go with it!!!!

    Congratulations on the blog, BTW, I’m very excited for you :)

  10. Vicki Peterson February 20, 2012 at 8:45 am #

    I’m so glad you posted this recipe! I’m still savoring it’s goodness. Looking forward to more!

  11. ashley February 21, 2012 at 10:19 pm #

    MMM can’t wait to try that! Every “Tom” recipe I have tried is never quite as good at my house than when I am at your house ;)

    • onfoodandfilm February 22, 2012 at 10:41 am #

      Ha! It only takes practice Ashley. Thanks for checking out the blog!

  12. Kerry Lenhart February 22, 2012 at 10:37 am #

    I LOVE this goat cheese spread! And the recipe sounds easy. However, if I don’t have a food processor, can I use an app on my iphone?

    • onfoodandfilm February 22, 2012 at 10:40 am #

      Kerry, I am sure the app is coming. In the meantime, a bowl and a fork will work almost as well, although it will take a few more minutes of your time.

  13. Kate Provost February 25, 2012 at 9:34 am #

    I can’t wait to try this recipe…..I know it will remind me of your Mom! I’m looking for that elusive and stellar banana pudding recipe that is to die for that has to be somewhere in your archives.

    • SJ February 25, 2012 at 9:38 am #

      Banana pudding… mmmmmmm….

    • onfoodandfilm February 25, 2012 at 3:55 pm #

      I will eventually do a post on this.. but for now, this is the best ever banana pudding. I do it in the mason jars like they show. But I use whipped cream to top it as I am not a huge meringue fan

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Try a.. Fig! « On Food And Film - September 30, 2012

    [...] favorite way to use the chutney is as a topping on my goat cheese cheese spread, which is so good it was the very first post I did on this blog. The goat cheese spread is, as I [...]

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