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herbed goat cheese muffins

Herbed Goat Cheese Muffins

Herbed Goat Cheese Muffins are a savory, herb-y muffin stuffed with goat cheese.  The muffins are almost biscuit-like in texture, and the goat cheese center is a delightful contrast with the green onions and herbs.  These are very quick and easy to make and go well with your favorite salad or grilled chicken (or any grillable for that matter!).
Speaking of herbs, do you usually plant an herb garden?  That is my plan for this weekend!  It’s always a tough decision, but I usually plant rosemary, basil, oregano, thyme, and then whatever else looks good.  What’s in your herb garden?

Herbed Goat Cheese Muffins
 
Yields: 12 muffins
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (4 ounces) goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1 cup skim milk, divided
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup green onions, chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh chives, chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • Cooking spray
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt until combined. Make a well in center of mixture.
  3. Combine goat cheese and 2 tablespoons milk in a small bowl, stirring until blended.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the remaining milk, butter, oil, , egg, green onions, chives and parsley until combined. Add to flour mixture, folding until just moistened.
  5. Spoon half of batter evenly into 12 muffin cups. Top each with goat cheese filling (about 2 teaspoons). Spoon remaining batter over filling.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 5 minutes. Remove from pan and cool in a wire rack.
Source:  Cooking Light way to bake
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Vegetable Quichetata with Roasted Garlic Hummus and Goat Cheese

As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker program with Sabra, I was invited to create an original recipe suitable for a cocktail party using Sabra hummus.  My head has been swirling with several tasty ideas ever since, and I am very excited to share with you my creation!

We all know the basic difference between a crustless quiche and a frittata.  A crustless quiche is made with milk (or cream or half & half) and mixed with your veggies/meats.  A frittata is made with no milk and with whatever mix-ins you want to use.

Well, when you use hummus, but no milk, is the hummus a substitute for the milk, or is it considered a mix-in?  The answer wasn’t quite clear, so I married the two, and the ‘Quichetata’ was born!

In this variation of a Quichetata, I used Sabra’s Roasted Garlic hummus, spinach, roasted red pepper and goat cheese.  It is amazing how well you can really taste the hummus, which is good and garlicky, and balances nicely with flavors of the goat cheese and vegetables.  The result is fabulous.  Made in a mini-muffin pan, these Quichetatas are the perfect hot h’ors d’oeuvres for your next cocktail party, holiday party, open house or brunch.

Hummus Quichetata
Yields 24 mini-muffin-size quichetatas

8 large eggs
6 tablespoons Sabra Roasted Garlic Hummus
1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese, plus additional for topping
1 cup chopped fresh spinach
1/4 cup chopped roasted red pepper
Salt and pepper, to taste
Cooking spray

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Spray 2 12-cup mini muffin pans with cooking spray.  Set aside. 
  2. In a large bowl, whisk eggs and hummus together until combined.  Add roasted red pepper, spinach and goat cheese, whisking until incorporated.  Season with salt and pepper, as desired.
  3. Distribute egg mixture evenly among mini muffin cups (cups will be full).  Sprinkle additional goat cheese over each cup.
  4. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until eggs are set.  Serve immediately. 

Disclaimer: As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker program, I was given Sabra’s hummus for free.  The details of my experience are exclusively my opinion, and I was not otherwise influenced or compensated.

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    Balsamic Portobello Mushroom Burgers

    I am always looking for tasty vegetarian options for the grill, and these Balsamic Portobello Mushroom Burgers are a definite winner.  The thirsty mushrooms soak up the balsamic vinegar and garlic, yielding an amazing flavor.  Paired with the goat cheese, it is a combination that pleases both non-meat and meat eaters alike. 

    These burgers are very quick to make.  Just mix the marinade in the baking dish and let the mushrooms and peppers soak.  You can even get your preparation out of the way the day before, intensifying the flavor by letting everything marinate overnight.

    On each burger is a slice of red pepper topped with a portobello mushroom, topped with goat cheese, topped with another portobello.  Then sprinkle on a little more goat cheese, top with spinach, close the sandwich and eat!

    Balsamic Portobello Mushroom Burgers

    Yields 4 servings
    1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for grates
    1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
    4 garlic cloves, minced
    Coarse salt and ground pepper
    1 red bell pepper (ribs and seeds removed), cut into 4 equal pieces
    8 portobello mushrooms (about 1 pound total), stems and ribs removed
    4 onion hamburger buns
    4 ounces goat cheese (crumbled or log; if using a log, cut into slices to place in between the mushrooms)
    several spinach leaves
    1. In a shallow dish (a 13 x 9 baking dish works well), whisk together oil, vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper. Add bell pepper and mushrooms, turning to make sure everything gets coated.  Marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes up to overnight.  
    2. Heat grill to medium; lightly oil grates. Grill bell pepper, skin side down, until blackened, about 10 minutes; remove from grill and place in Ziploc bag. When cool enough to handle, remove and discard skin; set bell pepper aside.
    3. Starting with dome-side down, grill mushrooms, covered, until lightly charred.  Flip and grill the other side of mushroom until lightly charred and mushroom is tender.  (approx. 3 to 4 minutes per side).
    4. Dividing evenly, top bottom half of each bun with bell pepper and mushrooms.  Put goat cheese in the middle of the 2 mushroom caps.  Top with spinach and sprinkle with remaining goat cheese.  Close burger, and serve immediately.

    Alternative:  This recipe would also make an excellent salad (great for someone who is watching carbs or if you just want more veggies).  To make this into a salad, follow the directions above through step 3.  Then slice the mushrooms and peppers, toss with a bowl of spinach or mixed greens and top with goat cheese.

    Adapted from Everyday Food

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    Radicchio, Spinach, Apricot Salad with Goat Cheese

    My husband and I are creatures of habit.  We have a salad with dinner (almost) every night.  It’s usually spinach or mixed greens and tomatoes with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and sunflower seeds.  It’s simple.  It’s tasty.  It’s routine.   


    So when I had leftover goat cheese from the Tomato and Leek Frittata with Goat Cheese, I wanted to shake our routine up a bit.  Radicchio, Spinach, Apricot Salad with Goat Cheese became a welcome change from our usual salad.  The creamy goat cheese with the bitter radicchio with the sweet apricots is a combination that is simply a-ma-zing!  

     

    Since I had mixed greens on hand, I decided to use that in place of the spinach.  This salad is equally delicious using just spinach.  I reduced the amount of the oil in the vinaigrette, which is nice and light and just pulls everything together.  Soaking the apricots is an excellent method to plump up the fruit into soft juicy bursts of sweetness.

    Have a Happy Father’s Day weekend!  

    Radicchio, Spinach, Apricot Salad with Goat Cheese
    Yields 4 servings
    1/2 cup dried apricots
    2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    coarse salt and pepper
    1 head radicchio, halved, cored and roughly torn
    5 ounces fresh spinach or mixed greens
    2 ounces soft crumbled goat cheese 
    1. Place apricots in a small bowl and cover with boiling water; let stand for about 5 minutes.  Drain and pat try with paper towels.  Cut into small pieces, if desired.
    2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, oil, salt and pepper.
    3. Add spinach and radicchio to bowl with vinaigrette and toss to combine.  Add apricots.  Serve topped with crumbled goat cheese.
    Adapted from Everyday Food (November, 2007)
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    Tomato Leek Frittata with Goat Cheese

    After taking a bite of this frittata, my husband sat for a minute and then said ‘Goat cheese is great, when done in the right way.’  Uh oh…and while I couldn’t agree more, I do know he’s not as fond of goat cheese as I am.  Fortunately he followed that up by saying ‘This way was definitely the right way!’ and quickly cleaned his plate!

    Goat cheese is definitely an ingredient that makes a statement.  Too much can ruin a dish.  Just the right amount can take an ordinary dish and make it extraordinary.

    So is the case with this frittata.  Goat cheese is the perfect complement to liven up the sauteed vegetables and eggs.  I reduced the amount of goat cheese from the original recipe, as I found it a bit overpowering.  I was a little generous when measuring the leeks because I love the subtle flavor and beautiful color.  Since I had large grape tomatoes, I halved them, and they still burst with each bite.  Beating the egg whites gives this frittata a souffle-like quality that just melts in your mouth. 

    The result is an exquisit blast of flavors in a light and airy frittata.   

    Tomato and Leek Frittata with Goat Cheese
    Yields 4 servings

    3 teaspoons olive oil
    2 1/4 cups sliced leeks
    coarse salt and ground pepper
    1 cup grape tomatoes
    6 egg whites
    4 egg yolks
    3 ounces crumbled goat cheese

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in 10-inch ovenproof nonstick skillet over medium. Add leeks ; season with coarse salt and ground pepper. Cover; cook 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes. Cover; cook 2 minutes. Transfer to bowl and wipe out skillet.
    2. In another bowl, beat 6 egg whites with salt and pepper to stiff peaks. Whisk in 4 egg yolks.
    3. Heat skillet with 1 teaspoon olive oil.  Add eggs; sprinkle with vegetables and goat cheese. Cook over medium until sides are dry, 3 minutes. Transfer to oven; bake until eggs are set, about 15 to 20 minutes.
    Adapted from Everyday Food