Saturday, May 9, 2009

Pepper-Crusted Cashew Goat Cheese

This recipe appeared in the April 2009 issue of Vegetarian Times. I've never been big on fake meats or fake cheeses mostly because I've never liked the taste of meat and I eat dairy products, but when I saw this recipe it looked good enough to try. I mostly taste the cracked peppercorns, but it's got just the right flavor and texture for me to make it again and again. I have not made any changes to the original recipe.

I recommend it on a sandwich with hearty bread, roasted red peppers, tomato slices, and basil. It's delicious.

J'aime: Pepper-Crusted Cashew Goat Cheese

3/4 cup raw cashews
6 Tbs. canola oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 Tbs. tahini
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cracked black peppercorns or coarsely ground black pepper

1. Place cashews in large bowl; cover with 3 inches water. Soak overnight. (*I start them soaking on a Friday morning so that it can age overnight)
2. Drain liquid, rinse cashews under cold water, and drain. Puree cashews, oil, lemon juice, tahini, salt, and 2 Tbs. water in a food processor for approx. 6 minutes or until smooth and creamy.
3. Place a large strainer over a bowl and line with triple layer of cheesecloth. Spoon cashew mixture into cheesecloth. Fold sides of cloth over cheese and form into 6-inch-long oval loaf. Twist ends and secure with rubber bands or twist ties. Set in strainer over bowl and let stand 12 hours at room temperature. discard excess liquid. Chill at end of 12-hour period. (*If your kitchen is warmer than room temperature the cheese will get a little crusty on the outside. Best to do it on a cool day)
4. Preheat oven to 200°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Unwrap cheese and scrape into 7-inch-long log on cheesecloth. Rewrap and twist ends to secure. Place on prepared baking sheet. Bake 35 minutes or until cheese becomes set on outside but still soft, turning occasionally. Cool and chill.
5. Unwrap cheese. Sprinkle or roll in cracked peppercorn, pressing to adhere.

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