Sunday, August 26, 2012

Product of the week: Bluebell Falls Goat's Cheese...


Bluebell Falls goats cheese is an organic handmade, soft goat's milk cheese with a creamy texture. The farm is located at Clondegad, Ballynacally, overlooking the River Shannon estuary. The goat's are fed indoors on fresh grass which is cut once a day. Fresh grass is given in the morning and again in the evening. After the goats have eaten, they are free to roam outside in the sun and at the first sight of rain, they are all back under cover again. Fresh grass makes up 85% of the goats' diet and the remainder is made up of barley, oats and wheat. The high quality flavour of the milk comes from the wide variety of grasses that they eat.

Bluebell Farm produces six distinct cheeses; Cygnus the main cheese product from the Keane's farm for over ten years. Cygnus is enjoyed in restaurants and hotels throughout the country. It has a rich smooth creamy texture. Cygnus Honey is made with garlic, honey and thyme, which has a pleasing sweet flavour. Cygnus Pepper which is made with garlic crushed black pepper and mixed herbs and has a much stronger garlic flavour. Delphinus is a new product which is a unique white mould soft goats cheese which has a salty buttery flavour with a hint of mushroom. Orion is a semi-hard cheese which has a sweet nutty flavour which improves with age. It is at its best when stored for 6-12 months. Finally, Pegasus is a white mould goats cheese with a hint of sulphur with a herbaceous flavour.

One of my favourite dishes on the menu in Cork's most popular restaurant, Café Paradiso, is a tartlet of caramelized beetroot & bluebell falls fresh goat’s cheese, salsa verde and olive-crushed potato. Denis Cotter proprietor of Café Paradiso shares the recipe for the tartlet here: 

Beetroot And Goat's Cheese Tartlet With Watercress Pesto

Ingredients:

- 200g Plain flour
- 100g Cold butter
- 50ml Cold water
- 200g Red onions
- 300g Beetroot (cooked, peeled and grated)
- 4 Tblsp Brown Sugar
- 4 Tblsp Balsamic vinegar
- 140g Watercress
- 1 Clove garlic
- 40g Walnuts
- 200ml Olive Oil
- 240g Bluebell Falls fresh goats cheese (sliced in rounds).

Method:

1. Make pastry with the flour, butter and water, chill for an hour, roll it out and cut circles to fit six small tartlet cases. Blind bake for ten minutes.

2. Slice the red onions in half, then into thin slices. Cook the onion and beetroot in a little olive oil, stirring often, until the onions are fully cooked and beginning to caramelise. Add the sugar and balsamic vinegar, and continue to cook for a further 20 minutes or so until the onions are very soft and the liquid is syrupy. Leave to cool.

3. Put 100g of the watercress, the garlic and walnuts in a food processor and chop to a coarse puree. Add the olive oil and blend briefly to get a thick sauce. Add more oil if the pesto seems too thick. Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed.

4. Fill the pastry cases with beetroot relish and put a slice of cheese on top of each. Bake the tartlets in a medium oven until heated through and the cheese has coloured a little and started to melt. Serve with some pesto and a little fresh watercress.

To find a Bluebell Falls stockist near you, visit their website here.