Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Goats cheese with peaches & an Earl Grey vinaigrette

Now here's the thing...goats cheese is a strong flavored cheese, of that we all agree, and sometimes it can be a little sharp for many folks. But, what if you paired it with some sweet Georgia peaches, micro greens and topped it all off with a wonderfully mellow vinaigrette flavored with Earl Grey tea, huh? Yes, now you get the picture...sharp, but yet soft. Strong, and yet mellow. Tangy, yet sweet. Ladies and gentlemen, this week I'm introducing you to this wonderful starter that will make your mouth water, and impress even your most grumpy of friends. Just add a swill of cold chardonnay to the mix, and we have it!

So, for my recipe I'm going to pull a portion out from this recipe and lay it all out for all of you to see..how to make the 'Earl Grey' vinaigrette.

Now, what is 'Earl Grey' you may ask? Simply, it's a blended black tea that is infused with oil of bergamot, a small Mediterranean citrus fruit. The flavor of this tea is legendary and the story goes that the dear old Earl was given this 'secret' recipe by a grateful 'mandarin' subject after he saved his life. The Earl was the British prime minister at the time, and made great use of this fantastic tea on his return to London. Clever marketer no doubt, as Earl Grey is now the worlds most popular tea. He ended making tons of cash, and retired to a respectable castle in Dublin, Ireland to end his days sipping his tea in absolute splendor!

So, there you have it! Now, follow this recipe and you too will enjoy the high life. This goes great with a range of salad options, but will go particularly well with my lovely wee goats cheese delight!

Judith the Irish Foodie

Earl Grey Tea Vinaigrette:

• ½ cup sherry vinegar
• 3 Punjana Earl Grey tea bags
• 2 small shallots (finely minced)
• zest and juice of one small orange
• 1 tsp Dijon mustard
• 1 tsp sugar
• 1 Tbsp honey
• 1 cup oil (1/2 canola and ½ olive oil)
• kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Prepare vinaigrette by bringing sherry vinegar to boiling point and pour over the Earl Grey tea bag to steep for 3-5 minutes. Remove tea bags and discard.
Allow infused vinegar to cool.
Combine vinegar, orange juice and zest, shallots, honey, sugar, mustard, salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in oils until incorporated.
Taste to adjust seasoning.

Have fun (darlings...)

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