Every year I like to make my co-workers food gifts for the holidays. This year I decided to get creative and make an herbed goat cheese spread that I encased in brined grape leaves and tied up with raffia. I felt sooooo crafty. My daughter and husband were very willing to taste test my concoction and came up with some great suggestions. One was to use it like a compound butter on steak. Since we will be having beef tenderloin for our family get-together I think we may just have to try her idea out that night! I will make sure to let you know if people like it.
I sure hope my co-workers like it. I think it is tasty! And cute too!
Goat Cheese Spread Wrapped in Grape Leaves – Printer Friendly Version!
- 1/2 lb. chevre, softened
- 11 tbs. unsalted butter, softened
- 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
- 1 tsp herbs de Provence
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 tsp ground pepper
- 1 tsp salt, I used grey salt
- brined grape leaves
Place the mixture in a bowl or just leave it in the food processor bowl and put into the refrigerator to firm up.
Once somewhat firm, place a large sheet of plastic wrap on the counter. Scoop the mixture out onto the plastic sheet and roll the whole mess up into a log. I use the plastic wrap to help me create the logs by wrapping it around the mixture and then pressing it into a log– the mixture is sticky and you don’t want to put your hands on it.
Make sure the log is completely encased in the plastic wrap and place the cheese back into the fridge to firm up. This took about 2 hours.
Meanwhile, drain the grape leaves and rinse the saltiness off of them. (Getting the grape leave out of the jar is the hardest part of this entire recipe.) Carefully separate them to use and if there are long stem ends make sure you trim them. Mine were fine.
Once firm, remove the cheese from the fridge, unwrap the plastic wrap, and cut the log into 1 inch slices. Wrap with the grape leaves making sure the ribs face inward and secure with raffia. Let the bundles cure in the fridge in a plastic bag (so they don’t dry out) for a few days to allow the flavors to meld. Now, this step it optional. If you would rather not to this, you can put the cheese into crocks or roll it into small balls and coat with minced parsley. I just thought the little packages were cool.
These make great gifts. You can place them in a small basket with an assortment of crackers or good French bread and your friends will be tickled pink.