On Direct to the Palate we are very, very cheese makers, and we always turn to this wonderful product when we need to improvise a snack For any occasion. But if we have a little more time to prepare the appetizer, it is worth showing off a little more by making some other more colorful recipe.
Today we choose five varieties of creamy cheeses for its great versatility when cooking or assembling a multitude of small bites. They all have a smooth and buttery texture, but they are very different from each other, more or less honeyed and with different intensities of flavor and aroma. The difficult thing is to choose just one.
1. Torta del Casar
Exquisite Extremadura cheese Recognized with the Denomination of Origin seal, the Torta del Casar is made with raw sheep’s milk and a vegetable rennet extracted from thistle Cynara cardunculus. It has a thin semi-hard crust that houses an extremely creamy, unctuous interior, with an intense and slightly bitter flavor, little salty, very versatile in its pairing.
Timbale of quince and Torta del Casar
This recipe is a very simple example of how well the Casar cake combines with fruits and nuts. The contrast between the sweet and the cheese comes first by sight and then it is a festival of flavors in the mouth, better if it is enhanced with the crunchy counterpoint of the crocanti or some bread toasts.
- Ingredients. Very cold Torta del Casar cheese, quince paste, almond or hazelnut crunchy granites, slices of bread or scolds.
- Elaboration. With a plating ring, we are going to place quince and Torta del Casar discs alternately, for which we can do two things. One, cut thin discs or two, place portions of cheese or quince with a teaspoon and squeeze them a little to make the successive layers. Tighten well, especially the external areas, those closest to the ring, so that when we remove it, the ingredients do not mix too much and it maintains its appearance. In the last layer, after placing the quince disc, put some grains of almond crocanti.
2. Cream cheese spread
Popularly known as “Philadelphia cheese”, it is the one we all have in mind when we visualize canapés or blinis of cream cheese and salmon, or the one that is used the most. to make cheesecakes and the cream that covers the carrot cakes, among others. Of course, there are many more brands on the market, we even find lactose-free varieties.
Crêpe rolls filled with cream cheese and bresaola
The recipe does not have much mystery: first you have to make about three or four crêpes, not very thick, and then fill them with cheese and bresaola, a charcuterie product that we can substitute for a similar one, even ham or smoked salmon. The only difficulty is in cutting the rolls without disassembling.
- Ingredients. 50 g of pastry flour, 125 ml of milk, 1/2 teaspoon of Provencal herbs, 1 pinch of black pepper, 5 ml of extra virgin olive oil, 5 ml of water, 1 L egg, 150 g of cream cheese, 200 g of bresaola in thin slices.
- Elaboration. Beat the egg with the milk, salt, olive oil, water, Provençal herbs and a dash of black pepper. Incorporate the sifted flour, mixing well with a few rods, until there are no lumps. Cover and leave to rest in the fridge for half an hour. Grease a good non-stick pan and cook the crêpes, adding approximately 60 ml of batter each time. There should be about 3-4 crêpes. It is better if they come out thin. Remove as they are ready and leave on a plate covered with a clean cloth or plastic wrap. Cover each crêpe with cream cheese, add a dash of pepper and add a few slices of bresaola. It is better not to go to the edges. Roll up tightly, and wrap each roll in plastic wrap. Let it rest in the fridge for half an hour. Cut 1-2 cm thick portions.
3. Mascarpone cheese
The famous Italian cheese seems destined only to make tiramisu, but we already know that its potential in the preparation of desserts is much greater. Actually It also gives us a lot of play in the salty kitchen, especially if we combine it with other stronger cheeses or products that have a more marked and salty flavor.
Crispy jerky with gorgonzola, mascarpone and palm honey
This recipe unites the mascarpone with the gorgonzola, a very aromatic blue cheese that enhances the flavors of a very simple, but very tasty bite. Spain and Italy come together in a very easy aperitif that will surprise everyone who tries it.
- Ingredients. 200 g of jerky 200 g, 150 g of mascarpone cheese at room temperature, 150 g of gorgonzola cheese at room temperature, palm honey to taste.
- Elaboration. We mix the mascarpone cheese with the gorgonzola and store the resulting cream in a pastry bag. To make the canutillos, we wrap the metal or cane molds, covering them with a slice of jerky. We dry them in the oven at 100ºC for half an hour. Then we let them cool another 20 minutes to harden before removing the eclairs from the molds. With the help of the pastry bag we fill the jerky cylinders and arrange them in a source. We put a little cane honey in the center so that those who want can add a sweet touch to the eclairs.
Serrano ham and mascarpone nems with melon and figs
Here’s another similar example, but much more fruity, with Serrano ham as a softer edible wrap. Inspired by Vietnamese rolls, it is a much more Mediterranean version – and low in carbohydrates, if someone is looking for more appetizers lowcarb– with flavors that surprise the palate.
- Ingredients. 4 large and very thin slices of Serrano ham, 150 g of melon, 6 dried figs, 200 g of mascarpone cheese, 2 tablespoons of Port wine, black pepper and salt.
- Elaboration. We cut the figs into small pieces and put them in a bowl with the Port. Let the mixture marinate for at least 15 minutes. We drain them with a kitchen paper before using them. We cut the melon into cubes and mix it in a bowl with the mascarpone cheese, the fig cubes, the salt and the pepper. Mix well with a fork until smooth. We spread a piece of kitchen film on the countertop and spread the slice of Serrano ham, add a quarter of the filling and roll delicately aided by the plastic. Once we have obtained a cylinder, we film it like a candy, letting it rest for two hours in the fridge. We repeat this operation with the three remaining slices of ham and the rest of the filling.
4. Goat cheese
There is more life to this cheese beyond topping salads – and many cloying balsamic vinegar reductions it has had to bear, poor man. It is usually sold with bark, although it is also sold in totally clean rolls. The colder the better it can be cut in medallions, but if it is tempered and worked, its texture becomes very creamy.
Goat cheese and caramelized sesame bonbons
For these chocolates that move between the salty and sweet world we can resort to a softer goat cheese and no bark, or withdraw it at home. The cream cheese helps to create a much more unctuous and easy to shape mixture into small balls, very addictive.
- Ingredients. 300 g of rindless goat cheese, 100 g of cream cheese, 5 g of honey, 200 g of toasted sesame seeds, 75 g of sugar, 15 g of water.
- Elaboration. We combine the sesame with the sugar and water in a frying pan; heat over medium heat, stirring often so they don’t burn, until the sugar has dissolved and turned into caramel. We spread the sesame on a sheet of parchment paper and let it cool. If it hits, once cold we roll it over it. In a deep bowl we crush the goat cheese and mix it with the cream cheese by hand. We stir well so that there are no lumps. We add the honey and mix again. We keep in the fridge for an hour. We take small portions and go through the caramelized sesame. We roll to help coat well with the seeds while correcting the shape so that they are perfect. We keep cold until the moment of consumption.
Canapes of caramelized pears and goat cheese
Simple canapes with very few ingredients to prepare at any time, and that will always triumph at the table. Cheese and fruit are always a delicious couple, in this case with a little sweet touch that we could ignore, but that enhances the contrast of flavors even more.
- Ingredients for 2-3 people. 1 pear, 100 g of goat cheese, 1 baguette, 15 g of butter, 10 g of sugar and ground black pepper.
- Elaboration. Peel and cut the seedless pear into slices of a thickness similar to bread. Heat the butter in a pan and brown the pear over low heat for about five minutes. Then sprinkle the sugar and leave another five minutes until golden brown. Halfway through cooking, turn the pear slices over so that they are golden on both sides. Meanwhile we cut the bread into slices and the goat cheese into slices approximately 0.5 centimeter thick. We place the bread on a baking rack. When the pear is ready we place a slice on each bread. Cover with the cheese and season with a little ground black pepper. Bake at 180º C for 12-15 minutes.
It reminds us of mozzarella, but burrata is an even creamier Italian fresh cheese with a more pronounced flavor. Its name, precisely, refers to butter (donkey) for their similarities to her. It is also a spun pasta cheese which also has a milk cream interior stracciatella, giving it that characteristic juiciness and buttery.
Pesto, burrata and balsamic tomato crostini
The burrata does not need too many decorations to offer a feast of flavors, and it is best to serve it without manipulating it much together with Mediterranean ingredients, which enhance its virtues. This crostini is a great example, with ingredients that inevitably take us to Italy.
- Ingredients. 1 loaf of ciabatta type bread, 50 g of pesto sauce, 200 g of different colored cherry tomatoes, 30 ml of extra virgin olive oil, 30 ml of vinegar …