Day 3 at FCI

2 Jul

So, we “partner up” on day 3 in anticipation of making 2 dishes from Lesson 3 – a stove-top style ratatouille and a goat cheese, roasted beet, and apple timbale with a white wine and herb vinaigrette. This is not my actual beet and goat cheese timbale dish because I forgot to take a picture of mine before I gave it to Chef Tomm to critique. But, all of ours looked like this, more or less. I cannot provide the exact details of the recipes, as I’m afraid that is copyright infringement (and once a lawyer, always a lawyer), but I’ll summarize the recipe for the pictured dish.

Goat Cheese and Roasted Beet Timbale with Apples and Herb Vinaigrette

1) Wash beets, then dress them with olive oil and kosher salt. Wrap them in tinfoil and roast at 400 degrees for about an hour, or until they are “done”.  Done is not mushy. A knife should go through pretty easily but you shouldn’t be able to “squish” the beet.

2) Let beets cool, then take off the outer layer of skin and slice off both ends.  Chop or macedoine your beets into the same size small chunks.  Macedoine is to cut into even squares of 1/2 cm. x 1/2 cm.  They don’t have to be this size, but they should be semi-uniform squares if you are concerned about appearance.

3) While your beets are cooling, put a nice, small serving plate in the refrigerator. Since you’re working with cheese, and especially if you’re in a hot climate like Hawaii, you’ll need a cold plate so that the timbale stays beautiful looking and intact when you serve it. Also, while the beets are cooling, mince up some chervil , chives and parsley.  Keep in separate small containers. You’ll use these to garnish the plate at the end.

4) Macedoine a Granny Smith apple, or any tart, harder apple.  Put a little lemon juice over the apples so that they don’t turn brown.  For presentation: whatever size you made your beets, make your apples the same size.

4) Vinaigrette:  Ratio of oil to vinegar is typically 3 to 1, but it depends on how strong the vinegar is.  Since regular white wine vinegar usually has a bite,  I would stick with the 3:1 oil to vinegar ratio. Mix together olive oil, white wine vinegar, 1 shallot (finely diced), chopped fresh tarragon and salt and pepper to taste. The fresh herb component in this dish is important. If you don’t like tarragon, choose something else. I think basil goes well with beets and goat cheese, as well.

4) Bring goat cheese to room temperature, so that it is spreadable.  As you can see from the picture, you’ll want enough goat cheese so that when you fill your ring mold, you completely cover the top of the chopped beets. You can add some olive oil to the goat cheese to make is spreadable, but do it in small amounts. Also, don’t use “tasting” olive oil that has a lot of pungent fruit to it, as you don’t want it to overpower your goat cheese.

5) Mix together enough vinaigrette and your chopped beets just to coat the beets. Don’t overdress, as you’ll have too much vinaigrette on the plate under your timbale.  Get a ring mold and spray it with some oil or wipe the inside with olive oil.  Place the dressed beets in it, 3/4 of the way up, then take a spatula and cover the beets with goat cheese, at least 1/2 inch think, maybe more if you like goat cheese.

6) Take your ring mold off.  The goat cheese might stick so lightly press on the top of the goat cheese while using your other hand to take off the mold. Immediately, top the goat cheese with frisee or maybe some microgreens that are freshly washed, cold, and dressed with a little olive oil, salt and pepper (no need for more vinegar).  Around the timbale, place the apples and lightly drizzle some of your remaining vinaigrette around the plate with the apples, then lightly dust the apples and outside of the plate with minced parsley, chervil, chives. E voila! Ready to serve.

This was my partner, Robert from Kentucky.  We were discussing “salting” while were making our  ratatouille. Because I went “easy” on the salt, when I would turn my back, he would  throw some extra salt in.  Guess what?  Our styles worked together, as Chef Tomm thought our seasoning, as well as color, was good.  Well done, Robert!

It was a fun day.  And, thanks to my other new friend, Ian, for the amazing green tea!  You rock.

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3 Responses to “Day 3 at FCI”

  1. Jocelyn July 2, 2011 at 9:24 pm #

    Can’t wait until you get your restaurant here. Looks yummy!

  2. Shannon July 5, 2011 at 8:39 pm #

    All of this such a fun learning opportunity… practice on us when you’re back in Honolulu! :o)

  3. Paul July 8, 2011 at 7:31 pm #

    Goat Cheese and Roasted Beet Timbale with Apples and Herb Vinaigrette.. Yes please! Looks delicious!

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