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Apr 22, 2012 12:55 PM

How can goat cheese be used so it's not as pungent?

Hey all. I was wondering if anyone had some input on how to use goat cheese in a dish that would make it less pungent.
I bought a log of fresh chevre, having had it at a restaurant on a pizza and loving it, but the stuff i brought home seems much stronger than I remember. I don't want to toss it, but I don't want to make a soup or sauce out of it if I'm not going to enjoy it. Any advice? Thanks!

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  1. different brands, length of aging and different times of year produce different flavors. the youngest is generally the mildest.

    you'll have to experiment, or ask your cheesemonger.

    as for what you have, if you thin it with cream, cream cheese or ricotta, it will be less pungent.

    1 Reply
    1. re: hotoynoodle

      +1 that different brands vary. As a general rule, the most commercial, mass produced stuff is the mildest. The small dairy, artisan varieties are usually more goaty.
      Put it in the food processor with nice olives or sun dried tomatoes and some herb, s &p and maybe a little EVOO, milk or cream to thin if necessary. It will make a lovely cracker or crostini spread or even a cheese ball if that is your thing.
      Also good with a honey drizzle and some roasted seasoned nuts.

    2. Mix it with other flavors, Chopped Olives, Herbs, Roasted Peppers for examples. Great spread for sandwiches.
      And/or as mentioned cut it with a more neutral cheese like Cream cheese or Fromage Blanc.
      It also pairs well with sweet like Lavender and Honey.

      1. as hotoynoodle said, there are several factors that affect the flavor/pungency/strength of goat cheese.

        to make the most of this one...
        - crumble a bit of it into a frittata or omelet
        - mix into potato hash (it's terrific with sweet potato)
        - combine with cream cheese and swirl into brownies
        - use in cheesecake
        - mix with ricotta & herbs & use to stuff tomatoes, mushrooms, peppers, baby zucchini, squash blossoms
        - crumble into spinach salad with crisp bacon, cherry tomatoes, & grilled or sauteed mushrooms; dress with vinaigrette
        - crumble onto grilled asparagus with toasted pine nuts; drizzle with reduced balsamic
        - it's also a classic pairing with beets if you like them (often in salad with vinaigrette, citrus & walnuts)

        1. It is especially good in a frittata with Herbes de Provence. If you have any on hand, try mixing a pinch or so in a small amount of your goat cheese and allow it to sit for a bit to see if you like it. If you like it but it still seems too strong, you could add a little softened cream cheese.