Remember how I told you guys last week that I had more ideas in stock for my pickled beetroot? Here’s one of them. And it’s a doozy! This is my version of a classic pairing of beet and goat-cheese, but I wore my fancy-pants for this one. I love tossing recipe ideas around in my head to see what flavour combinations would strike my fancy, and this one just stuck like glue. So I hope I get you guys excited enough to try this one at home, because the flavours in this one are seriously awesome! It may seem a bit complicated (and the recipe may seem a bit long) but don’t let that fool you. This is actually really fun to make (and eat). This Pickled Beet Jelly with Goat Cheese and Candied Pistachios is a whole lot of fantastic flavours packed into bite sized hors d’oeuvres! (By the way, what I mean by jelly here is what’s commonly referred to as “jello” in the US, that jiggly thing, and not the one you spread on toast and bagels and etc. Just wanted to make that clarification before I proceed).
I made these special bite-sized wonders for another special reason. Tomorrow is the 52nd Fiesta Friday party hosted by Angie, Hilda and Julianna – and as a regular participant in this weekly link-up party for the past 2-3 months, I am really excited about this. Fiesta Friday is turning 1 (that’s one year) and there’s going be a two week long block party. This week, all the bloggers are bringing appertifs, cocktails, appetizers and amuse-bouches to the party to kick off the celebrations and I’m very honoured to be a part of it.
Be sure to pop in again tomorrow to check out all the yummy dishes everyone else brought along. Here are all the amazing cocktail hour recipes from the party!
Last week I shared the recipe for Caraway and Chilli Crunchy Balsamic Beet Pickle and here I have used that same recipe to make the pickled beet jelly. I used a combination of the pickle juice and the pickled beet, but alternatively you can use fresh beets with pickle juice too. So this would be a great way to use any leftover pickle juice from that previous recipe. This jelly has a really wonderful, sharp sweetness and the beet flavour is also striking. If you like it even sharper, you can add another teaspoon or two of balsamic vinegar. But I like the balance of flavours as it is, so I didn’t add extra spices or anything else.
The goat cheese was whipped with butter and cream and flavoured with herbs and black pepper. I added some caramelized/candied pistachios which turned out to be a stroke of genius (if I say so myself 🙂 ) because they added a lovely crunch and sweetness. So the tart, creamy goat cheese had these little pockets of crunchy sweetness where the caramelized pistachios were buried. Amazing! The caramelized coating actually melts off of the pistachios once they are covered in goat cheese but of course the caramel flavour remains in these little pockets interspersed throughout the goat cheese. I loved it so much, I could have eaten the goat cheese on its own, but I didn’t. You’re welcome.
This appetizer (unlike a lot of other savoury dishes I make) isn’t spicy. But it is oh so flavourful! Between the pickled beetroot jelly, flavoured goat cheese, candied pistachios and the orange and herb butter, this is nothing short of a slice of heaven in your mouth, so I didn’t see the need to add chilli to it as well. So it’s got a touch of sweetness and a pinch of savoury with the creamy goat cheese and herbs. Very acceptable for an appetizer.
I have to admit I couldn’t take pictures of the process much. The idea of the whole thing was so exciting I hardly stopped until it was done and I had tasted it. Oops for that.
Pickled Beet Jelly with Goat cheese and Candied Pistachios
Pickled Beet Jelly
Herbed Goat cheese with Candied Pistachios
- 2 ounces of goat cheese
- 3 tbsp softened unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp cream/half and half
- 20 g pistachios halved
- 40 g white sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp minced parsley
- 1 tsp black pepper
Orange and Herb Butter
- 4 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp minced basil
- 4 tbsp minced parsley
- Zest of 1 orange
- Salt to taste
- Round water crackers/ Saltine crackers to serve GF crackers can be used to make this Gluten free
- Combine the pickle juice and beetroot and process till it's smooth (if you are using fresh beetroot, you can also use a juicer).
- Using a fine sieve, strain the liquid to remove the pulp (you can skip this step if you used a juicer for fresh beetroot). You should get at least 1 cup of liquid.
- In the meantime, place the cold water in a bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over it. Leave aside for 15 minutes to let the gelatin bloom.
- Pour the beetroot liquid into a saucepan and heat it until it starts to boil.
- Remove from the heat and stir for a few seconds and add the bloomed gelatin. Whisk until the gelatin has dissolved and there are no gelatin crystals. Leave aside to cool.
- Prepare a quarter pan by lightly spraying non-stick oil or lining it with a silpat. Pour the beet liquid onto the tray and cover the tray with plastic wrap.
- Keep it in the fridge to set (make sure the tray lays flat on an even surface inside the fridge).
Goat cheese with Candied Pistachios and Herbs
- In a small non-stick pan, sprinkle the sugar evenly on the bottom of the pan and heat on medium heat.
- When the sugar crystals start to melt, mix the sugar around to ensure all the sugar melts evenly. The sugar will caramelize and turn a light golden brown.
- Mix in the chopped pistachios and cover them with the caramel.
- Scrape the caramel covered pistachios on to a parchment paper and let it cool completely.
- Once this has set and cooled down, chop it into smaller pieces to fold through the goat cheese.
- In a bowl, place the goat cheese, black pepper, butter, cream, minced parsley and whisk until smooth and well combined.
- Add the pistachios and fold them through the goat cheese.
- Place the goat cheese on a larger plastic wrap square and roll the mixture using the plastic wrap to form a log shape (you can keep it in the freezer/fridge to make this easier), then twist the ends to seal. Keep the goat Cheese "log" in the freezer or fridge until it sets.
Orange and Herb Butter Sauce
- Heat the butter in a small pan until the butter browns and you get the beautiful nutty aroma.
- Add the browned butter into a bowl, and add to that the orange zest, minced herbs (basil and parsley) and salt.
- Mix all the ingredients and leave aside until you're ready to serve. You may need to heat it if the butter solidifies.
- Carefully place the beetroot jelly on a non-stick surface (like a Silpat mat or parchment paper)
- Measure and cut a sheet of beet jelly that would wrap around the goat Cheese log (with excess to overlap at the seam).
- Unwrap the goat cheese "log" and place it on one end of the beetroot jelly and carefully roll it in the beet root jelly, with the seams overlapping. Place it on the tray, seam side down, until ready to cut into slices.
- With a warm knife cut thick slices and place them on the crackers.
- Brush the warm orange and herb butter sauce on top and serve.
Note for using Agar-agar powder - If using agar-agar, dissolve the agar-agar in the hot water and heat this while mixing to make sure it has dissolved well. Add the Beetroot liquid and bring to a boil. Simmer the liquid for about 5 minutes on low heat. Let it cool slightly, and pour into the prepared sheet pan.
Agar-agar sets at room temperature, so you will have to work quickly to get it on to the pan. It can be stored in the fridge just like the rest of the recipe.
Wouldn’t this be perfect for a wine and cheese night? Say with a glass of bubbly?
So how can you make this easier?
For big parties and easy assembly, you could just pickle thin slices of beet and top these slices with the goat cheese instead. You could even take out the crackers altogether and serve this as an appetizer with a small salad.
So for one last time, what flavours and textures can you expect here? Pickled beet jelly (sharp in flavour and smooth in texture), crunchy and sweet candied pistachios, crunchy crackers and creamy and savoury goat cheese with orange and herbs that result in an amazing citrussy freshness and aroma. The flavours all have great balance and come together to give you a great appetizer that would be the perfect start to a memorable meal.
This will be a great idea for a vegetarian hors d’oeuvres which I’m sure the non-vegetarians will also enjoy just as much!
Update – Here’s another fantastic recipe using the Pickled Beet! A delicious Pickled Beet and Basil Grilled Cheese Sandwich!
This weekend is going to be a busy one in Giramuk’s kitchen. I’ll be getting up to all sorts of mischief there and you can find out all about it on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM, PINTEREST and GOOGLE-PLUS where I share pictures of what’s cooking and all the other amazing recipes that I come across! You can say hi to me through email too. Do subscribe to get future posts and recipes by entering your email address below or on the side bar 🙂