Sunday, March 14, 2010

Brussels Sprouts, Cashel Blue Irish Pizza for St. Patrick's Day

I've been introducing all my friends to the delicious, creamy Cashel Blue cheese from Ireland. When I made my Kale, Apple & Cashel Blue Cheese Salad, I thought this cheese would be really amazing with Brussels Sprouts. That thought inspired this amazing pizza: a base of sauteed leeks and dinosaur kale, topped with steamed and sauteed Brussels Sprouts and a generous portion of grated Cashel Blue Irish Cheese. The result is an incredibly rich and hearty pizza that celebrates delicious deep green vegetables with an indulgent dose of creamy blue cheese.

If you're a Brussels Sprouts fan, you're really gonna love this one!

Brussels Sprouts, Cashel Blue Cheese Irish Pizza:

pizza dough for one 11 " pizza
olive oil for brushing
1 leek
1/2 bunch dinosaur kale, stemmed
1 TBS sparkling/sweet wine
2 teaspoon salted butter (I used Kerrygold)
11 brussels sprouts
2 pinches sea salt
3 oz Cashel Blue Irisch Cheese
pine nuts

Preheat the oven to 450. Roll out the pizza dough, brush with olive oil and bake on a pizza stoned for 8 minutes (deflate puffiness with a knife.

Slice and clean the leek and dinosaur kale. Heat 1 teaspoon of butter in skillet and saute until tender (6-8 mins). Add sparkling wine after sauteing for 4 minutes. Season with a pinch of sea salt.

Trim stems from Brussels spouts and cut in half. Place in a ziplock bag (half sealed) with a TBS of water and microwaver for 3 1/2 minutes. Remove carefully (hot!). Melt 1 teaspoon butter in a skillet on high heat and quickly saute the sprouts until browned.

Roll out pizza dough. Brush with olive oil and bake for 7 minutes (the dough will puff up - pierce it with a knife and press down).

Top the curst with the sauteed leek/kale mix. Top with the Brussels Sprouts (flat side up) then grate Cashel Blue cheese over pizza. Bake for 5 minutes, adding pine nuts (if desired) after 3 minutes of cooking.

Serve and enjoy!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Kale, Apple & Cashel Blue Salad for St. Patrick's Day

With St. Patrick's Day around the corner, I've been musing on a new dish that incorporates Irish ingredients. This delicious kale salad with crisp fresh apple and creamy and mild Irish Cashel blue cheese really hits the spot!

I wanted to tenderize the dinosaur kale beyond a raw kale salad (can be a little too bitter) and found the perfect solution. I placed the kale leaves in a colander and poured boiling water over them (my favorite way to barely cook spinach). The result was perfect - a tenderized kale that still maintained it's texture. I then removed the stems and chopped the leaves.

I created a citrus vinaigrette using a citrus-champagne vinegar with a high quality extra-virgin olive oil and sea salt and pepper. I tossed the kale with cubed crisp apple, hazelnuts (filberts), and crumbled creamy but pungent Cashel Blue cheese and the vinaigrette. What an amazing salad combination taste and texture wise! And, a healthy option!

It's been quite a while since I posted to Albion Cooks. As regulars will know, I broke my arm which really limited my cooking adventures. Then I had an awful bout with the flu and was shamefully living off microwavable cauliflower and brussels sprouts. Thanks to all for their kind inquiries and well wishes! I'm back!

This Cashel Blue cheese is so good, I plan to do another couple of recipes with it. It would be so good with Brussels Sprouts!

And I highly recommend it spread straight on an oaty cracker! Enjoy!