Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Goat Cheese Timbales in a Sea of Change

Seattle was the perfect place to be as my world changed. I am a "water baby." And like to contemplate looking at bodies of water. Seattle provides water contemplation.

And if bits of my being seemed scattered upon rocks or washed out to sea, the movement soothed me, heightened my feelings and gave way ...

... to quiet thoughts. And appreciation of what is.

I've changed my life before. After an unfortunate "bus incident," I packed my bags and moved from NYC to MN within a week. But not without a plan. I knew the neighborhood I would live in, the theatres I would audition for, the climate... and the lack of food (which has happily improved over - the decades). In fact, my cooking obsession can be directly tied to the fact that I could not find my New York traditional Italian and food-finds and so had to recreate them!

And if you're life is changing, eating crab at Pike's Market can stimulate the brain cells. I know.

I had it all. And then some.

Crab cocktail.
Crab roll.
And at Saltys - with a view of the Seattle skyline - a supper club - but - most importantly - they served -
Crab legs!

And then I came home and had crab for three days. (Yes, I am obsessive - have you ever done this after a vacation?)
I visited the children's garden at the Seattle Children's Theatre. Are you surprised? My life change has to do with youth theatre.

"To know is nothing at all. To imagine is everything." - Anatole France

Yes, there's a waterfall inside the city limits of Seattle.

"Remember the plants, trees, animal life who all have their tribes, their families, their histories, too. Talk to them, listen to them. They are alive poems." - Joe Harjo

And Seattle was filled with alive poems. I will show more later, but before I make you impatient - I will get to the loveliest of recipes. Easy and elegant - as a life change should be but is not.  After contemplating the new - within the new - I came home and after my crabfest, needed a tried and true. Something that has sustained Paul and I throughout part of our marriage. Something that is a smile, a grin, a luxurious taste, a memory.

Ten years ago, my mother made this for Paul and I for our anniversary - it's from Bon Appetit. And tonight, I surprised Paul with it for his birthday. (He may have been relieved to see he wasn't having crab.)

Goat Cheese Timbales Wrapped in Prosciutto

Ingredients: (makes 3)
6 slices of prosciutto (not shaved paper thin)
5 ounces plain goat cheese
2-3 ounces cream cheese (or mascarpone)
4 scallions, chopped thin
fresh pepper - to taste
olive oil or Pam olive oil
mixed baby greens
Champagne vinaigrette (your favorite or bottled)

With goat cheese and cream cheese at room temperature, beat together until smooth. Cut in thin slices of green scallions and pepper generously. Stir to combine all equally. In 3 4-5 ounce ramekins, lay proscicutto in a X-pattern in the ramekins. Divide goat cheese mixture equally in the 3 ramekins. Layer the overlapped prosciutto on top.

Cover, weight down with a can and let sit 6-8 hours or over night.

In a small saute pan lightly sprayed or brushed with olive oil, heat the timbales 3-4 minutes per side - until just about to ooze, (and if does ooze, enjoy - it's not a bad thing!)

Put aside for 20-30 minutes, so the cheese can "set." Bon Appetit has you serve it with haricot verts on the side which is grand - but I usually opt for baby spring greens in a champagne vinaigrette.

It looks so innocent and it is.

But them you cut into it -

And it welcomes you by spreading its creamy goodness around the salad. Which is just what you want. Just what you need. Just what you counted on when all is changing. Some things are certain. The goat cheese timbales are a sure thing. They succeed every time. Have you ever made a life change? But brought the past with you - to ensure - a happy, new beginning?


Proud Italian Cook said...

I WILL be making those little bundles of joy, wonderful, I can just taste them! but first I need to eat some crab to stimulate my brain cells!

Linda said...

Oh the seafood you ate --- and ate --- and ate. I would have done the same thing. Happy Birthday to Paul and many, many more, especially if they come with those goat cheese timbales.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Seattle looks like a beautiful city, and I I hope to visit to one day soon.

"Let me eat crab" sounds like a good motto, Calaudia :O) The crab roll looked especially delicious.

I know I'd love these goat cheese timbales -- you had me at prosciutto!

Happy birthday to Paul!

Wanda..... said...

What an inspiring post, Claudia...in more ways than one. You looked wonderful there in Seattle. Loved your photos, granddaughter Amanda has been enjoying the sights there too. She now lives in Tacoma. Hope your life change continues to bring you great joy!

Sam Hoffer / My Carolina Kitchen said...

What a scrumptious and sexy meal. Happy birthday Paul. Looks like I've found a fellow Leo. If you're serious about moving, I think I would pitch a tent at Pike's Market and live happily ever after.

Sprigs of Rosemary said...

These timbales do look wonderful . . . wish someone would make them for my birthday! Never been to Seattle, but I've heard it's wonderful. (Especially the food!)

Whats Cookin Italian Style Cuisine said...

How gorgeous your photo's are! Wow makes me feel like I am there, as i wish! Well you know me by reading CRAB! is my favorite seafood so not only am I jealous but drooling over everything here! What an amazing place that food is calling me for sure!

Anne said...

The Northwestern part of the US is simply beautiful. I have been to Portland. Loved it, but it rained the whole time, but it looks like you had sun!
Your recipe looks so very elegant.

Angie's Recipes said...

What a seafood meal!
Seattle looks like a great city, and I hope one day to visit it.

Mary Bergfeld said...

Seattle can be a magical city for the adventurous. I know you to be that! I hope all is well and that the life-changes of which you speak are all positive. I hope you have a good day. Hugs and Blessings...Mary

Jeannie said...

Look at those fabulous crabs! They are so fresh and succulent, I wouldn't mind eating them for a week! Absolutely my favorite! And yes, I did change my life a few years back and boy! am I so glad I did!

That Girl said...

I haven't been to Seattle in over 10 years!

Juliana said...

Claudia, great pictures from Seattle...brought me memories of my trip...as for the goat cheese wrapped in prosciutto, it sure looks delicious...
Hope you are having a great week :-)

Liz That Skinny Chick Can Bake said...

Oh, YUM! I think I could eat almost anything wrapped in prosciutto! This looks delectable....mmmmmmm. And I'm totally envious of all the lovely seafood your had in Seattle~

Anonymous said...

I love visiting Seattle, such a beautiful place! Those goat cheese timbales sound wonderful wrapped in prosciutto, nice! Happy birthday to Paul!

Reeni said...

Seattle is on my bucket list! It looks like a beautiful place. And those timbales - absolutely divine - happy birthday Paul!

Reeni said...

I almost forgot - thanks for making my salad and glad it was a hit!

Velva said...

Unfortunately, our bodies and our mind cannot always tell the difference between good stress, and bad stress, the reaction is the same. I hope that the change is one that you want and have hoped for-

Seattle is a wonderful place to get in touch with your "crabby" foodie side. Awesome.


Anna Johnston said...

What a simple and elegant meal to make. I haven't made one since my chef apprenticeship days. You've inspired me. Perhaps instead of the meat, I'll use salmon.
Seattle looks amazing, I've never been. Seems I need too. Great blog, I'm def coming back. :)

Kate@Diethood said...

My husband always talks about Seattle...he would move there in a heartbeat... I can see why. It's so beautiful!

Goat cheese in prosciutto...good lord! YUMMO!

Unknown said...

I considered moving to Oregon at one point because I loved the northwest so much. But there's the rain thing. A lot of rain thing. Those delicious crab dishes made me wonder if I've made a mistake now. :)

I've never heard of Timbales before and I can see that I'm missing out. They look fantastic. What a great surprise for your husband.

Unknown said...

I get into the same phase too -lobster fest for days or shrimp fest for days.LOL
Love your goat cheese timbales... the photos speak for themselves:)

Heather S-G said...

All of those pictures are absolutely wonderful. I've always wanted to go to Seattle, but haven't made it, yet (I'm a water baby, too). I don't think it gets much better than goat cheese and prosciutto...mmm. Lucky Paul ;) I have made a couple of life changes...and I know that I will make more in time.

Magic of Spice said...

I have wanted to visit Seattle for such a long time and your gorgeous photos are pressing me :) What a wonderful trip and so much crab, wow! My sons are not big on goat cheese but anything wrapped in prosciutto will get there attention :)

Torviewtoronto said...

lovely pictures
seafood looks fabulous

Gina Stanley said...

I shouldn't have read this before dinner, I want crab so badly now. I'm so glad you are moving on to the next chapter, I'm sure it will be even better than the last. I also cook so much because they don't have the foods I love here either. I want to visit Seattle one day, it looks beautiful. Enjoy your weekend, so glad you are back.

Kim said...

Claudia- Your writing is so poetic. I sincerely hope that the life changes you speak of are positive and exciting. Seattle looks like a foodie's dream. I've always wanted to go, but just haven't had the chance. The goat cheese timbales are absolutely swoon-worthy and I can definitely see why you'd enjoy them with salad instead of the beans. Pure heaven!

Please take care.

Monet said...

What a lovely post to read and to see. You captured some of the best parts of Seattle, and I loved hearing your reflections about change and new starts. I hope that the change you speak of is a good one, my dear friend.

Cathy at Wives with Knives said...

OMG those goat cheese timbales look out of this world! I have one last dinner to cook for my visiting family and this will be a part of it.

Seattle is such a great city. I don't live far from it but don't get there often enough. Love your photos.

Unknown said...

Yes, I do that every time. Come home from a holiday to create my favourite holiday meals. I love it! I helps me re-live the holiday memories!

chow and chatter said...

so pleased you had fun Claudia oh man I want some crab J loves it too and yep I often go crazy eating things I had on vacation on returning home

bonnie at sweet life said...

A lovely post Claudia, your words flow so lovely and easily of the page. Life changes? I hope they are excitng and filled with joy!! Happy Bday to Paul and what a celebration bundle of flavor!
happy weekend!

OysterCulture said...

Sounds like you had an amazing trip and oh, thank you ro sharing us the goat cheese timbales. What a treat. They look like they could change my life!

tasteofbeirut said...

For a minute I thought you were going to move back to Seattle. Great timbale, nothing beats goat cheese with a bit of smoked ham. Yum/ Glad you had fun.

Mari Nuñez said...

Wonderful Seattle photo. I am mouth watered with that delicious looking crab roll! I could imagine how tasty is that goat cheese timbales. That for the recipe :)

Beth said...

I'm intrigued -- and I'm looking forward to reading more about Seattle!

Dentist West Hollywood said...

Mmm - that goat cheese looks amazing! My mouth is watering just thinking about it. Now I want some for myself!!


Island Vittles said...

It sounds like you had a reflective time in Seattle, enjoy the rest of your summer at home -- and who wouldn't enjoy goat cheese wrapped in cured pork? Theresa

My Little Space said...

Good day Claudia, hope you're getting along well in a brand new environment. Anyway, I think you'll be too busy to think of that....guess life going to be pretty busy then. Seattle is a beautiful city. I'm sure you're going to enjoy life there and go on enjoy more crabs! haha.... Btw, the goat cheese timbales sound as incredible.
Have a wonderful time!
Blessings, Kristy