Cheese Plate – “Tête de Moine”

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 15,393
    Chef Cathal Armstrong demonstrates how to prepare Tete de Moine.

    Cathal Armstrong: I am Cathal Armstrong of Restaurant Eve in Alexandria, Virginia. For our third course in our spring menu, I am going to prepare a little cheese. We are going to do Tete de Moine and I am going to show you how to pickle some vegetables and make a little jam to go with it.

    The tools and the ingredients that you will need for this dish are a little bit of pickling spice, some golden raisins, a little bit of sugar, some carrots, some baby lettuces to garnish, a little water, a little champaign vinegar, some sauterne, girolle, and Tete de Moine which is a cheese, the monks head. You can find it probably most easily on Internet at cheese.

    com, but most gourmet stores will be able to find it for you and order it for you.

    To prepare this cheese, the presentation that we need what's called girolle. It's easily found again on the Internet. So if you look up the cheese Tete de Moine, you will find information about girolle. So the first thing I am going to do is just cut the top off the cheese, cut that rind part away. Then we will take the handle off and just carefully push it right down the middle onto our girolle. Then I am going to press the handle on top and the cheese is ready for us. So I want to teach you today how to prepare a pickled vegetable. Today, we are going to pickled carrots, that's very simple. What we want to do is place the carrots into a little pot and we want to cover it with equal parts champaign vinegar and water. Then into the pot we will add for flavor just a little bit of pickling spice and a pinch of sugar just to balance the acidity from the vinegar. Very simply what we are going to do is bring the vegetable to a boil and then take it off and let it cool down at room temperature.

    So while that's working, we are going to do the next garnish for the dish which is a golden raisins jam. So again into a small sauce pot, I will add just a little bit of golden raisins. Then I want to cover that with sauterne. The sauterne I am using today is Chteau Bastor-Lamontagne. You can find just an inexpensive sauterne in the grocery stores. We want to cook that until the raisins are plump and tender for probably about 5 minutes.

    Once the raisins are cooked, we will put it into a food processor and puree it until we have a nice jam like texture. What we look for here is just a sweetness of the raisin jam and then that be contrast by the acidity of the pickled carrot.

    So we just use a little pastry brush, I want to brush the jam nice and gently onto the plate like this, make a nice little band. Then we will garnish with just a couple of the pickled carrots on either sides. Then we do the very complicated part. Just gently, without too much pressure twist the handle of the cheese and you will see that it gradually twists the cheese off and making like a nice beautiful flower which looks really elegant. Then we will garnish that with just a little bit of baby lettuces. There we have beautiful Tete de Moine with pickled carrots and golden raisin jam. So thank you for joining me today. I hope you enjoy your spring menu in the spring time. We will look forward to see you at the restaurant soon.

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