Appetizers

Baked Goat Cheese with Pepper Jelly
By Annie Copps

Tuesday, October 12, 2010
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goat cheese with pepper jelly on crackers

It's happened to all of us: Unexpected guests. Whether it's an impromptu party or maybe you even forgot the date—switching gears at the last minute could put even the greatest of hosts into a state of confusion.

No worries. At least when it comes to the food. I always have a log of goat cheese in the freezer (it defrosts very quickly) and there are any number of things you can do with this versatile cheese—which, by the way, New England makes some of the best goat cheese in the nation.

Give a baguette or sliced Ciabatta loaf a good smear of the cheese, then spoon some pesto or chopped herbs (fresh or dry) on top plus a drizzle of olive oil, then throw it in the oven. Even better, add some pepper jelly.

We are quite fond of Westport Rivers Vineyard's Pinot Noir pepper jelly—but use your own or a good quality store bought version. Now go set the table—the guests will be arriving any minute!

Total time: 30 minutes
Prep time: 15 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients
4 ounces creamy goat cheese, shaped into
4 equal patties, about 1/2 inch thick
4 slices ciabatta or other chewy Italian bread, lightly toasted
4 tablespoons pepper jelly

Directions
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Set goat cheese on toasted bread and bake until puffy and warmed all the way through, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to sit for a few minutes, then spoon pepper jelly over the top.

___________________________________________________________
annie coppsAnnie B. Copps is a senior editor at Yankee Magazine. Annie oversees the magazine's food coverage, both as an editor and as a contributor of feature stories and columns.

Asparagus Hummus And Spiced Pita Chips By Annie Copps

Tuesday, August 10, 2010
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It's spring, and that means asparagus season in Massachusetts — and nothing tastes better to me than asparagus hummus accompanied by fragrant, spiced pita chips.

Ingredients
2 cups fresh asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 15-1/2-ounce can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and well rinsed
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons tahini (sesame paste)
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground white pepper

Directions
Prepare an ice-water bath and set aside. In a large saucepan, bring 4 cups salted water to a boil. Add asparagus and return water to boil. Cook about 4 minutes or until asparagus is cooked through and bright green. Drain asparagus and refresh in ice-water bath. After 5 minutes, drain and set aside.

In a food processor, combine chickpeas, garlic, and tahini, and puree. Add zest, juice, and asparagus, and process until smooth. With machine running, pour in olive oil and process until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with spiced pita chips.

(Courtesy: Yankee Magazine)

___________________________________________________________
annie coppsAnnie B. Copps is a senior editor at Yankee Magazine. Annie oversees the magazine's food coverage, both as an editor and as a contributor of feature stories and columns.

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