We have been on an unabashed 1980s food trend search as of late. No reason for the nostalgia.
WARM CHEVRE SPREAD WITH TOASTED BAGUETTE
A chunky spread, featuring sun-dried tomatoes, artichokes, olives and creamy chevre. Serve to a cosy group gathered round the fire or toss with cooked pasta.
Serves eight to 10
1 head garlic
3/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
1/3 cup olive oil
1 medium onion, sliced
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 to 1 cup dry white wine
8 ounces/250g chevre
4 ounces/125g firm cream cheese
1 jar-14-ounces/398mL artichoke hearts, drained and cut into eights
2/3 cup Nicoise olives
1 tablespoon coarsely cracked pepper
Slices of toasted baguette or crusty French bread
Cut 1/4-inch/6mm off top of garlic head and rub entire head with olive oil. Place in a garlic roaster or wrap loosely in foil. Bake at 325F/160C for 45 minutes to one hour, depending on size of the garlic, or until cloves are soft and golden brown. When cool enough to handle, squeeze garlic pulp into a bowl and set aside.
Meanwhile, cut the tomatoes into a medium dice and soak in enough hot water to cover for about 15 minutes until softened. Drain and set aside.
Heat the oil in a saute pan. When the oil is hot, add the onions and cook for about three minutes until they begin to brown. Add the sugar and continue to cook for about 10 minutes or until the onions are dark brown and nicely caramelized. Pour in the wine and deglaze the pan, scraping up the flavorful brown bits from the bottom.
Add the chevre, cream cheese, tomatoes, artichokes, reserved garlic, olives and pepper. Stir until the cheese melts and the mixture is creamy and smooth. If it is too thick, simply adjust the consistency by adding more wine. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Transfer to a serving bowl and offer with slices of toasted baguette or crusty French bread.
Marinated Goat Cheese with Garlic, Basil, and Orange Zest
Fast Appetizers By Hugh Carpenter & Teri Sandison
Serves 6 to 10
It’s the infused olive oil that gives the goat cheese an intense and exciting flavor. You can vary the type of peppercorns used, or substitute mint or cilantro for the basil. This marinated goat cheese is also very good served in Belgian endive cups.
1 (12-ounce) log soft goat cheese, or
3 smaller logs, chilled
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon whole peppercorns,
preferably a mixture of white, red and black
1 teaspoon whole allspice berries
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 tablespoons finely minced fresh ginger
1/3 cup slivered fresh basil
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
Crackers as accompaniment
Using a thin-bladed vegetable knife or paring knife, cut the goat cheese into 1/2 inch-thick slices. (Dip the knife blade in hot tap water after each cut.) Arrange the slices in a single layer in a Pyrex pie plate or baking dish.
In a small saucepan, combine the olive oil, peppercorns, and allspice. In a small bowl, combine the garlic, ginger, basil and orange. Place the saucepan over medium-high heat and cook until the peppercorns begin to pop, about 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and immediately stir in the garlic mixture. After 5 seconds of stirring, pour the hot olive oil mixture over the goat cheese. Marinate in the refrigerator at least 3 hours, covered with plastic wrap. The recipe can be completed to this point up to 1 week before serving.
To serve, transfer the chilled cheese to a serving plate. Serve at room temperature or chilled with crackers