Thursday, July 17, 2014

One Recipe-Two Different Appetizers

"The secret of happiness is to count your blessings while others are adding up their troubles." 
William Penn 

Grilled Goat Cheese Sandwiches with Fig and Honey 
Cook's Notes:The inspiration for this recipe came from Cooking Light. I was intrigued with the unusual ingredients.The recipe called for making sandwiches which I turned into mini appetizers.  I used a panini maker to grill the sandwiches but a griddle or fry pan works just as well. Why this recipe works is the ease of putting it together and the flavors of fig and goat cheese together were amazing.  The recipe make 4 sandwiches or 16 mini sandwiches/appetizers. 
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • 1/4 tsp. lemon zest
  • 1 package of garlic herb goat cheese (3.5 oz) room temperature
  • 8 slices of cinnamon-raisin bread
  • 4 TB. fig preserves
  • 2 tsp. dried basil or 2 TB. thinly sliced fresh basil
  • optional powdered sugar
  • Mix honey, lemon zest and goat cheese. Spread 1 TB. of goat cheese mixture on 4 slices of bread. 
  • Mix fig preserves and basil.
  • Spread 1-1/2 tsp. fig mixture on top of goat cheese.
  • Top bread with remaining slices and grill in panini maker, fry pan or griddle.
  • Cook 3 minutes a side.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar. 
Fig and Goat Cheese Appetizer
Cook's notes: I used the same recipe ingredients listed above and created a different appetizer. I brushed both sides of baguette slices with olive oil. The slices were toasted at 425 degrees on a cookie sheet, 4 minutes a side.  The goat cheese mixture was spread on each of the toasted bread slices and topped with fig preserve mixture. The bread slices were put back in oven for 1 minute to soften the cheese a bit. Raspberries were placed on top to serve but dried dates would work too. This appetizer was even more amazing than the first one. Something about the combination of fig preserves and goat cheese on toasted bread slices enhanced the flavor.  These appetizers would pair nicely with a salad for a light summer meal.  
Invest A  Little Effort if you want the best flavor and stellar results using a slow cooker. A good recipe requires more than dumping everything in raw and walking away. Browning meat, sauteing onions prior to slow cooking is the best way to add deep, rich flavor without a ton of salt or fat. 
Think of recipes as having a beginning, middle, and an end. A bit of effort on the front and back ends (prepping and polishing) can make the difference between a dish that no one would guess came from the slow cooker and one that's all too obvious. 
Next posting will feature slow cooker recipes.  


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