Appetizers

Recipe—Steak & Goat Cheese Crostini with Pesto

Steak and Goat Cheese Crostini with Pesto

Last weekend I hosted a wine tasting party, which is so much fun by the way! Each person brought an appetizer and a bottle of wine so it was minimal preparation required on my part and didn’t break the bank. Thanks to all my amazing friends that came if you are reading this! It was such a blast! We had a total of 13 bottles of wine and an amazing spread of food.

Since I was holding the party around dinner time I knew I needed an appetizer that was hearty and filling. Steak came to mind since it would pair so nicely with a good hearty red blend. These appetizers may look very simple but the flavors were so amazing. The goat cheese is whipped together with cream cheese, olive oil, and red pepper so it is creamy and smooth with a mild kick. I was able to prepare everything earlier in the day and then assemble right before anyone arrived. And let me tell you, they were pretty darn popular among the ladies.

Steak and Goat Cheese Crostini with Pesto

Note: These can be served hot or cold. I served them cold for the sake of convenience. I was able to do all the prep in the morning, stored the cooked steak and goat cheese spread in the fridge, and put the toasted crostini in an unsealed Ziploc bag. I then assembled them right before the party.

INGREDIENTS
1 baguette, cut into 1/4 slices
10–12 ounce New York strip steak
4 oz goat cheese, softened
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
olive oil
salt & pepper
chili powder
garlic powder
1/2 c pesto

STEPS

  • Preheat the oven to 425º.
  • Place the baguette slices on a parchment paper lined baking sheets.
  • Brush each slice with olive oil and season with a light sprinkle of salt. Flip each slice over and repeat.
  • Toast the baguette slices for 12–15 minutes or until they are a nice golden brown.
  • While the baguette slices are toasting, season both sides of the steak with salt, pepper, a sprinkle of chili powder, and garlic powder.
  • Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat and add the steak.
  • Cook the steak for 4–6 minutes, flip, and continue to cook for an additional 4–6 minutes.
  • Remove the steak from the pan and allow it to sit for 10 minutes.
  • While the steak is resting, use a hand mixer to whip together the goat cheese, cream cheese, red pepper flakes, and two tablespoons of olive oil.
  • Thinly slice the steak and set aside.
  • To assemble, spread about one teaspoon of the whipped goat cheese on a slice of toasted bread, top with a slice of steak, and a dollop of pesto.
  • Enjoy!

 

Recipe adapted from Domesticate Me.

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Appetizers, Dinners

Recipe—Fig, Goat Cheese, Prosciutto, and Arugula Flatbread

I have this coworker that lives on a real genuine farm. (In the Sacramento Area that’s not very common.) Throughout the year we are the very lucky recipients of various homegrown goodies. A couple weeks back he brought in the most gorgeous figs. I will admit, I look forward to his figs every year. Figs always inspire me to make fun and creative recipes. Well we were having some friends and their kids over the other day for a bbq and some slip n’ slide fun. I knew we would be sitting out on the patio and wanted to come up with a fun appetizer we would all enjoy with a nice bottle of white wine. This flatbread was amazing and so perfect! This took 15 minutes total and was super easy to whip up. The figs are mildly sweet and go great with the richness of the goat cheese and saltiness of the prosciutto. The finishing touch of fresh arugula gives it a nice peppery flavor and the sweet honey just pulls it all together. This rustic flatbread is just layer after layer of fabulous flavors.

Note: I used the Pillsbury whole grain pizza dough and thought it turned out great!

INGREDIENTS
1 can refrigerated pizza dough (I like Pillsbury)
olive oil
4 figs, thinly sliced
3–4 oz sliced prosciutto
4 oz goat cheese
salt and pepper
2 tbsp honey
2 c arugula

STEPS

  • Heat oven to 400°F.
  • Grease large nonstick cookie sheet with cooking spray.
  • Unroll and press out the dough onto the prepared baking sheet to make a 10” x 15” rectangle.
  • Drizzle the crust with olive oil.
  • Place the fig slices on the crust in a single layer.
  • Tear off pieces on the prosciutto and scatter it over the top of the figs.
  • Crumble the goat cheese and sprinkle it over the flatbread.
  • Season the flatbread with salt and pepper.
  • Bake for 12–14 minutes or until the crust is a nice golden color.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool.
  • Drizzle the honey over the flatbread.
  • Scatter the arugula over the flatbread.
  • Slice the flatbread into squares and serve.
Salads

Recipe—Pomegranate Pear Salad with Goat Cheese

When people typically think of big fresh salads they think of summer. Salads are perfect year round if you know how to incorporate fresh seasonal produce. Well here is a perfect fall salad recipe. It is bright, colorful, and bursting with flavor. The flavors all complement each other really nicely. The sweetness of the fruit, richness of the goat cheese, nuttiness from the walnuts, and the bite of the basil create a perfect flavor symphony. This may even be making one of my holiday dinner menus this year.

Note: Many grocery stores now sell containers of the pomegranate seeds all cleaned and ready to use. If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of removing the seeds yourself this can be a great time saver.

DRESSING INGREDIENTS
1/4 c pomegranate juice (I use POM)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp brown sugar
fresh ground pepper

SALAD INGREDIENTS
6 c (9 oz bag) fresh spinach
2–4 oz goat cheese
1/2 c walnuts or pecans
1–2 pears, cored and sliced
1 pomegranate, seeded
1/4 c fresh basil, chopped

STEPS

  • Whisk together all dressing ingredients.
  • Toss the spinach with the dressing.
  • Crumble the goat cheese over the salad.
  • Top with walnuts, pear slices, pomegranate seeds, and fresh basil.
  • Serve immediately.