I've missed my Friday dish lately, but I picked a great appetizer to share with you that can be thrown together in less time than it takes to get dressed.
My baked goat cheese is easy, pleasy, and cheesy -- in a good way.
I first had this dish more than ten years ago at a restaurant and was told it was retro, then. I knew immediately that I would be reprising it at home. Their version was a soup bowl filled with red sauce and thick scoop of goat cheese was floating on top, baked-up, browned around the edges. This was served with day-old french bread, toasted in the broiler. The warm cheese was soft and spreadable and slightly tart. The marinara mellows it all out and the bread allows for dipping and licking the bowl clean. Not that I would ever do that when I'm home alone.
I made the Muir Glen version of this dish several times (its on the label.) Until one day, I went to throw it together, but no Muir Glen tomatoes were to be found. But what to my wondering eyes did appear, but a jar of Vodka Sauce...oh, holiday cheer!
2 small logs of goat cheese (about 4 oz each)
1 jar of vodka cream sauce such as Newman's Own
I like to pour the sauce in an 8X8 baking dish (or one that's pretty enough to serve from) and then arrange slices of the goat cheese all over the sauce (and if you figure out how to slice goat cheese let me know.) Usually I end up with little broken balls of goat cheese placed on top of the sauce. Rustic, if you will. Then you bake it in the oven at 350 until everything is hot and bubbly. You can broil it for a minute to make the cheese golden brown, but only if it needs to be fancy. And while you're at it, sprinkle it with something green.
Serve it with toasted baguette slices, pita chips or a hearty cracker. It's too heavy for a wimpy cracker.
I believe goat cheese is probably served in Heaven. Anyone could fall in love with it if exposed to that salad from Ruggles with the goat cheese and apples...know what I'm talkin' about? In case some of you want to make the plain white bread version of this, whipped cream cheese could potentially be substituted.
But that would be like putting cottage cheese in your lasagna or drinking wine from a box -- we've all been there, but look how far we've come. Just make it with goat cheese. It's scrumptious, I promise!
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