I’ve gotten several requests for recipes of late. Some of my recipes, such as my Shape It Up Meatloaf:
I can’t really give out for proprietary reasons. I can, however, give out the recipes for these that everyone’s been asking for since I donated them to Ladie’s Night Out:
Above: Pesto Farmer’s Cheese Torte (mini). Below: Butterscotch Pecan Gorgonzola Torte.
They’re more suggestions than recipes, and both start the same way:
In whatever size & shape bowl works best for you, lay plastic wrap to cover inside. Make sure you push it gently into all the corners, and that there is enough left on all sides to cover the bottom of the cheese mold. Spray lightly with olive oil cooking spray.
(I used farmer’s cheese because I was donating this and goat cheese was too expensive, but I recommend goat cheese. )
Combine cream cheese and enough pesto to color a light green. Mix & set aside. Press goat cheese into plastic covered mold, using slightly wetted hands or plastic gloves. Use enough cheese to fill about 1/3 of the mold, and press firmly to pack cheese into mold corners. Layer in enough pesto cream cheese to fill up the next 1/3 of the mold, again pressing gently to make sure it reaches all the corners and has no air bubbles. Finish filling with the goat cheese, again pressing mixture in firmly. Fold plastic over the bottom of the mold tightly, and set in refrigerator for 1 hour. Remove mold from refrierator, and unwrap the bottom of the mold. Make sure your plastic is out of the way, and invert mold gently on plate. If necessary, gently tug one corner of the plastic to encourage cheese onto plate.
I bought pesto, because frankly at this time a year it was too expensive to buy that much basil. Roast pine nuts gently in a dry pan for several minutes, turning frequently, until they are toasted. Spread pesto on top of mold, then cover with pine nuts. Top with either pepperdew peppers (above), or with roasted tomatoes or garlic. Serve chilled.
Butterscotch Pecan Gorgonzola Torte
In a heavy-bottomed pan, combine: dried figs or apple slices, dried cranberries, butterscotch syrup to coat, and pineapple juice to thin enough to not burn. Heat on low until fruit plumps. Add enough corn starch, mixed with pineapple juice, to thicken and heat until thickened. Add roasted pecan (roast first if necessary) and stir. Refrigerate for at least one hour.
(I used gorgonzola because it was relatively cheap, but I’d actually recommend a blue stilton for this recipe if cost is less of an issue). Mix blue cheese with farmer’s cheese in whatever ratio you prefer (I did about 1/3 lb gorgonzola to 1 lb. farmer’s). Press into mold as described above for pesto mold, filling entire mold with cheese. Refrigerate for one hour. Release from mold onto plate, and scoop generous amounts of topping onto cheese. Stud cheese, if desired, with roasted walnuts or pecans for extra presentation.
And, that’s it! They’re really simple and delightful appetizers, with fun and unique presentations. Stores like Wegmans’ sell these for a mint, but you can make them much more cheaply in just a few minutes at home. Enjoy!