Saturday, January 22, 2011

Baked Goat Cheese in Marinara

This is the only picture I have from this adventure in appetizers but I can explain. It was mah jong night! There are even a few rogue tiles in the picture. Over the past few weeks, I have become at least mildly obsessed with this amazing game. I think it is kind of like rummy or gin but with tiles but just to clarify it is not at all like the game that comes with some PC's.  It requires four players and for the first time we all went to a Chinese tea house to play but became so hooked that we bought our own set. Now there is time for mah jong night and for the occasion I whipped up an Asian snack-- crostinis with goat cheese slices baked in marinara sauce. Asian right?

I should also mention that this recipe set me off on one of my semantics tirades. Here it is: what differentiates marinara sauce from any of the other tomato sauces out there? Really there are so many, a bolognese, spaghetti sauce, tomato sauce and I think pomodoro is one too. So I will not answer what the rest are but the impression that I got after my vast research was that marinara is a meat-free tomato sauce with lots of basil that is cooked relatively quickly. Any other takers to tackle this dilemma?

I did really like this though, as simple as it was and you shall soon see just how little effort this required. The goat cheese gets melty and slightly brown on top and though I will eat goat cheese in any setting, drowned in marinara is preferable. It may seem like it keeps it is still just a slab of goat cheese in sauce but underneath it is gooey and becomes one with the marinara.

I found the recipe here and amended it just a bit. 

1 4oz log of goat cheese, cut into wedges
1 1/4 cups store bought marinara
1 baguette, cut into thin slices
2 cloves of garlic
olive oil

1. Preheat the broiler of your oven. Brush the baguette slices with olive oil and arrange on a cookie sheet. Place under the broiler until they are golden brown but pay very close attention to them because they burn quickly. Let the slices cool for a minute and then rub the tops with the garlic.

2. Pour the marinara into a medium, ovenproof serving dish. Top with the wedges of goat cheese and then place under the broiler for about 5 or 6 minutes until the goat cheese is soft and the top is golden brown. Serve with the crostinis.


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