PANKO CRUSTED GOAT CHEESE WITH SPICY TOMATO OIL
Hi, friends! As I have mentioned before, my husband and I love to entertain. This means that my husband is always whipping up delicious snacks to enjoy with guests. One of our "go to" snacks (especially during the cold winter months) is this goat cheese appetizer. It's slightly spicy, super delicious, and you should make it!
For this recipe, you will need:
10.5 oz log of chevre goat cheese
6 cloves garlic
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 cup white wine
1 tbsp. sriracha
2 cups crushed tomatoes
1 tbsp. fresh basil (chopped) or 1 tsp. dried basil
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
Pam or similar cooking spray
Baguette or similar crusty bread
Parsley (for garnish, optional)
Begin by placing your goat cheese in the freezer. This makes the cheese more firm and easier to work with. You want to leave the cheese in the freezer long enough to firm up, but avoid leaving it in so long that it freezes. While the goat cheese is cooling, peel your garlic and cut into thin slices.
Place the garlic in a small, oven safe pan. You want to use a somewhat shallow pan for this. We use a 10" frying pan. Add your olive oil, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Turn the stove on medium-low. If you are using a larger than normal burner, you probably will need to keep your stove on low. In this step, you should not be browning the garlic. You want a slight sizzle as you "steep" the garlic into the oil. If the garlic starts you brown, turn your stove down.
After about 8-10 minutes, the garlic will have softened. Add the wine, mix in, and let cook for about a minute to burn the alcohol off. Add your sriracha, crushed tomatoes (we use canned), basil, and mix. Let the contents simmer on medium-low for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
After 15 minutes, remove the pan from heat and place it somewhere to cool.
Remove your goat cheese from the freezer and pour your panko into a small dish or ramekin. You want to put about 1" of panko in the bottom of the dish. Carefully cut your goat cheese log into rounds. For a 10.5 oz. log, we typically get 6 rounds, but the ideal thickness really depends on the size of your pan. If you have a much smaller pan, you will have fewer rounds. When you put the rounds in the pan, each round should be sticking out of the sauce a little bit, not fully covered in sauce.
Take a round and place it on top of the panko in your small dish. Gently press the round into the panko and remove. Essentially you are covering the top of each round with a panko crust. Make sure the top is thoroughly covered.
Once all of your rounds are covered and your sauce has cooled, gently place them in your pan of tomato sauce. Make sure your sauce is cool before you add the goat cheese in - otherwise the cheese will just melt. Once all of the rounds are in the pan, gently spray each top with a little cooking spray. This helps them to brown up nicely in the oven.
Place the pan in the oven and bake for 5 minutes at 400 degrees. Switch the oven to broil, and leave in for another 5 minutes (or until you see the panko crust browning). Garnish with parsley if you like. Let cool slightly before you dig in since the mixture will be super hot! We typically serve this on warm, crusty bread (follow the instructions on the package to warm if you buy the bread), though this would also be tasty on your favorite cracker.
I hope you will give this a try! My husband and I love spicy food, so we tend to make this a bit spicier for ourselves (by adding more sriracha), but the recipe outlined above is only slightly spicy so you can serve it among a wide variety of friends and family. Enjoy!
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Top and bottom photos by Kimberly Schuldt Photography.