This dish has evolved fearlessly over the years. It started out as an oriental recipe featuring a pattern of black and white sesame seeds, which eventually transmogrified into almonds and sesames with a stop along the way at pumpkin and sesame. "Won't stick to most dental work," notes Jay, which he is inclined to say because his father is a dentist. Dr. Moore used to give out toothbrushes at Halloween, to Jay's eternal embarrassment.
This salad is a marvelous marriage of texture and flavors. Some people are put off by goat cheese because they associate it with a strong smell. Perhaps they have had the more odiferous French Montrachet or Mexican cheese, sold by the side of the road wrapped in pantyhose instead of cheesecloth. But Larson Farm, our supplier in Dripping Springs, produces a mildly flavored cheese that's not dry or chalky. The secret is that they keep the Billies away from the Nannies when they're producing milk.
We enhance the creamy richness of the cheese with a crust of buttery, toasted pine nuts, and tart, crunchy coriander. Assemble this as a treat for yourself and enjoy the sensations. Be careful not to over process the pine nuts. They have a tremendous amount of oil and will easily become "Coriander Flavored Pine Nut Butter."
Use any nuts you want-almonds to macadamia, whatever nuts live in your neighborhood. In the dressing, substitute bell pepper for a milder taste if you prefer.
Because it takes so little time to warm the crusted cheese for the salad, we pre-roast the nuts and coriander for optimum flavor. Dressing can be made a day ahead if needed, and goat cheese wheels can be rolled in the nuts.
Blender, Food Processor, Propane Torch
3/4 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup coriander seeds
1 goat cheese log (4-6 oz.)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1. Toast pine nuts and coriander seeds separately in a dry skillet, stirring all the time until lightly toasted. Set aside to cool slightly before processing.
2. Combine pine nuts, coriander seeds and salt in the food processor and pulse until coarsely ground. Be careful not to over process. Remove and place on a plate.
3. Cut a 6-oz. cheese log into 4 equal wheels.
4. Press down gently to flatten. Coat all sides of the cheese wheel with the nut mixture.
5. Place on a baking sheet in a 375 degree oven for 5-7 minutes or until soft.
6. Serve atop dressed salad greens.
3 roasted poblanos
3/4 cup almonds, sliced
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup garlic, minced
1/4 cup shallots, minced
1-1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
1-1/2 teaspoon salt
1. Blister and peel skin from poblano peppers.
2. Cut them in half and remove seeds and veins.
3. Toast almonds and sesame seeds separately in a dry skillet, stirring all the time until lightly browned. Cool slightly.
4. Combine all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.
This recipe makes about a quart of vinaigrette. It lasts for weeks in the refrigerator; so save what you don't use.
Recipes and Other Adventures from Hudson's on the Bend
By Jeff Blank and Jay Moore
with Deborah Harter, photographs by Laurie Smith,
Chef Portraits by Shanny Lott
Fearless Press, Publication date: November 1999
Hardback, 180 pages, $32.95
Recipe Reprinted by permission.
This page created November 1999
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