the appetizer:

The first cookbook by one of America's top contemporary chefs, A Great American Cook by Jonathan Waxman, features recipes like Asparagus with Oranges and Hazelnuts; Sesame-Crusted Goat Cheese Cakes On Greens; and Sesame Grilled (or Broiled) Quail with Shoestring Potatoes.



Sesame-Crusted Goat Cheese Cakes
On Greens

8 first-course servings

Sesame-Crusted Goat Cheese Cakes On Greens


These black-and-white sesame-seed-coated cakes of goat cheese are both dramatic and delicious. You'll need quite a lot of white and black sesame seeds. Shops in Chinatown or Indian markets often sell sesame seeds in bulk for a lot less than you'd pay for two or three spice bottles at your supermarket—where you probably won't find the black seeds anyway. You can also buy them online at www.penzeys.com. (If you don't get black or brown sesame seeds, just double the amount of white seeds—the visual effect won't be as striking, but the dish will still be very good.)

This dish can be served as a warm appetizer salad or at room temperature as a red-wine-friendly savory after a meat or poultry entrée. The sesame oil lends an Asian note, and the sherry vinegar cuts the richness of the goat cheese nicely.

  • 1/2 cup white sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup black or brown sesame seeds (see headnote)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 8 shallots, not peeled
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup sherry vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 8-ounce log soft fresh goat cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 4 cups loosely packed mesclun Nasturtiums, for garnish (optional)

Heat the oven to 325 degrees.

Spread the white and black sesame seeds on separate baking sheets and lightly toast in the oven, 8 to 12 minutes, stirring once. Sprinkle them with salt and pepper, pour onto two separate plates, and let cool. Leave the oven on.

Meanwhile, melt the butter. Cut a 12-inch square of parchment, fold it in half, and unfold it. Place the unpeeled shallots on one half of the paper and drizzle with the melted butter and the 1 tablespoon olive oil, tossing to coat. Salt and pepper the shallots, fold the other side of the piece of paper over them, and fold over the edges of the parchment all around, making a double fold to seal them.

  • from:
  • A Great American Cook
  • by Jonathan Waxman with Tom Steele
  • Houghton Mifflin 2008
  • Hardcover, $35.00
  • Full-color photographs throughout by John Kernick
  • ISBN-10: 0618658521
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-618-65852-7
  • Recipe reprinted by permission.

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A Great American Cook


This page created January 2008

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