I thought I would write about an easy appetizer you could whip up for the Holidays in case you have last-minute guests who drop in to spread some cheer, but then I thought…”Who am I kidding?” No one’s just “dropping in” to say hello in the midst of the Coronavirus Pandemic, especially in Miami where the numbers keep going up, up and up. On the other hand, you can serve this easy appetizer to your nearest and dearest, who are safe and secure in that bubble with you, which is what I did on a recent night with my husband.
This recipe actually calls for a little preparation (1 hour) and a cedar plank; it works great if you’re already planning on grilling something for dinner. Since I didn’t plan ahead and hadn’t soaked the said plank, I just served the log of goat cheese with the honey and pepper (make sure you use lots, otherwise it just looks like a sad log of goat cheese). I cracked my black peppercorns in a mortar and pestle. If you don’t have one, put them in a plastic bag and whack them with a kitchen mallet or rolling pin to crush.
Other alternatives to the honey and pepper goat cheese (and taking a page from Trader Joe’s) is to spread the goat cheese log with leftover cranberry sauce from Thanksgiving, or a heated jelly (such as fig), or to cover it in ground spices (like thyme, rosemary, sage) of your liking. Any way you dress it up, adding a little festivity to your goat cheese doesn’t take much time and adds a lot to the presentation.
Honey-Pepper Grilled Goat Cheese
Prep: 1 hour Grill: 5 minutes
- 1 large cedar plank
- 1 (11 ounce) goat cheese log
- 2 tablespoons cracked black pepper
- 2 tablespoons honey
- Flatbread crackers, or water crackers or grilled French bread.
- Soak plank in water at least 1 hour. Roll goat cheese in pepper.
- Preheat grill to medium-high heat (350 to 400). Grill wood plank on one side, 4 to 5 minutes or until well marked. Turn plank over and top with goat cheese.
- Grill cheese, covered with grill lid, 1 to 2 minutes or until cheese is hot and edges are slightly melted. Remove from grill and drizzle with honey. Serve immediately with crackers.
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