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Spiced Goat Cheese
(recipe, Carrie Floyd)
Years ago I clipped this recipe from Food & Wine magazine; this adaptation is still a favorite of mine, and a crowd-pleaser as well.
- ½ tsp. saffron threads, loosely packed
- 1 tsp. cumin seeds
- 1 tsp. black peppercorns
- ¼ tsp. red-pepper flakes
- ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 large garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- ½ tsp. salt
- 11 oz. goat cheese, cut into ⅓-inch rounds (or two 5-oz. disks)
- One fresh and crusty baguette, cut into ⅓-inch slices
- In a small bowl, cover the saffron with 1 tablespoon of hot water and set aside to infuse for several minutes.
- In a dry skillet, combine the cumin, black peppercorns, and red-pepper flakes, and toast over medium-high heat, shaking the pan, until fragrant, 15 to 20 seconds. Transfer spices to a mortar or cutting board, and grind or chop them into a coarse powder. In a small bowl, or the mortar, combine and stir the spices, olive oil, garlic cloves, and salt.
- Arrange the goat-cheese rounds in a wide, shallow dish and spoon about half the saffron water over the top; flip the cheeses over and pour the remaining saffron water over the other side. Pour the olive-oil mixture over the cheeses and marinate at room temperature for at least 5 hours, turning the cheese occasionally to coat both sides with the spiced olive oil.
- The cheese can be refrigerated up to 1 week; return to room temperature before serving. Serve by spreading a little cheese, along with some of the spiced oil, onto a bread slice.