This is a VERY special occasion appetizer. It's rich and wicked and incredibly wonderful. One of those dishes that when you take the first bite your whole mouth aches. I've made it for family get-togethers but not for the big party. So, I thought I'd take it to Judy's birthday party and see what other folks thought. Turns out they love it as much as we do!
San Giovese is a restaurant on the north side of Indy. They've been through a couple of owners over the years. Several of my favorite dishes have disappeared. But, this dish has stayed the course. Hopefully, you'll have the opportunity to try it and you'll see why.
When Connie and I met there for our first date, we had a different appetizer. Our second visit there, I talked him into trying the Goat Cheese. He was hooked. The waiter gave me a very important hint - add some goat cheese to the cream. From there I was able to recreate the dish.
If you've got leftovers, this makes a killer pasta sauce. You may need to thin the cheese with some milk or half and half or if you're really throwing caution to the wind, more cream. I typically add sauteed mushrooms, sundried tomatoes and sauteed zucchini then use penne or rigatoni. It's also a great sauce for pork or chicken - which you can put in the pasta sauce too. Last, but not least, you can use this as a stuffing for pork or chicken. Just tuck it into some prosciutto or ham.
Unfortunately, thanks to forgetting our camera, we have no photos of the finished dish. Suffice to say, it looks as decadent as it tastes!
Baked Goat Cheese with Rosemary Cream
1/2 c cream
2 sprigs rosemary
8 oz log goat cheese
1 roasted red pepper
On very low heat in a small saucepan, steep the rosemary in the cream.
You want the cream to reduce but more than that you want the rosemary to infuse the cream with flavor.
Cut off about 1/4" of each end of the goat cheese log.
Put the goat cheese log into an ovenproof serving dish. About 15 minutes before serving, cut half of the red pepper into strips. Chop the rest of it. Lay the strips across the top of the cheese. Bake for 15 min at 350. Strip the leaves off the rosemary and put them into the cream. Dispose of the stem.
Add the goat cheese log ends to the cream.
Stir until the cheese dissolves. Pour the warm cream around the goat cheese after removing it from the oven. Serve with very thinly sliced baguette.