Friday, July 11, 2008

Salad with Warm Goat Cheese

Friday, July 11, 2008
The husband and I were discussing our home projects and the priorities of new flooring versus some kitchen up dos when we began scrutinizing Ina Garten's kitchen in Barefoot Contessa. Deep in our examination of her countertops, after many freeze frames and channeling her black countertops in our kitchen, inspiration hit!

Salad with warm goat cheese.

1 (11-ounce) log plain or herbed Montrachet
2 extra-large egg whites, beaten with 1 tablespoon water
Fresh white bread crumbs

For the dressing:
2 tablespoons good cider vinegar
2 tablespoons good Champagne vinegar
Pinch sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 extra-large egg yolk (or mayo would work here if you aren't doing raw egg)
1 cup good olive oil
Enough mixed
salad greens for 6 servings
Olive oil and unsalted butter, for frying

Slice the Montrachet into 12 (1/2-inch-thick) slices. (The easiest way to slice goat cheese is to use a length of dental floss.) Dip each slice into the beaten egg whites, then the bread crumbs, being sure the cheese is thoroughly coated. Place the slices on a rack and chill them for at least 15 minutes.

For the dressing, place the vinegars, sugar, salt, pepper, and egg yolk in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and blend for 1 minute. With the motor running, slowly pour the olive oil through the feed tube until the vinaigrette is thickened. Season, to taste.

Toss the salad greens with enough dressing to moisten, then divide them among 6 plates.

Melt 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a saute pan over medium-high heat until just under smoking. Cook the goat cheese rounds quickly on both sides until browned on the outside but not melted inside. Top each salad with 2 warm rounds and serve.

Needless to say, the floors and countertops will have to wait another day. We have to plan a meal around this salad!


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