Baked Herbed Goat Cheese

From Tony Ruppe’s, Houston

Shallots

12 shallots, uniform size
6 tablespoons olive oil
kosher salt and cracked black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Peel shallots, leaving on the top end and barely trimming the root end. Lightly sauté in olive oil in an ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Then bake for approximately 10 minutes, stirring often, until soft and nicely browned. Let cool to room temperature.

Apples and Almonds

3 Granny Smith apples, unpeeled but cored and cut in 8 wedges each
3 tablespoons olive oil
kosher salt and cracked black pepper to taste
1/2 cup peeled whole almonds
18 large fresh basil leaves
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar<
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Preheat grill to medium high. Toss apple wedges in oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook, on both sides, only until grill marks form. Let cool to room temperature.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake almonds until golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Put almonds and apples in a bowl and toss with shallots, basil, and vinegar. Include oils from cooking process.

Filo-Wrapped Goat Cheese

11 ounces Montrachet-style fresh goat cheese
1 tablespoon roughly chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary (no stems)
kosher salt and cracked black pepper to taste
6 sheets filo (available frozen)
6 to 8 tablespoons olive oil

The game plan is to make 12 triangular filo packets filled with goat cheese. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Mix first 5 ingredients together and set aside. Place a sheet of filo on a cutting board and brush with oil. Place a second sheet on top and brush with oil. Repeat with a third sheet. Slice the stack into 6 equal strips, cutting across the width, not lengthwise. Put a dab of herbed goat cheese (1/12 of the total amount) on the end of a strip and fold filo across diagonally. Continue folding (as if you were folding a flag) until packet is finished. Place on a baking sheet and brush with a little more oil. Do the same with the other 5 strips. Then repeat the whole process with 3 more filo sheets. Bake until golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes.

To serve, place apple-and-shallot salad on plates and top with filo triangles. Drizzle with juices from bowl. Serves 6.>

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