If I have a favorite category of food, it’s “things on bread.” I can put almost anything on bread and be happy: Nutella, duck fat, cannellini spread, whatever (but, um, not at the same time). This recipe is one of my favorites, my best guess of a recipe that I modeled after something I had at a tapas restaurant once. I nommed the hell out of it last night while watching Sharktopus with Tony – good times.

The recipe is for a Spicy Tomato Goat Cheese:

You need:
2-3 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
4-12 or so cloves of garlic, to whatever taste you like (I tend to go really heavy on the garlic, but I’m a nut), finely chopped
roughly 1.5-2 T tomato paste (if you don’t use tomato paste often, it’s well worth getting one of the tubes of the stuff rather than busting open a can every time you need a tablespoon – the stuff in the tube is higher quality and lasts for a year or two, so if you’re not going through much of it, it’s a big money saver to go tube)
a sprinkle of red pepper flakes
a handful of chopped fresh herbs (of the oregano/thyme/parsley-ish variety – whatever works) and or a hefty sprinkle of dried herbs
1 small log of goat cheese

1 baguette, sliced, drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and toasted – or other bread of your choice (baguette is my personal love with this)

Heat up a drizzle – say 1-2 T – of olive oil in a frying pan to medium-low/medium heat, and throw in the garlic. The idea is to get the oil hot enough to cook the garlic but not so hot as to burn it. Once the garlic has been cooking for 3-4 minutes, move it to the side and toss in some red pepper flakes. You want these no matter what because they add really nice flavor, but adjust the amount to whatever heat level you like. I tend to throw in about a teaspoon here – it makes it hot, but not HOT – I’m kinda a babymouth when it comes to heat. Let the red pepper flakes cook in the oil for about 30 seconds and then mix everything around and let it go for about another minute. It will smell AWESOME.

Turn the broiler on to high (this is usually when I slam the bread in the oven to toast for a minute while I keep cooking the tomato mixture).

Then move everything off to a side again and squirt the tomato paste into an open area of the pan, mooshing it into the oil so that it begins to pick up some heat and flavor. Let it go for about 30 seconds to develop some flavor, and then stir everything back together again. If you’re using dried herbs, add then now. Then toss in the tomatoes. The tomatoes will start releasing their juices in a couple of minutes. Let them go until everything is sort of spicy-slightly-runny-tomato-garlic-awesome, and then pull it off the heat. If you’re using fresh herbs, toss them in right as the tomatoes are done.

Take the goat cheese and put it in a medium-sized ramekin or small casserole dish. Pour the tomato mixture on top of it. Put the dish under the broiler for a few minutes until the goat cheese starts to melt and the tomatoes start to caramelize a bit on top.

Be careful about the goat cheese dish, since it’s likely to be really hot. To eat, spread some of the goat cheese/tomato awesomeness onto bread. Enjoy. Nom.

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