I especially love the combination of beets and goat cheese. The goat cheese & roasted beet amuse bouche is the most-viewed blog entry here, and for good reason: the roasted beets offer a wonderful sweetness, which is the perfect foil for the smooth and tangy goat cheese. Breading and pan-frying the goat cheese rounds seems to bring out the creaminess of the cheese as well as adding a wonderful new texture. I put it on a savory cracker to make it a little easier to eat as a finger food.
The end results provides a rich combination of smooth and crunchy, creamy and tangy, sweet and savory. Not bad for an appetizer.
Fried Goat Cheese on Roasted Golden Beet and Savory Cracker
- 1 golden beet
- olive oil
- log of herbed goat cheese
- panko bread crumbs
- fresh thyme, chopped
- soft bread crumbs
- peanut oil
- savory cracker, wasa bread or some other thin and crisp flatbread or cracker
- Roast the beet: Preheat the oven to 400 F. Pour a thin layer of olive oil in a bowl.
- Wash and scrub the beet carefully, then roll it in the oil until it is all coated. Sprinkle some freshly cracked black pepper and sea salt over it and then place it on a sheet of aluminum foil and seal it up into a packet.
- Place into a roasting pan and roast for 45 minutes.
- Take out and let cool. Slip off the skin and then slice into 1/2 inch slices.
- Make the pan-fried goat cheese rounds: Grab four shallow bowls, pie tins or plates. Pour out about 3/4 cup of flour on one, the beaten egg on the middle plate, the panko bread crumbs mixed with fresh thyme leaves on the third, and unseasoned soft bread crumb on the fourth.
- Slice the goat cheese into 3/4 inch rounds and then squish them down slightly until the diameter of the round almost matches the diameter of the beet slices.
- Working one at a time, dredge the goat cheese rounds through the flour until it is all coated, then dip into the beaten egg, making sure to let the excess egg drip back into the plate. Then press into the panko and thyme on both sides, then dipping it into the soft breadcrumbs to cover what the panko missed.
- Heat some peanut oil over medium-high heat in a skillet. Once the oil starts to shimmer, carefully lower the goat cheese rounds into the oil and fry until both sides are golden brown, once per side is best. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels to drain.
- Place a slice of the roasted beet on a cracker and top with a goat cheese round and serve.
A closer look at the melty cheese....