A recent trip to Oregon reunited me with my love for Hazelnuts or Filberts. Of course I also always love Cheese and fresh greens so here I mix all three into an attractive first course, perfect for the fall (even in Hawaii).
- Goat cheese log, about 10-12oz (300g)-room temperature.
- 1/4-cup Panko
- 3/4-cup toasted Hazelnut roughly grinded
- 4 cups of mixed salad greens or mesclun rinsed
- 4 oz (110g) of Bacon cut into 1’’ thin strips
- 1 egg, beaten
- Salt and Pepper
- ¼ cup (50ml) extra virgin Olive Oil
- ½ Tbsp (7.5ml) Walnut or Hazelnut Oil (optional)
- 2 Tbsp (30ml) Red Wine vinegar
- 1 Tbsp (15ml) Balsamic vinegar
- 1 shallot finely chopped
- ½ tsp Salt & pepper to taste
In a shallow rimmed dish, blend together the Panko and Hazelnuts, season with salt and pepper a bit. Set aside.
With kitchen twine or knife, slice off the goat cheese and form golf ball size round about 1oz (25g) each and flatten each piece delicately with your hands. You should have about 8 to 12 pieces.
Prepare a medium-baking sheet lined with baking paper.
Line up the Panko/Hazelnut mixture, the beaten eggs and then the goat cheese.
Dip the cheese pucks first in the egg mixture then in the crumbs mixture, turning to coat all sides. Repeat with each puck and place them on a baking sheet and freeze until for about 15-20 minutes
Preheat oven to 400F
In a separate bowl, make the vinaigrette, combine vinegars, salt and pepper and shallot. Let stand for a couple of minute until salt dissolve. Whisk in the oils to emulsify. Set aside.
Remove cheese from freezer. Warm a sauté pan gently and add a little olive oil to coat. Place each goat cheese puck in the pan and sauté lightly until golden brown and crusty on each side. Remove and place back on your baking sheet. Place in the oven right before serving for above 5-7 minutes. Remove and set aside.
Cook the bacon bits until crisp and fat rendered, about 5 minutes. Place the bacon and the salad greens in a large bowl and toss with the vinaigrette to coat. Adjust the seasoning to taste. You can divide greens among individual plates and place 2 pucks of goat cheese or serve in a large shallow bowl and arrange all pucks around. You can also add whole hazelnuts to the salad. Serve immediately
.** Uncooked Cheese pucks may be placed in freezer bags and frozen up to 1 week.)
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