We are three sisters united in our search for the divine - in food, libation, literature, art, and nature. This blog will capture the true, sometimes decadent, at times humorous, and every so often transcendent adventures of the Salvation Sisters.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Herbed Chevre with Marinated Roasted Peppers

by Michelle

   Lest you think we sisters have completely dropped off the planet, today's the day, on behalf of my siblings, I shout a collective hello to the blogosphere and post an easy, praiseworthy appetizer ("appy" if you speak Canadian, which I like to do, and not only in the privacy of my own home).
   This tasty cheese and pepper bliss can be prepared a day in advance. It also gets bonus points for traveling well, so if you need to transport a dish to a friend's house or to a picnic, you'll have your bases covered. Geez, what's up with the sports meaphor? Not sure where that came from!
    I have found that this appetizer and pickled shrimp have become easy go-to recipes for me not only because they taste frickin' awesome, but are also easy to prepare and can be made in advance.

Herbed Chevre with Marinated Roasted Peppers

   Although I almost always have jalapeño peppers in my kitchen (I do live in the southwest afterall), there are times, where in a pinch, I have substituted sliced, pickled jalapeños for fresh roasted. That being said, I have not, not even one one ocassion, substituted commercially prepared roasted bell peppers in this recipe. I always roast the peppers on the grill, or on my gas stovetop or in the oven.

one 11-ounce package chevre goat cheese
4 red bell peppers, roasted, skins and seeds removed
2 jalapeño peppers, roasted, skins and seeds removed
about 1 Tbsps or Herbes de Provence or dried mixed Italian herbs
2 medium to large lemons, juiced
about 1/3 to 1/2 cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
a pinch of chili pepper flakes
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
fresh thyme
fresh basil
1 Tbsp capers, rinsed - optional

For serving:
assorted crackers
sliced baguette

1. Pre-heat the oven to 350°F with a rack in the center position.
2. For the roasted peppers, wash and dry and place on a pie plate or cookie sheet. Drizzle the red bell peppers and jalapeño (if using) with olive oil and distribute the oil evenly over the peppers using your hands. Place in the oven for one hour, turning once or twice for even cooking. The small jalapeños will not take as long to blister, so keep an eye on them - about 20 to 30 minutes. Remove peppers from the oven and let sit until the peppers are cool enough to handle. Remove and discard the skins, core and seeds. Cut the peppers into strips. Set aside while you make the dressing.

3. Juice the lemon and whisk in about 1/4 cup olive oil. Add minced garlic, chili pepper flakes, salt and pepper, and whisk again. 

4. Carefully remove the chevre cheese from its packaging to a large plate. Sprinkle on the dried herb blend and gently roll and press the herbs into the cheese. Again, carefully transfer the cheese to a large, gallon ziplock bag. Cover the cheese with the prepared bell peppers and then pour the dressing over the peppers. Add the capers, if using. Close the ziplock and remove as much air from the bag as you can. Transfer the ziplock to a plate and store in the refrigerator.
5. About 30 minutes before serving, carefully remove the cheese to a serving dish. Pour the peppers and sauce over the cheese. Garnish with scattered leaves of fresh thyme and a small cluster of basil.
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