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Sunday Small Bites - Week 5 - Goat Cheese

Week Five is Goat Cheese, and I finally succumbed to a cop-out by using the main ingredient in a simple way. But, I made up for it by baking my own fennel seed crackers from scratch and caramelizing my fresh fennel.

Fennel Seed Crackers with Caramelized Fennel and Goat Cheese Dip


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Fennel Seed Crackers

2—cups unbleached flour
1—tablespoons green fennel seeds
2—teaspoons sugar
1 1/2—teaspoons salt
1—tablespoon butter
1/2—cup water

Heat oven to 400 with pizza stone on middle rack
In a mixing bowl, combine flour, fennel seeds, sugar, & salt.
Add butter and blend completely
Add water.
Mix until dough forms a ball (this will be difficult because it will be very dry)
Knead for at least 5 minutes
Form into a ball and cover with a damp towel.
Rest for at least 20 minutes

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After dough has rested, divide into 6 even portions.
Work with only one portion at a time, leaving the others under the wet towel.
Roll between palms to form a 6-8 inch long tube
Using a rolling pin, flatten into a thin layer about 12-14 inches long and 2-3 inches wide
Cut into any shape you like and prick each piece several times with a fork
Bake on hot pizza stone until crisp with browning just beginning on edges.

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Caramelized Fennel

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3—large clean fennel bulbs with very tight layers.
1—tablespoon olive oil
3—tablespoons fig balsamic vinegar
Juice of one orange
Zest of one orange
1/2—teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
Salt to taste.

Cut off shoots of bulbs and discard.
With a mandolin set on thin, turn fennel bulb top side down and shave into slices.
Use all of one of the bulbs but leave the bottom half of the other two bulbs whole.
Soak reserved bulbs in iced water until needed.
Over low heat, caramelize fennel shavings in olive oil, salt, pepper, fig balsamic, orange juice & zest until liquid is reduced.

Goat Cheese Dip

1—8oz carton crumbled goat cheese
1—6 oz container of honey flavored Greek yogurt
2—tablespoons orange juice

Blend all ingredients with a stick blender until completely smooth

For Presentation (makes two serving plates for passing)

Scoop out 2 halves of an orange and the remaining 2 halves of fennel bulbs to make bowls.
(You will have to use a sharp knife on the fennel bulbs, so be careful. It isn’t easy to do this without cutting through the bulb—or your hand.)
Place one orange half and one fennel half on each serving plate with half of your baked fennel seed crackers.
Fill orange halves with Goat Cheese Dip and Fennel bulbs with caramelized fennel.
Garnish with orange zest.

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Comments (7)

YUM - so many of my favourite ingredients there. I can't wait to give this a try.

Have a super weekend.

Now I know what to do with the rest of my goat cheese.
How can you go wrong with fennel, balsamic and goat cheese. YUM!

Deborah responds: It was pretty yummy. If you have fig balsamic use that. But if not, maybe regular balsamic and some fig jam.

Deborah-you've outdone yourself on this one. These look so good. I LOVE fennel, fig, oranges and goat cheese, so I can only imagine how wonderful these taste. Sure would be fun if we could get together and taste each others dishes.

Deborah responds: Cindy, the flavors are so perfect together. The tang of the balsamic kept it from being too sweet to be an appetizer.

I like you idea of getting together and tasting each other dishes. Lets have a Sunday ------ Cooking group GTG sometime.

Barb Cabot:

This looks so wonderful!

nancyhol:

OMG, I am so impressed that you made your own crackers.

Your creation sounds delicious - thank you for sharing it with us.

Deborah responds: I have to admit, Nancy, that the crackers were very easy to make (other than the stiffness of the dough, that is)

This looks great. I need to give making crackers a try.

Deborah responds: Annie, crackers are really very easy to make.

This looks amazing! I can imagine the wonderful flavors in each one of your creations. Yum!

Deborah responds: Blush, thanks Maria.

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