Herbed Goat Cheese Filled Endive
 
1 cup loosely packed basil leaves
  • thoroughly rinse and spin in salad spinner
  • coursely chop
1 bunch chives
  • thoroughly rinse and shake off water
  • coursely chop
4-6 heads endive
  • separate leaves, thoroughly rinse and spin in salad spinner
  • discard largest outermost leaves (They will be too large for hors d'ouerves.)
12 oz goat cheese
  • whip with hand held mixer in small mixing bowl
  • "loosen" goat cheese with 2 tbsp heavy cream and 1 tbsp olive oil
  • add basil and chives and whip until combined
  • add salt and pepper to taste 
Spoon goat cheese onto the thickest part of the endive leaves (not the tapered end) and place on "working" tray.  You may also pipe the goat cheese onto the leaves with a pastry bag.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Seriously, wouldn't you rather spend your time on something other than "herbing" your own goat cheese?  Boursin cheese is flavorful and easy!  And I bet your local supermarket has additional choices for you to explore. (AND, by the way, in our blog pages wasn't Mimi talking about balance, outsourcing and not "doing it all" earlier?)  
If you feel you must do this on your own, at least don't bother with the pastry bag, which is a pain in the neck to use and clean up.  Just my thoughts to make life easier.  (If you want to spend time on something yummy, see the stuffed mushrooms below!)


Savory Creamy Stuffed Mushrooms

2 lb white mushrooms (mushroom are approximately 2 inches across)
  • thoroughly clean with a paper towel or mushroom brush (Never rinse mushrooms under the faucet, they absorb water.)
  • carefully remove stems from caps, chop 1/2 and set aside
  • set mushroom caps aside
1 medium onion
  • finely chop
6 oz pepperoni slices (For the fish menu, eliminate this ingredient.)
  • finely chop
3 tbsp butter
  • melt in medium sautee pan
  • add finely chopped onion and saute until translucent (Do not brown them, 2-3 minutes is enough time.)
  • add mushroom stems and sautee 5 minutes (All the juices will release and the mixture will look syrupy.)
  • add pepperoni and saute 2 minutes (You just want to incorporate all of the ingredients.) 
Take mixture off heat and stir in:
  • 12 oz sour cream
  • 1 1/2 - 2 cups Italian flavored bread crubs
  • 1/2 cup grated  parmigiano reggiano cheese
Spoon mixture into mushroom caps, sprinkle with chopped flat leaf Italian parsley, cover with plastic wrap and store in refrigerator. Bring mushrooms to room temperature before baking.  Place on sheet pan coated with non-stick spray.  Bake in 350 degree oven 15-20 minutes.​


Chicken Liver Crostini

4 Slices of bacon
  • cook bacon until very crisp and crumbly
  • set aside on paper towels to drain
  • discard all but one tablespoon of fat from the pan
3 Shallots  (enough for 6 tbsp)
Leaves striped from 6 sprigs of thyme (enough for 1 tbsp)
3 Sage leaves (enough for 1 tbsp)
2 Garlic cloves (enough for 2 tbsp)
  • finely chop each of these ingredients
6 tbsp unsalted butter
  • melt in same pan you cooked the bacon
  • on medium low heat sautee shallots and garlic  (Do not brown them, 2-3 minutes is enough time.)
  • add sage and thyme to pan sautee 1-2 minutes (They will start to release their fragrance.)
1 lb chicken livers
  • in medium sauce pan cover chicken livers with 1 qt chicken stock
  • drop in one bouquet garni made from leaves of one celery stalk, 3 sprigs thyme, 3 sage leaves, one bay leaf (To make a bouquet garni, simply wrap herbs in cheescloth and tie up so they don't float around and can be easily discarded.)
  • gently simmer for about 10 minutes (The centers will be slightly pink.)
  • drain livers and discard bouquet garni.
Pulse bacon in food processor.  Spoon melted butter and herb mixture and drained chicken livers into bowl of food processor and process.  Through the feed tube on the bowl cover slowly add 1/4 cup heavy cream, 1 tbsp at a time. Continue processing until smooth.  Check for consisitency.  If mixture is not creamy, add additional cream, one tbsp at a time. (It should be the consistency of creamy peanut butter).  Add kosher salt and pepper to taste. 

To serve, slice crusty baguette into 1/2 inch slices.  Brush with melted butter.  Toast in broiler on one side only until slightly brown. Spread each slice on the toasted side with chicken liver mixture. Serve at room temperature

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So, when you're at the grocery store buying your Boursin cheese or another store prepared herbed goat cheese, in the same area you may see some paté.  If you are feeling overwhelmed at the thought of making your own chopped chicken livers, no one will turn down some delicious store bought paté.  You'll NEVER find pre-made mushrooms that are as delectable as my recipe though.  Trust me on this one!


For "working trays", I buy multiple diposable aluminum cookie sheets.  One half hour before the celebration starts transfer the endive from the working tray to your serving tray and arrange in a round "sunburst pattern".
Three Hours Before the Celebration

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Here are a couple of optional ideas on the chicken livers.  I added 3 tbsps of Pernod.  You can also use sweet or dry Marsala wine or dry sherry if you don't have Pernod in the house.  


When do you make your chopped chicken livers?  The flavors need time to meld.  Make then at least one day and up to three days in advance.  You may store them in the refrigerator tightly covered.

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One hour Before the Celebration

Bring mushrooms to room temperature before baking.  Place on sheet pan coated with non-stick spray.  When all (or most) of your guests have arrived, place mushrooms in 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes.
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Everyday Divas Celebrations
with Mimi and sue
Autumn Dinner