Matthew Kenney's Big City Cooking

by Matthew Kenney and Joan Schwartz

Published by Chronicle Books

176 pages, 2003



 


Recipes from:
Matthew Kenney’s Big City Cooking

by Matthew Kenney and Joan Schwartz

 

Pan-Crisped Goat Cheese with Figs and Arugula

SERVES 4 / After tasting goat cheese warmed and slightly softened, it will be hard for you to eat it any other way. The cheese melts in your mouth and is especially delicious with something sweet, such as fresh figs, and something crunchy, such as sourdough toast. This makes a simple, colorful first course before any roasted chicken or meat main dish.

1 LOG (6 OUNCES) SOFT, FRESH GOAT CHEESE

1 CUP PANKO CRUMBS (SEE SOURCES) OR SUBSTITUTE FRESH WHITE BREAD CRUMBS

KOSHER SALT

1 EGG, LIGHTLY BEATEN

2 BUNCHES ARUGULA, TOUGH STEMS REMOVED

6 FRESH FIGS, TRIMMED AND HALVED

1 TABLESPOON AGED BALSAMIC VINEGAR, PLUS MORE FOR DRIZZLING

4 TABLESPOONS EXTRA-VIRGIN OLIVE OIL

1/2 TEASPOON FRESHLY SQUEEZED LEMON JUICE

FRESHLY GROUND PEPPER

1/2 SOURDOUGH OR PLAIN BAGUETTE, THINLY SLICED AT A SHARP ANGLE AND LIGHTLY TOASTED

Cut the goat cheese crosswise into eight 1/2-inch-thick rounds. To cut through the cheese smoothly, run the knife under very hot water before each cut, wiping the excess cheese from the blade each time. Or use a long piece of dental floss and, holding it taut, pull the floss down through the cheese to make slices (this is the easier way).

Combine the panko crumbs with 1 teaspoon salt in a shallow bowl and set aside. Place the beaten egg in a separate shallow bowl. Dip each goat cheese round in the beaten egg, then in the panko mixture, coating completely. Refrigerate the cheese slices, covered with plastic, for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 day.

In a medium bowl, gently toss the arugula and the figs with the 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil,a and the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Divide the arugula among 4 plates. Arrange 3 fig halves around the arugula on each plate, cut-sides facing outward.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and sauté the cheese rounds until golden brown, about 1 minute per side. Arrange the cheese rounds on top of the arugula. Drizzle with additional balsamic vinegar, if desired, and serve with the sourdough toasts.