i often recreate recipes to recreate memories.
this baked goat cheese is one of those recipes.
one of my favorite pastimes growing up was to mosey around our local outdoor shopping mall with my mom + aunt.
we would frolic in + out of stores perusing through racks of the season’s newest trends until we worked up an appetite. . or in mom + aunts case until they needed some hydration wink wink nudge nudge
one of our go-to places for a mid-shopping-spree snack was a restaurant called wildfire.
wildfire is a jazzy chops + seafood house, fitted with dim lighting + incredible service all settled in a ‘in a modern-day 1940’s dinner club’
while that atmosphere may sound like an interesting mid-day choice, let me tell you of the seriously important factors – the booths are fitted with worn in leather + are the kind that you can sink into for hours. and the food, well i still would name a few of their dishes as some of my favorites served up from a restaurant.
one of those dishes is the ever-so-simple baked goat cheese appetizer. it’s served piping hot in a cast iron pan with plenty of herbed focaccia for the dipping.
mom, aunt + i would settled into one of the large bar booths, order our drinks (two cosmos + a ginger ale.. well that was until i was old enough to join the cosmo club..) and immediately put in an order for the baked goat cheese.
once i started cooking + brainstorming for recipes i -kelly the novice chef- could cook, mom + aunt told me how simple my favorite restaurant app was to make.
you layer the sauce, you layer the goat cheese + you bake it. then you remove it from the oven + devour. the process is no joke that easy.
wildfire uses a tomato basil red sauce in their recipe, but here i amped up the spice a bit, opting for the best jarred arrabbiata sauce i could find. the added subtle heat from the chilis + the fresh garlic really levels out the rich goat cheese + the fresh basil in every bite.
while i can eat an entire dish of this alone -mom + aunt were wonderful sharers- i do recommend serving it as an appetizer among friends + family ..hopefully you can create some memories between bites, just as i did!
- 8oz crumbled goat cheese
- 16oz jarred arrabbiata sauce
- a handful of fresh basil, chiffonade
- kosher salt + fresh ground pepper, to tast
- preheat your oven to 375º
- in a small cast iron skillet or oven-safe baking dish, lay down a layer of arrabbiata sauce to cover the bottom of the pan + sides.
- next, layer the crumbled goat cheese over the top of the sauce.
- top with the remaining sauce + season with salt and pepper.
- bake for 20-25 minutes or until goat cheese is hot and bubbling.
- remove from your oven + sprinkle with fresh basil. serve immediately with crostini for dipping. enjoy!
any red sauce will work here! sub in your favorite jarred or homemade to make it your own!
you know what would be really delicious? adding a protein – such as cooked chorizo or pancetta bites! or some veggies – like sauteed greens or caramelized onions and shrooms!
this dish will indeed store in an air-tight container in the fridge – or with foil/wrap over the skillet. i would suggest -as always- to add your fresh herbs atop the finished cooked dish though!
guys. have you heard of the site, Yummly? it’s like pinterest. but with only food. it also let’s you see the recipes in it’s interface which leads to a super simple way of organizing those ‘want to make’ recipes on your list. well, i just had to share the site because you should totally check it! i was introduced a few days ago and am totally lovin’ it!