Sunday, December 8, 2013

Holiday Hors D'oeuvre

Pear with Goat Cheese and Prosciutto
Yield: 18
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 0 minutes

       The winter season isn't ideal for fresh fruit  but there is one jewel produced during the winter months, sweet succulent pears. Pears are currently at the peak of ripeness and they are so versatile you can use them in sweet or savory dishes throughout the holidays. The sweetness of the Farelle pear is balanced by the tangy creamy goat cheese and then offset by the cured saltiness of the prosciutto. This makes a great appetizer or hors d'oeuvre for your holiday party.

3 Forelle pears
4 oz goat cheese
9 slices prosciutto, sliced in half lengthwise
fresh cracked pepper
lemon juice (optional)

1. Prepare the pears by slicing them in half through the stem. Then using a melon baller or a paring knife remove the core. Slice each half into 3 pieces lengthwise, ending with 18 pear slices.
2.  Then slice the prosciutto in half lengthwise to also create 18 pieces.
3. Assemble by laying down a piece of prosciutto, then place a pear slice on the prosciutto and top with a teaspoon of goat cheese. Roll the prosciutto around the pear and top with cracked pepper.

Chefs Note
      Farelle pears are small snacking pears with a very sweet flavor and firm flesh. They are available in most grocery stores during the winter months and are the perfect size to create this appetizer. If you can't find Farelle pears substitute them with either Comice or small Bartlett pears.
      The pears will begin to oxidize and turn brown once you cut them so this appetizer is best made right before it is eaten. It can be made ahead of time and held for a few hours but after cutting the pears toss them in a bowl and coat with the lemon juice. This will add flavor and keep the pear slices looking fresh.
      Customize the flavor of your appetizer by mixing the goat cheese with fresh herbs like thyme or rosemary.

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