An Open Cookbook

An Open Cookbook

11.28.2011

Almond Goat Cheese Grapes


Now that the holiday season is officially here, it is quite helpful to have a few quick appetizers in the repertoire for dinner parties and last minute post shopping get togethers.  I came upon this one in the Seattle Times a few weeks ago, and experimented at an ATM get together.  Half the plate was gone before I even put it down on the table.  One of T's neighbors ran home to get her appetizer, but when she got back, there was only one grape left.  Lucky for us, she was toting a giant hot triangle of brie dripping with warm honey and walnuts.  And this was just the beginning of the night.

The original recipe calls for raw almonds and then walks you through oiling, flavoring and roasting them...which was my original plan.  But M and I were short on time on our way over, and as we ran into the grocery store, I spied a can of hickory smoked almonds.  This would cut out a whole slew of minutes AND they were already flavored.  It was a win win.  There are so many differently flavored nuts out there, so your options really are endless.  I think crushed cashews would add a nice rich flavor to this recipe.  Also, if you or yours doesn't care for goat cheese, you could easily swap in cream cheese.  OR if you are looking for more of a dessert, swap in homemade whipped cream.  The options are as endless as the bulbs in that pile of Christmas lights on your floor.  So really let your holiday hair down and spice up the kitchen table.



Almond Goat Cheese Grapes
Adapted from The Seattle Times

This may sound a little bit of a strange blend of ingredients, but rest assured they will disappear within minutes.  The original recipe calls for grapes, but we had a whole bowl of strawberries on the table, so I dressed those up too, and actually ended up liking them better.  So try any variety of fruit wrapped in goat cheese and almonds.

1/2 cup almonds, roasted and salted
1 large bunch of grapes
1 log of goat cheese

Begin by chopping the almonds into small pieces with a knife or hitting with a rolling pin.  Sprinkle them onto a plate.  Next, using your clean fingers, gently take a small scoop of the goat cheese and coat the grapes (or strawberries).  This is pretty messy and you will feel as though you are wrapping a balloon for paper mache with all the white clumps that form on your fingers.  But simply push through as if this is to be expected and perfectly normal.  Once coated, generously roll the goat cheese coated grape in the almonds.  Put on a plate and continue until all the fruit is used.

Refrigerate for at least 10 minutes so the cheese can harden a little.  It gets pretty warm from your hands.  Remove from refrigerator.  Eat one immediately because once the plate is on the table, your guests will be swarming the plate.


4 comments:

Rachel said...

I could have used some of these over Thanksgiving! I know the crowd I was visiting would have loved a juicy fruit coated in dreamy cheese and crunchy nuts. It's a brilliant idea!

Alli Shircliff said...

Thanks Rachel! It is definitely a nice light start to a dinner party!

Camilla ~ Caffay Way said...

I love the comment on just "pushing thru" - I've done that so many times when trying something new all while feeling utterly confused. Your grapes look and sound great - maybe I can put my daughter (8) to work on this when hosting Christmas dinner this year.

Alli Shircliff said...

Glad to know I am not alone in just 'going with in' in a recipe :) Sounds like a great assignment to give the little ones!