Macadamia Nut Encrusted Goat Cheese
You don’t have to be in Hawaii to enjoy these nuts.
I first had this appetizer at Tommy Bahama’s restaurant here in The Woodlands. I knew at first bite, it would be a favorite of mine. Some recipes are so easy to duplicate at home that I sometimes don’t think I even need recipes at all except then I would not have anything to play around with.
Six years ago I had the courage to ask The Moonshine Grill in Austin if I could bring this appetizer for my son and daughter-in-law’s rehearsal dinner we had at their restaurant. They probably thought that girl has “gall” but they agreed and in fact they put it on a tray for me with the bread slices and made it very pretty. Of course, everyone loved it.
If it weren’t enough that I brought one of our own appetizers for that night, I actually had the nerve to copy one of their recipes right off their menu — Corn Dog Shrimp with Honey Mustard and Blueberry Swirl. It’s actually still on their menu so it must be very popular. I’ve always heard that Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
On our recent trip to Chicago I actually emailed Leopold restaurant when we returned and told them how much we enjoyed our evening and asked for their recipe of chocolate pave. I didn’t actually say “give it to me” or anything like that. I smoozed and told them the food was wonderful and the dessert was the best and did they share recipes. A very nice person emailed me back and told me how they made it. So, it never hurts to ask.
For this recipe I used the very large package of goat cheese from Sam’s Club. It ended up being way too much for 12. I would also rather have served it right out of the oven so it would have still been hot and runny. I think if you wanted a smaller amount, do the small goat cheese that you can pick up at your grocery. You may even find some mango salsa already made; if not it isn’t that big of a deal to whip up a small amount.
That was a lot of goat cheese for 12 people.
Even though these were dry roasted macadamia nuts, I still toasted them a little more before chopping up.
I pressed the log of goat cheese to about 1″ thick.
I pressed the chopped nuts into both sides of the goat cheese. If you want, you can just do the top.
Everything chopped up and ready to go into the chopper.
My favorite chopper at work.
I added a couple of teaspoons of balsamic vinegar.
Juice of one lime into the mango salsa.
I sliced the French baguette very thin and drizzled a little olive oil over and baked until crisp. If you don’t want it on the crunchy side, just brown it slightly.
Macadamia Nut Encrusted Goat Cheese
1 small log of goat cheese
3/4-1 cup chopped macadamia nuts, toasted
baguette slices, fresh or toasted
Sweet soy glaze, optional
1 mango, peeled and chopped small
1/3 finely chopped red onion
1/2 c. chopped cilantro
1 large jalapeño pepper, chopped fine
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped fine
salt and pepper to taste
After chopping and toasting your macadamia nuts unwrap the goat cheese. Mash it out to about 1/2″-3/4″ thickness. Press the nuts into both sides of the goat cheese. Bake in 350° oven for about 10-15 minutes or it just starts to melt a little.
Remove cheese from oven and put on your serving dish. Top with mango salsa and serve with the baguette slices.
For the salsa, chop the red onion, red bell pepper, jalapeño, cilantro and mango. Mix together and add salt and pepper and the balsamic. Top the goat cheese with as much of this as you like and serve the extra along side if you have any chips available.
*Note: I also drizzled with a sweet soy glaze. I use to be able to buy this but I no longer see it in the store. What I did was take a small bottle of soy sauce, add 3/4 cup brown sugar, 1 tsp. rice vinegar and reduce this down for about 15-20 minutes. It swill thicken a little when it starts to cool. You do not have to do this step but I like the flavor of the soy with the salsa.