Monday, December 3, 2012

On the First Day of Christmas...

I can't believe it's December already - the sixty degree, sunny weather really isn't helping convince me either. However, the overabundance of holiday movies on Lifetime and cars in the mall parking lot are telling me that Christmas is right around the corner.  So, to help get me in the holiday frame of mind, I'm attempting to create a dozen unique holiday recipes by the 25th, a la The Twelve Days of Christmas.  

On the First Day of Christmas (or the Third Day of December), my true love gave to me...a caramelized pear crostini with goat cheese and a honey-whiskey reduction.  Alright, it might not flow as well as the original version, but you can appreciate my efforts, can't you?

Caramelized Pear Crostini 
1 sprigs worth of rosemary leaves, roughly chopped
¼ cup + 2 tbs olive oil
a dozen thin slices of bread (I used baguette) 
2 tbs butter
1 small yellow onion, sliced thinly
1 red pear, cubed
¼ cup honey-whiskey (I used Jack Daniel's Tennessee Honey)
4 oz log goat cheese
sea salt

+ Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
+ Mix rosemary with ¼ cup of olive oil in a ramekin.  Set aside.
+ Melt 2 tbs of olive oil and 1 tbs of butter over medium-high heat in a small sauce pan.  Once the oil is sizzling, add the onions.  Stir  until all of the onions are well coated in oil.  Sprinkle with a bit of sea salt.  Cook onions until they are just beginning to brown - stir occasionally, and lower heat if the onions brown too quickly. 
+ Add the pear and 1 tbs of butter.  Stir until the pears are coated in oil.  Allow to cook, stirring occasionally  until the pears and onions are brown and caramelized.  Transfer into a small bowl.
+ With the heat on, add the whiskey to same pan you caramelized the pear and onion in.  Cook down until the whiskey has reduced by half, becoming thick and syrupy.  Take off heat and set aside.
+ While the whiskey is reducing, place the bread on a broiling pan.  Using a small spoon, drizzle enough rosemary-olive oil to coat the top of each slice.  Bake for about five minutes, or until the edges just begin to brown.
+ To assemble the crostini, spread a thin layer of goat cheese onto each slice of toasted bread.  Top with a generous spoonful of the caramelized pear-onion mix.  To finish, drizzle with honey-whiskey reduction.  Serve warm (but don't worry, based on how quickly my family ate them, they won't be around long enough to get cold).

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