Friday, December 28, 2012

Bring in the New Year with Beet Napoleons

Here's an appetizer for your New Year's Eve celebration that can't be beat.

Okay, you may like beets but be a little shy of actually cooking with them. Try this appetizer--it's one you can make ahead and assemble when you want to serve it. A couple of things raise this appetizer to a foodgasmic  level. First, it's poaching the roasted beet slices in champagne wine vinegar and agave. Then, serving it on a drizzle of balsamic vinegar reduction just takes it over the top.

Give this a try and let me know what you think of it. 

           Mini Beet Napoleons

           Makes about 15 mini napoleons


INGREDIENTS

1 large red beet

1 large golden beet

½ cup agave

½ cup champagne vinegar


4 ounces goat cheese, softened

4 ounces of cream cheese, softened

1 Tablespoon fresh chopped tarragon

1 Tablespoon fresh chopped chives

1 Tablespoon fresh chopped Italian parsley

¼ teaspoon cracked black pepper

Dash kosher salt


1 ½ cup balsamic vinegar


Salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste




DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.


      Beets

Cut off green tops of one large red beet and one large orange beet.  Wash. Cut two pieces of aluminum foil and totally wrap each beat in a sheet of foil. Place on baking pan and put in oven for 45-60 minutes.  Check beet for doneness by inserting a knife into heart of the beet. When beet is tender, remove from oven, carefully unwrap and let cool for 10 or 15 minutes.



When beets are cool, peel them. Slice beets thin, approximately ¼-inch slices.

Bring the agave and champagne vinegar to boil in small saucepan. Lower to a simmer and poach beet slices for a minute. Remove with slotted spoon and drain on baking tray. Cover and refrigerate till cool.



Balsamic Reduction

In small saucepan heat balsamic vinegar over medium high heat until reduced by half and moderately thick. Keep an eye on it so it doesn’t boil over or burn. Set aside and let cool. The balsamic reduction will thicken more as it cools.



Cheese Filling

Mix together two cheeses either by hand or with a mixer. Mix in the fresh herbs, dash salt and ¼ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper. Using a rubber spatula, spoon cheese mixture into a piping bag with a large holed tip. (If you don’t have a piping bag, a plastic baggie can be used instead and just cut off the tip after the bag has been filled.)



ASSEMBLY

Spread out the chilled slices of beets on a cutting board. Season with a little salt and fresh cracked pepper. Using a small bite-sized round (or other fun shape) cookie cutter and cut out rounds from both the red and golden beets. Make sure to do the golden beets first as the red beets will bleed their color onto the cutter. Make the napoleons by layering the beets in alternating colors or all the same as you choose. Put on beet slice down, pipe a little cheese mixture, put another beet slice on top and pipe some more cheese mixture and put a final beet slice on top. Skewer from the top with a decorative toothpick.



For the presentation, drizzle with a spoon a little of the balsamic reduction in a decorative pattern on a plate. Place skewered beet napoleons on the plate. Serve and enjoy.

Watch the recent segment on WCIU.




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