Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Brandied Blue Cheese, Pear & Caramelized Onion Crostini

Barbara used to live in Denver and she was visiting from back east.  Staying at Kathy's house, they decided to have a "girls" dinner party last week and I was in charge of bringing an hors d'oeuvre.  It seems that is always one of the requests I get, for I am on time, which is key when you are bringing an appetizer, and I am known for my hors d'oeuvres.
It was a week night and I really did not feel like making another stop at the grocery store.  I thought, what kind of crostini could I make...  The pears that I had bought over the weekend were perfectly ripe.  I just started pulling ingredients out of the refrigerator and I came up with this new recipe, Brandied Blue Cheese, Pear & Caramelized Onion Crostini.  It was a huge hit and Barbara who said she did not like "stinky" cheese, went home with the recipe.
Barbara, Kathy and Laura.  Barbara had just whipped up a martini shaker of white cranberry cosmos and had crushed peppermint on the rims of the glasses.  Talk about being in the holiday spirit.
Kathy had set a festive table and served grilled salmon and chicken, a tasty risotto and a colorful festive salad.
Barb, Bridget and Melissa after our feast.  We had a great time looking at Kathy's old photo albums.  We all laughed how young we were in the pictures, some thirty years ago!

Brandied Blue Cheese, Pear & Caramelized Onion Crostini
1 baguette

sea salt, I prefer Maldon
1 garlic clove
3/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
2 tablespoons brandy
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons cream cheese
1 onion, quartered and sliced thin
1/4 cup olive oil, plus more to brush on bread slices
2 ripe pears, peeled, cored and sliced

Slice the baguette into 1/4" slices. Brush top side with olive oil and sprinkle with the sea salt. Cook in a 350' oven for about 7 minutes or until they are hard to the touch but not brown. Remove from the oven and rub the garlic clove on each toast.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and add the onion slices. Cook on medium heat until the onions start to caramelize, about ½ an hour. If they start to brown, add a few tablespoons of water. Let cool.

In a bowl, add the blue cheese, brandy, butter, cream cheese and caramelized onion. Mix well. Top each toast with a slice of the pear and then the blue cheese mixture.

Broil about 6" from the heat for about 2 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly.

Serve warm.

Makes about 24 servings.

Bon Appetit!

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