January 2, 2015
Baked Fontina with Chorizo and Apple ♥ Happy New Year to All
It is always nice to stay home after eating out for 7 days straight.I am not complaining mind you, but really, there is no place like home.
It was nice to not have to hit the market on our first full day back, and even nicer I had the makings for a whole day of football bowl game watching foods. I always get inspiration from eating out and last week we ordered a baked crab and artichoke dip (which we devoured in mere minutes) so I decided a baked Fontina would be perfect and a big bowl of sausage riggies.
We ordered a pizza and a salad for dinner the day with arrived home, so I tacked on a salad which came with two rolls. Garlic crostini with dip anyone? No where to go until Friday, I was loving the idea of hangin' with the cats in my jammies and sipping a glass of wine while I edit over 300 vacation pictures.
I am sorry but editing and filing pictures is not my idea of a "day off'"project but if I want to start Resolution #1 on Friday, I must start off fresh.
You may find this very strange considering the obsession with Instagram and selfies, but until 7-8 years ago we never took vacation pictures, ever!
We were from the DINK generation that watched hundreds of our parents and neighbor's vacation slides and swore our generation would never be so boring or ungracious to subject our friends to endless pictures of places they couldn't go to because of the kids. No pictures, no bother and we remembered where we were, that was all that was needed.
Now, with family reading blogs, they can choose to view (or not) if they want too.
This post is dedicated to the last of the holiday binges and when I finally got caught up on all my emails, I spotted this and looking for something to make during all the bowl games that I actually had all the ingredients for, I grabbed a few things from my freezer, cheese from the fridge and we had the makings for a really tasty dip. The inspiration for that dish came from Ina and I remember seeing that episode and the chef who gave her the recipe. Extremely easy to make, you simply saute some shallots, add some hardy herbs, a glub of cream and cubes of Fontina cheese but I took it a few steps further and added chorizo, garlic and cubes of apple. Baked in a cast iron fry pan until the top starts to caramelize, served with toast slices of bread that have been drizzled with garlic oil.
I love the crispness of the apple with the spicy chorizo and creamy cheeses. I adore crisp fruits with pork products and melted cheese. It reminds me of our favorite grilled cheese. Prosciutto, brie and pear. So this dish is like having a grilled cheese in dip form. Oh, wait....is it possible I planned it that way?
This is the perfect way to ring in the New Year. Resolutions can wait until tomorrow.
Baked Fontina Cheese
From my mind but inspired by Ina Garten
* 8 ounces of fontina, rind removed and cut into 1" cubes
* 2 ounces aged Asiago cheese, grated
* 1 Mexican chorizo link, casing removed
* 4 gloves garlic, thinly sliced
* 1/2 a crisp apple, peeled and diced into 1/4" cubes
* 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
* 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves
* 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
* 1/4 cup white wine
* 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
* 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
* Dried red pepper flakes, optional
* 1 crusty French baguette, or two sandwich rolls
Buy the best Fontina you can find and preferably Italian, if possible.
Since I was making individual portions, I baked mine in small cazuelas.
1. Preheat the broiler and position the oven rack 5 inches from the heat. (If you can’t get it exactly 5 inches, don’t worry, just as close as possible.)
2. Distribute the cubes of Fontina and the grates Asiago evenly in a 12-inch cast-iron pan. Drizzle over 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Combine the garlic, thyme, and rosemary and sprinkle it over the cheese and olive oil.
3. Saute the chorizo in olive oil with the onion until cooked. Add the wine to deglaze the pan.
4. Add the apple to the cheeses and when the meat is cooled, stir that in.
Additional red pepper flakes can be added at this time. Sometimes the chorizo has a medium heat level. I wanted the pop.
Sprinkle with the salt and pepper and place the pan under the broiler for 6 minutes (or longer if your pan is farther from the heat source), until the cheese is melted and bubbling and starts to brown.
3. Serve the baked Fontina family-style-right out of the oven in the cast-iron pan with crusty chunks of bread for everyone to dip.