Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Tomato Jam & Feta Cheese Spread Crostinis

We have this weird tradition in the Northeastern Iowa Synod Office.   You get a birthday card when you bring treats for everyone.

Well, we have staff that are gluten free and diabetic, so cake and ice cream doesn't really work.  I saw some sample cheese boards on Pinterest and thought "Ah cheese!"

There's a whole thing about cheese boards.  And the things that go with it.  Like nuts and fruit and olives.  Which I don't like, but it sounded like a fun treat to bring.

So I brought a cheese board to the office today.  Well, no actual boards were involved.  

On the menu

  • Sugared pecans
  • Grapes
  • A nice hard salami
  • Marinated mushrooms & artichoke hearts (instead of olives)

And the nice cheese monger at the Hy-Vee helped me pick some good cheeses

  • A VERY sharp Cheddar from Wisconsin
  • An Iowa Cheddar
  • Wisconsin Havarti
  • Smoked Gouda 
  • A soft mild Blue Cheese

It may not jive exactly with the ideal variety of cheeses for a traditional cheese board but they went over very well.

And a delicious tomato jam that paired really well with a feta spread.  Here's the recipe for that:

Tomato jam

  • 1 16 oz container cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 or 2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
  • 3/4-1 cup sugar (depends on taste)
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 4 or 5 leaves basil
  • tsp lemon juice
  • pinch of salt
  • Pinch red pepper flakes

Cook the tomatoes & garlic on low in tomato sauce until they break down.  You want there to be small, soft pieces, but not mush.  This takes about 10 minutes.  Add sugar.  

Bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute.  Turn heat down, add salt, pepper flakes, basil and lemon juice and simmer until it is a thick consistency.  This takes about 10 minutes.  Let it cool.  It may get thicker in time.

Feta with Cream Cheese Spread

16 oz cream cheese, room temp
16 oz crumbled feta
1 clove garlic, chopped fine
1 Tbl Italian herbs
pinch of salt
2 Tbl olive oil

Mix all this in a bowl.  If you have a small food processor you can do that, but it's easy to mix and I didn't think it was worth dirtying my processor.

Put the cheese spread on a cracker or crostini.  Put a little tomato jam on that.  If you really want to go crazy, top that with shaved parmesan.

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