|Sara comes to class in her casual clothes.|
Sara Moulton was on the agenda to teach some classes, so when I saw her show up when the first class was starting, I figured she was just checking in. But no, she took the class right along with the rest of us, and she ended up sitting right next to me.
We had a nice chat about the old days when she was on Food Network, and she asked about what I did. In no time at all, we were like old buddies, baking together and chatting about fun stuff.
|Sara bones a chicken breast in class.|
It was almost like watching her on TV, but without the editing. And no cameras, music, or close-ups. A big angled mirror above Sara's work area let us see what she was doing. Okay, they had those for the baking classes, too, but for the most part we just crowded around the teacher for those. Here. we sat down and were entertained.
It was great. She was a natural teacher, and funny and she threw in a lot of little stories about being on TV. And all the while she put together a pretty spectacular meal.
|A mirror view of a plated dish. Pretty, hmmm?|
Dinner at the Inn was just as good as the demo looked.
The main dish was a chicken breast that had stuffing under the skin. That's a technique I'll be using again and again. But the thing that surprised me most was the arugula salad.
Okay, I'm not a big fan of arugula, but there were some little warm goat cheese cakes on top of the salad that turned the salad from ordinary to extraordinary. I didn't even mind that they were sitting on top of arugula. When I make these, I'll be putting them on top of other salad greens. You can bet on that.
Or, really, those little cakes would make lovely little appetizers without any greens in sight.
You want that recipe? Okay, here you go!
Goat Cheese Cakes
Courtesy of Sara Moulton
Adapted from Sara Moulton Cooks at Home
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted, plus extra for buttering the tins
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
1/2 cup very finely chopped toasted pecans
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
5 ounces fresh goat cheese, softened
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon snipped fresh chives
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a nonstick mini-muffin tin with 18 1/8 cup wells. Mix the bread crumbs, pecans, and butter in a small bowl with half the salt and half the pepper. Stir with a fork until thoroughly combined.
Place 2 tablespoons of the mixture in each cup and press down into the bottom to form a crust.
Beat the goat cheese and cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth, light, and fluffy. Beat in the egg, chives and remaining salt and pepper.
Divide the cheese mixture among the wells and smooth the tops with a knife. Bake until puffed, about 15 minutes. Cool the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes, the run a knife around the rim of each cake and carefully unmold. Serve warm.
Note: These can be baked a day ahead and kept covered in the refrigerator. Reheat in a 350 degree oven until hot.