pepper-glazed goat cheese gratin

not too goaty or peppery ::::



When young women ask about balancing a career and family, other women often give the dopey, peppy answer “You can do it!” — without really explaining the sacrifices that will be made. Yes, you can do it, but you may not see your babies awake for days if you leave the house before dawn and come home after dark. You may have to detach a screaming 18-month-old from your coat and hand him off to the daycare teachers, rushing to make clinic on time, instead of wanting to just sit down and cuddle with him. You may start to space out on your last patient of the day, trying so hard to concentrate on her extremely important questions, but drift to your children’s menu plan for that night, unsure of how you will finish work, pick up the kids, and make dinner in the course of an hour. You and your spouse will constantly fret about how to balance two clinic schedules full of patients, even part-time, and hope that no one needs an immediate transfer to the PICU or trip to the ER, or that neither of your  kids are vomiting all over teachers at school and need to be sent home immediately, and bank that one of you will make it to the daycare to pick up the kids on time despite emergencies at work. Somehow it works out. Even though God plans our lives so carefully, I’m still amazed that we can coordinate anything at all.



Albeit it should be the least of my worries, dinner plans for the kids can be assaultingly distracting to me. As I have alluded to before, sometimes it’s the freezer section at the grocery store that is the savior for those undecided dinner choices, as much I hate caving in to it. And sometimes it’s a simple cheese and pepper combo that looks complicated but is easier than spaghetti and marinara from a jar. Better yet, you can do this and invite people over for appetizers. It’s common knowledge that appetizers double as meals for most mothers of young children. If I can stand up at the kitchen counter and eat it in less than five minutes, whilst being interrupted every 20 seconds, then it’s a meal. If your kids like cheese but not into the smelly ones, consider a mild goat cheese. Add some cayenne if you have little ones with fiery tongues or grown-ups who like that sort of thing. This you can do.


pepper-glazed goat cheese gratin
Recipe type: appetizer
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
  • 1 pound creamy goat cheese, softened
  • 6 tablespoons apricot preserves
  • 4 ounces (~ 115 g) roasted red peppers, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons minced shallot
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1½ teaspoons white wine
  • pinch of salt
  • crusty bread or pita chips, for serving
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spread the goat cheese into 4-5 ramekins (depending on the size) in an even layer.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk the preserves with the peppers, shallots, mustard, and wine.
  3. Spread the mixture over the goat cheese and back on top rack of oven for about 5 minutes, until warm.
  4. Turn on the broiler and broil for about 2 minutes, until the topping is bubbling and lightly browned at the edges.
  5. Serve hot, with pita chips or crusty bread.
The original recipe made this in one oven-proof dish. I elected to use ramekins for individual portions (if serving more as a meal or packing leftovers in a lunchbox the next day) and because of the cuteness factor. Cuteness counts in food.


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