For these little treats, I basically took the idea of Parmesan tuiles with chopped tomatoes - which I saw in a recent issue of Food & Wine, I think - and went all autumnal (or winter-nal, new word!) on it. I can never decide which cheese is my favorite for pears, bleu, brie, Gruyere, or Manchego, but it seemed to me that Manchego was really the only one that could possibly work for tuiles, so, decision made!
The salad has a good deal of sweet in it, to contrast with Manchego's saltiness, but there's a bit of savory too, because, well, that's what I wanted. These would be great to put out at a party, if you don't find you accidentally ate them all, all by yourself while standing in the kitchen. —fiveandspice
(generous) minced red onion
grated Manchego cheese
1 1/2 tablespoons
softened unsalted butter
plus 2 tsp. all-purpose flour
freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups
diced pears, any variety you'd like, sprinkled with a tsp. of lemon juice to keep them from getting too brown
dried dates, pitted and finely chopped
chopped fresh thyme
good olive oil
In This Recipe
Combine the onion and the vinegar in a small bowl and allow to sit for 15 minutes, then drain and set aside.
Heat your oven to 400F. In a mixing bowl, stir together the cheese, butter, flour, and pepper until it is all mixed. Then, scoop it out onto a parchment lined baking sheet in 12 equal spoonfuls. Using lightly floured fingers, gently press each mound of cheese mixture into a circle about 1 1/2 inches in diameter.
Bake on the lowest rack in the oven for 7 minutes (rotate the pan halfway through to ensure even baking), until the tuiles are golden. Remove from the oven and let them cool on the baking sheet. Then, transfer them to a plate lined with a paper towel and let them drain any excess fat.
In a medium bowl, gently combine the pear with the red onion, dates, thyme, and olive oil.
Put the tuiles out onto a serving platter, mound spoonfuls of the pear salad on top of them, sprinkle each with a pinch of sea salt and serve.
I like to say I'm a lazy iron chef (I just cook with what I have around), renegade nutritionist, food policy wonk, and inveterate butter and cream enthusiast! My husband and I own a craft distillery in Northern Minnesota called Vikre Distillery (www.vikredistillery.com), where I claimed the title, "arbiter of taste." I also have a doctorate in food policy, for which I studied the changes in diet and health of new immigrants after they come to the United States. I myself am a Norwegian-American dual citizen. So I have a lot of Scandinavian pride, which especially shines through in my cooking on special holidays. Beyond loving all facets of food, I'm a Renaissance woman (translation: bad at focusing), dabbling in a variety of artistic and scientific endeavors.