Author Notes: For those of you who like serving fruit and cheese after a meal this is a simple and delicious dish especially when served with a glass of good dessert whine and a small slice of Honey cake. There are a few different versions of the recipe for these little treats, which are mostly made just with plain goat cheese and pistachio nuts. I like to add warm plum-raisin-like flavors of Ancho Chile powder and cinnamon, and freshness of citrus zest to the goat cheese and also to roll the balls in a combination of nuts. —Kukla
Makes: about 30 to 35 balls, depending of the grape size
• 1 and 1/2 cups soft goat cheese
• 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
• 1 teaspoon Ancho Chile powder
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• Zest of 1/2 large orange, plus some more for garnish
• 35 red or green seedless grapes, washed, dried and chilled
• 1/3 cup pistachios + 1/3 cup peanuts or any nuts of your choice, toasted and coarsely chopped
- In a mixing bowl combine the first five ingredients; mix well until smooth and homogeneous. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 and 1/2 to 2 hours.
- Toast the nuts in the oven or in a dry skillet until fragrant and cool to room temperature; then place in the bowl of food processor and pulse until the nuts are coarsely chopped.
- Using a melon baller, scoop the chilled goat cheese mixture and roll into balls. Place the balls in a shallow dish in one layer and return to the refrigerator to harden. This step will make a lot easier to enclose the grapes in the cheese mixture.
- Working in batches, flatten each cheese ball in the palm of your hand. Place the grape in the middle of the cheese, roll until the surface of the grape is evenly covered; then roll the balls in the nuts and chill for at least 1 hour before serving.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Grapes