Wow, where did last week go? That was fast. On Saturday night we had a few people over to watch a movie. This is kind of a new thing - a monthly "Film Club" based on one our friend Tom started in San Francisco. Tom put an ad on Craigslist and invited strangers, and so far we've just stuck to friends, but if our friends keep canceling at the last minute, we may rethink that strategy. Anyhoo, we did it on a Saturday night this month, so I stepped up the food a bit. Normally it's just some "snacky bits" as we call them in this house - popcorn, olives, cheese, crackers, maybe something sweet. This weekend I did some Corned Beef and Cabbage Sliders (made with kimchi), a shaved Cauliflower and Fennel Salad with Caper Vinaigrette and something that is seriously the best and easiest "dish" you'll ever eat. (Provided of course that you like goat cheese!) Humboldt Fog cheese, heated until melted and bubbling.
It's delicious enough cold, but when it's heated, the gooey outer later melts and turns to liquid (and bubbles and browns if you leave it in long enough) and the middle becomes almost soufflé-like. I first tried this when it was on the menu at JRDN, and when the Fresh and Easy down the hill from us carried it, we had it maybe once a month for dinner with a salad and some bread. When they stopped carrying it, I stopped going there. It isn't cheap, but on balance, given it's ease and deliciousness - I say it's worth it.
If you can get your hands on some (I think they're just about to go out of season) - Chanterelles are fabulous with it - but any mushroom will do. Just toss with a little olive oil and arrange in the dish around the cheese. Bake at 400 until hot and bubbly. That's it, that's all!
I made the sliders with Trader Joes Corned Beef, sliced and piled on their little slider buns with swiss cheese. I ran them under the broiler to melt the cheese, and topped them with well-drained kimchi slaw and a bit of mustard. The salad is shaved cauliflower and fennel, tossed with a mustard vinaigrette with a bit of anchovy paste, lots of lemon juice and a spoonful of capers!