Cornmeal-Crusted Goat Cheese with Hot Tomato Salsa
Morita chiles are red, fully mature Chipotles. This gives them a unique, medium – hot smokey flavor which is popular in many Southwestern dishes. These can be added to sauces (including Mole) to add smokey flavor and maintain the red color of the sauces. These peppers are about 2-4 inches in length, 1 inch in width, and have a deep brick reddish brown color. The word Chipotle translated to smoked chile. Consider the Chipotle a 6.5 on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the hottest). Scoville heat units 7,000-25,000.
Use Morita in enchilada sauces, chili, stews, barbecue ribs, and corn bread. Their smoky quality combines well with poultry, meats and fall squash.
Hot tomato salsa:
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 cloves minced garlic
2 tsp. cumin seed, toasted and ground
4 medium tomatoes, diced
salt to taste
Cornmeal-crusted goat cheese:
1 cup milk
2 cups coarse cornmeal
1 Tbsp. cracked black peppercorns
1 cup flour
9 oz. soft goat cheese
1 Tbsp. roasted, peeled, and diced green chile or pureed chipotles en adobo
For the hot tomato salsa:
Heat the oil in a saucepan and saute the onion until it becomes golden. Add the garlic in the last minute of cooking. Add the cumin, tomatoes and salt and simmer for about 5 minutes, or until the flavors come together.
For the Cornmeal-Crusted Goat Cheese:
Whip the eggs and milk together, then mix the cornmeal and peppercorns together.
Place the flour on a piece of wax paper and reserve.
Combine the goat cheese and chile; then divide the mixture into six equal parts. Roll the mixture into balls, and flatten at opposite ends for stability.
Dredge the goat cheese mixture in the flour, followed by the egg wash, and ending with the cornmeal mixture, being careful to coat the cheese completely.
Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat to 375F and fry the cheese until golden brown. Remove the cheese with a slotted spoon and place on paper towels. Serve with the hot tomato salsa.
Reipe by Susan Curtis and Nicole Curtis Ammerman from Southwest Flavors: “Sante Fe School of Cooking”.