And the queen said,
“I don’t think you’re ready for this jelly.”
Of course by queen I mean Beyonce, and by said I mean preached.
(Obviously, I still have a Superbowl hangover.)
But you are ready for this jelly, because hot pepper jelly really elevates this simple appetizer of toast, mashed avocado, and goat cheese – some of my favorite things to eat, really.
Did I say appetizer? I meant this is an appetizer that can easily pass off as dinner, because you’ll be helping yourself to several pieces, and by then you’ll be so full you’ll only have room for a glass of red wine. (And some dark chocolate squares for dessert.)
But back to the jelly.
I received a jar of homemade hot pepper jelly from my co-worker David and his wife Susan, and it’s safe to say that this jelly has slowly made its way up to my list of favorites preserves (after strawberry jam and orange marmalade).
I usually buy mini jars, and serve it as part of a cheese plate when I’m hosting a small dinner, like this:
(aged gouda, homemade pimiento cheese, mini pita rounds)
(aged gouda again, marinated mozzarella balls, flax seed crackers, dried figs, fresh strawberries)
Then I started making grilled cheese sandwiches with hot pepper jelly for lunch, and cheese quesadillas with hot pepper jelly for dinner, and last week while I was catching up on episodes of Watch What Happens Live and Elementary (anyone else likes that show? And yes, I know, weird combo), and one of my friends said he was coming over, I decided to whip up hot pepper jelly appetizers. Appetizers that eventually turned into my dinner.
I must also admit that I was still thinking of the fabulous goat cheese bruschetta we had at Pizzeria Posto a couple of weeks ago.
I’ve written about Posto a couple of times already, and I always order the goat cheese bruschetta every time I’m there. The last time we were there, we also tried a beef tongue pastrami bruschetta that was really good, too. If you are looking for a nice Italian restaurant with very reasonable prices, you should head over to Somerville and check out Pizzeria Posto.
My goat cheese bruschetta is made from slices of a mini French baguette, brushed generously with olive oil, then toasted in a hot oven.
I mashed an avocado, seasoned it with salt, pepper, and a pinch of chili pepper flakes, and slathered it on. I topped the bruschetta with goat cheese and finished it with the homemade hot pepper jelly, which had the perfect balance of sweetness, tartness, and spice. I haven’t tried making my own version yet, but Averie has a thorough recipe for Hot Pepper Jelly.
Hot pepper jelly is usually served on top of cream cheese, but I like it better with slightly sharper, tangier cheeses. I am also planning on making pork chops with it, and another batch of these appetizers again for the better Superbowl in three weeks.
Goat Cheese and Avocado Bruschetta with Hot Pepper Jelly
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 mini baguette (or 1/2 baguette), cut into 1/2 inch slices
3 oz goat cheese
2 tablespoons hot pepper jelly
salt, pepper, and chili pepper flakes to taste
Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.
Brush olive oil on both sides of the bread pieces, then toast for 5 minutes.
Mash the avocado and season with salt, pepper, and chili pepper flakes.
Top baguette slices with mashed avocado, goat cheese crumbles, and hot pepper jelly. Serve immediately.
Did you watch the Superbowl? I watch it every year for the ads and the half time show (and sometimes, the Patriots). I thought Beyonce’s performance was spectacular!