Vacations are awesome and necessary but it's sometimes hard finding your momentum again. We are back in full swing now and have three more charters to complete our season here in the Virgin Islands. So... finally I'm getting a post out.
This season has been all about St. Thomas, USVI, pick-ups. We just dropped off our last charter guests there and we will be picking up our new guests in St. Thomas shortly. With so much to do we decided to stay close by.
We moored at Cinnamon Bay, St. John, a beautiful little anchorage and a perfect place to rejuvenate and prepare for the next charter.
We often spend our first night here with guests when they have a late afternoon flight and we don't have time to get too far.
While I was in the galley prepping my food for this photo shoot, I hear Hubby say, "Hurry come out here and check this out!"
I thought I had seen it all, but sure enough this iguana or "monster" in my eyes, was swimming like mad right towards our boat. As you can see from the picture above, we were moored fairly far from shore.
The monster was clearly on a mission and swam straight for our swim ladder.
Before we knew it, he climbed up. At this point I am pretty much freaking out and absolutely sure he is out to get me! Hubby was convinced it was my yummy appetizer he was after. Of course, Hubby is thinking this is all pretty cool. I'm screaming for him to get this monster off my boat. To my huge relief, Hubby grabbed the mooring ball pole and pushed him back into the water. We watched him swim all the way back to shore feeling defeated I'm sure. As you can tell, I have a serious phobia of reptiles, especially big monstrous looking ones.
And... I'll just say, this is not a usual occurrence in the Virgin Islands. In fact, I've never heard of land iguanas swimming out to boats. From now on the swim ladder is staying up!! It took me awhile to calm down from our unwelcome guest experience. But I was finally able to get back to my food prepping and photo shoot.
For some reason this season we have had quite a run of lactose intolerant guests. Goat and Sheep Cheese have become my best friend. I've been wanting to share this favorite with you for awhile. I most often serve it as an appetizer but this is an awesome lunch salad as well.
When I serve this as a lunch the plating is a little different and a bigger proportion does the trick. Simply place the dressed Greens on a round plate first, put the Goat Cheese Medallions in the middle, fan out the slices of Pear from the center then sprinkle with the Crispy Prosciutto and Chives. The peppery flavor of Arugula goes well with this dish. Baby Mixed Greens would be nice too. Tossing the Greens with Olive Oil, Salt and Pepper is enough but you could also experiment with a very small amount of Balsamic Vinegar mixed in the Olive Oil. You wouldn't want to overpower the Goat Cheese.
You can fry the Goat Cheese ahead of time if you need to. When I'm on charter there are times when this comes in very handy. Just simply heat them up in the oven until warmed through and they should stay nice and crispy.
I use Balsamic Reduction quite often. I make a good size batch ahead of time and store it in a squeeze bottle for easy plating. I have a recipe in my prior post, "Local Twist".
Fried Goat Cheese with Pear, Crispy Prosciutto and Balsamic Reduction
Recipe Type: Appetizer
Serves: Approximately 6 (makes about 18 medallions)
- 1 - 10.5 oz log of Goat Cheese
- 4 to 5 very thin slices of Prosciutto
- 1 ripe Bosc Pear, cut into thin slices
- Chives, finely sliced
- 2 Eggs
- All Purpose Flour
- Kosher Salt, to taste
- Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to taste
- Panko Bread Crumbs
- Canola Oil (or another good neutral frying oil)
- Balsamic Reduction
- Arugula tossed with Extra Virgin Olive, Oil, Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper, to taste
For the Balsamic Reduction recipe see my prior post "Local Twist". Or, you can purchase a good quality bottled Balsamic Reduction.
- Freeze the Goat Cheese log for about 10 minutes before slicing. This will firm up the Cheese a little and give you clean slices. Cut 1/2 inch medallions using dental floss. This creates a very clean cut.
- Place All-Purpose Flour in one bowl seasoned with Kosher Salt and Black Pepper. Put 2 Eggs and Water beaten together in another bowl. In a third bowl place the Panko Breadcrumbs.
- Coat the Goat Cheese in the Flour, shaking off excess. Completely coat the Goat Cheese in the Egg wash followed by the Panko Breadcrumbs then place on a baking sheet.
- Freeze the breaded Goat Cheese Medallions for about 5 to 10 minutes before frying to firm them up a bit.
- Heat a small frying pan with ¼ to ½ inch of Canola Oil over medium heat. The Oil should reach half way up the Goat Cheese.
- While the Goat Cheese is firming up in the freezer, fry your Prosciutto slices. This is similar to frying Bacon. Let fry for several minutes, turning, until nice and crispy. Remove Prosciutto to paper towels to drain excess oil. It will continue to crisp while cooling. Crumble into bite-size pieces.
- Fry Goat Cheese slices, 3 to 4 at a time, until golden brown on both sides. Remove fried Goat Cheese Medallions to paper towels to drain excess oil.
- You can fry the Prosciutto and Goat Cheese ahead of time, let cool and store in fridge, and reheat in oven until warmed through when ready to serve.
- When ready to plate, drizzle some Balsamic Reduction on the plate, place the Goat Cheese Medallions on top. Place a slice of Pear on top of Goat Cheese, some bits of Prosciutto and Chives.
- Place Arugula on the side. Serve immediately.