Salsa Baked Goat Cheese

Inspiration: I first saw this recipe on Chaos in the Kitchen a while back, and the idea of goat cheese baked with salsa really surpised me and appealed to me. After all, if I had to pick one single food as my favorite, goat cheese might be it.  I usually think of using goat cheese in Italian dishes, though, and I had never thought to pair it with salsa. While I was planning a spread of Mexican appetizers for B and I, I ran across the recipe again on Rick Bayless’ website. I guess it was fate ;)

What we Loved: This recipe was really simple and only took five minutes to throw together, so I wasn’t really expecting it to be over-the-top amazing. But let me tell you, I was tempted to kick back on the couch with this bowl in my lap and eat the whole thing with a spoon. This was probably the best dip that I’ve ever had. I used Frontera Grill’s guajillo salsa, which is a bit on the thinner side rather than being a very chunky salsa, and it bubbled up beautifully and mixed itself right into the cheese, which got very creamy and melty. In the end, this turned out to be a creamy, tomatoey, cheesy blend that oozed together into the perfect dip. The particular salsa that I used also had a nice sweetness to it, which was the perfect compliment to the rich cheese.

Helpful Hints: You can use any type of salsa that you’d like , but I’d recommend a thinner salsa to get the same effect of a gooey, melty dip. If you use a chunky salsa, it may not melt into the cheese as much. I do recommend the Frontera Grill Guajillo salsa, not only for its consistency, but for that incredible sweetness that I really enjoyed.

Salsa Baked Cheese

Source: Chaos in the Kitchen, originally from Rick Bayless

I made this recipe even simpler by forgetting to the toast the pine nuts and forgetting the cilantro garnish, and it was still amazing. Here’s the recipe as I made it.

1/4 cup pine nuts
4 oz goat cheese
3 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup salsa

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Mix the goat cheese, cream cheese, and pine nuts together. Scoop the mixture into the center of an ovenproof baking dish, forming it into a ball.

3. Spoon the salsa around the cheese.

4. Bake for approximately 15 minutes, until heated through. Serve with crackers, chips, or vegetables for dipping.

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