Chef Jose Garces's recipe for the perfect winter appetizer.
1/2 lb red, gold and candy stripe baby beets
1 large Spanish onion, medium dice
8 clove garlic
2 cup cider vinegar
1 cup water
1/2 cup kosher salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup honey
1/2 tablespoon Allspice
1 tablespoon mustard seed
2 tablespoon whole canella
1/2 tablespoon clove
3 fresh bay leaves
8 sprig thyme
1. Remove beet greens leaving 1/2 inch of stem. Wash beets under cold running water. Blanch in rapidly boiling salted water for 2 minutes or until tender, transfer to ice water to cool. Wearing gloves, peel beets keeping individual varieties separate. Cut into quarters.
2. Combine onion, garlic, vinegar, water, salt, sugar, honey and spices in a medium saucepot, bring to a boil over medium heat. Allow to simmer 3-5 minutes, remove from heat and add herbs. Pour hot liquid over beets, keeping individual varieties separate. Leave beets in liquid at room temperature 4-6 hours, cover and refrigerate. Pickling will be completed in roughly 2 weeks, beets will keep for up to a month stored in liquid.
Goat Cheese Mousse
1/2 pound fresh goat cheese
1/4 pound crème fraiche
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 bunch fresh chives, brunoise
Salt and fresh ground white pepper to taste
1.Whip cream to stiff peaks. Combine goat cheese and crème fraiche in a medium bowl, gently fold in cream until desired consistency is achieved. Fold in salt, white pepper and chive.
1/2 pound pecan halves, blanched
1/2 cup dry sherry
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup water
2 egg whites
1 tablespoon crystal cayenne hot sauce
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1. Combine sherry, salt, sugar, water and hot sauce, bring to a simmer. Coat pecans thoroughly in a medium bowl. Whip egg whites till snowy, fold into pecan mixture. Drain off any excess liquid, pecans should just be coated. Roast for 3-5 minutes at 350 degrees F on a paper-lined tray until golden brown.
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