Homage to fromage
All-cheese menu makes a festive New Year's party
Queso fresco, herb-stuffed dates: A rendition of stuffed dates served warm with a simple balsamic glaze. Medjool dates prove soft and easy to stuff. (Bill Hogan/Chicago Tribune / December 26, 2012)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 heads (6 ounces each) radicchio, torn into large pieces
3 cups baby arugula
¼ to 1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese, such as Danish blue
Pomegranate seeds, optional
1. Peel quince. Cut through the stem end into quarters. Remove core. Cut each quarter into 3/8-inch thick slices. Heat cider, sugar, pepper and orange zest in a saucepan until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to very low. Add sliced quince to cider mixture. Simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the quince is fork-tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Gently lift the quince out of the liquid to a plate; let cool.
2. Boil pan juices over medium-high heat until reduced enough to make a light syrup, about 15 minutes; you'll have about 1/2 cup. Cool, then strain. If desired, finely slice orange zest.
3. Toast walnuts in a small skillet over medium heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly golden, 2-3 minutes. Cool.
4. For the dressing, put the cooled syrup, vinegar, mustard and salt into a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake well. Season to taste with pepper and more salt if needed.
5. Mix radicchio and arugula in large bowl. Add some of the dressing; toss to mix. Arrange mixture on 4 to 6 serving plates. Scatter quince slices, cheese and walnuts over each salad. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and sliced orange zest if desired. Pass additional dressing.
Per serving: 159 calories, 9 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 7 mg cholesterol, 19 g carbohydrates, 4 g protein, 163 mg sodium, 2 g fiber.
Chipotle two-cheese fondue
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 5 minutes
Servings: 6 appetizers
Large seedless grapes, halved strawberries, clementine segments, tart apple chunks, quartered tomatillos