Recipe created by 2016 Glorious Bites Semi-finalist: Davon Hatchett Robinson
This glorious appetizer from Davon Hatchett Robinson, one of our Austin Glorious Bites 2016 Semi-Finalists, pairs perfectly with our Sonoma Brut sparkling wine. This delicious gourmet rendition of a traditional “cheese and crackers” has all of the flavors you want, salty, spicy, sweet, tangy, creamy and savory. The jalapeño and duck are elegantly paired with the fig and goat cheese; each bite is emphasized by the citrus notes and toasty almond finish you get with every sip of the wine.
2 cups of raw hazelnuts
1 roughly chopped jalapeno or Serrano chile pepper
2 Tablespoons of Gloria Ferrer Brut Sparkling Wine
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1-2 pinches of salt
8 1/2-inch slices of day-old baguette
1/3 cup of duck fat
3-ounces of prepared duck liver mousse
3 ounces of mild goat cheese
8 green Tiger striped figs (can substitute green Sierra figs)
4 Tablespoons of toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place hazelnuts on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, checking and shaking the baking sheet every 5 minutes to evenly toast the nuts.
- After baking the nuts place them into a large kitchen towel. Loosely twist the towel and let the nuts steam for 1 minute. With the towel still closed, vigorously rub and massage the towel so that the skin on the nuts will begin to flake off. Try to remove most of the skins but a few leftover flakes are just fine. Let cool and then chop. Set aside.
- Using a mortar and pestle, place the jalapeno in the mortar and begin to pulverize the pepper for about 30 seconds. Add a pinch or two of salt and pulverize again into a paste. Add the lime juice and Gloria Ferrer Brut, mixing until combined. Tada–fizzy aquachile! Set aside.
- Heat a griddle or regular pan over medium-high heat. Liberally brush both sides of the baguettes with the duck fat. Place the slices into the heated pan and toast on both sides until nice and golden, about 1-2 minutes per side. (Watch carefully so you do not burn!)
- Place the toasted crostini on serving platter. Spread one-half of each crostini slice evenly and generously with 2 teaspoon of goat cheese and the other half with 2 teaspoons of duck liver mousse, making sure to reach the edges.
- Slice the top and bottom off of each fig. Cut the remaining body of each fig into 3 slices. Dip the fig slices briefly into the aquachile then place on top of the cheese/duck mousse, using 3 slices of fig per each crostini.
- Sprinkle the toasted hazelnuts generously over the figs. You can drizzle any leftover aquachile over the top of the crostinis if you like things extra spicy.
Makes 8 servings.