Monday, August 1, 2011

Cabernet poached pears with blue cheese

My husband and I tried this dish on our 1 year wedding anniversary. We stayed in a B&B in Bar Harbor, and popped into this little place for appetizers and cocktails before dinner. We ordered the only vegetarian appetizer on the menu and were blown away with how amazing it was. If we weren't in a fancy restaurant, I think both of us would have licked the plate. EJ asked me how happy I would be if I had the recipe for the dish, and I agreed that it would be amazing to be able to recreate this exactly. Lo and behold, at the hostess stand was a book featuring restaurants throughout Maine, and Mache Bistro was in the book. What recipe did they decide to submit for the publication? Why, the Cabernet poached pears, of course!

I made this for my in-laws on the 4th of July, and it was a hit! Of course, I can't take credit for the recipe. This is unaltered from the original. I'm thinking about experimenting with different fruits instead of pears, though the pears were out of this world.

From Food pics


2 Bosch pears
1/2 cup Cabernet
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp honey
3 cups baby arugula
2 Tbsp olive oil

Blue cheese filling:
1/4 cup chopped pecans, plus some for garnish
1/2 cup dried cranberries, plus some for garnish
3 oz cream cheese (room temp)
1 Tbsp mayo
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 oz blue cheese, plus some for garnish (though I increased it to about 3)

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Combine the wine, vinegar, brown sugar, salt and honey in a baking dish. Halve the pears and place them flesh side down in the dish as well. Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour. (You might want to use a small baking dish - the wine mixture only came up about halfway on the pears. Alternatively, you could cut the pears smaller).

3. Let the pears cool in the wine. When cool, scoop out the cores and seeds to create a space for the blue cheese. Reserve cooking liquid.

4. Combine and mix well the cream cheese, mayo, oil, and blue cheese. Add in pecans and cranberries until well incorporated. Taste for flavor - I ended up increasing the amount of blue cheese to about 3 ounces.

5. Toss the arugula with olive oil and divide onto plates. Fill each pear half with the blue cheese mixture and place over arugula. Garnish with pecans, cranberries and more blue cheese. Drizzle with the reserved cooking liquid. 

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