Bosque Brandy-Roasted Red Grape and Whipped Honey-Ricotta Crostinis

 

Tribute recipe to my late friend, Chef Christo Gonzales – A colorful small plate bouquet of texture, flavor compliment & contrast. Rustic, yet sophisticated. Lite, crisp & creamy, sweet & salty, tart & tangy.

Artisan whole-grain baguettes sliced, then brushed with a garlic-infused olive oil & baked to golden perfection. Layered with smooth whipped honey-ricotta, then topped with a spoonful of sweet brandy-roasted red grapes & shallots. Garnished with seasoned & blackened walnuts, shaved Parmesan, fresh thyme leaves & ground rosemary dust. Then drizzled with a homemade balsamic reduction & served chilled.

This one is for you, Broski.

 

Bosque Brandy-Roasted Red Grape and Whipped Honey-Ricotta Crostinis

Bosque Brandy-Roasted Red Grape and Whipped Honey-Ricotta Crostinis

 

Bosque Brandy-Roasted Red Grape & Whipped Honey Ricotta Crostinis

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr 15 mins
Total Time1 hr 30 mins
Servings: 18 -24 Baguettes
Author: A Bachelor & His Grill

Ingredients

  • Brandy-Roasted Grapes:
  • 24 oz red grapes seedless
  • 2-3 shallots finely sliced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 cups white grape juice
  • 1/2 cup brandy
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • Olive oil & Sea salt Crostinis:
  • 1 baguette sliced approximately 1" thick
  • Garlic-infused olive oil
  • Sea salt and fresh ground peppercorn
  • Whipped Honey-Ricotta:
  • 15 oz part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 8 oz low-fat cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup wildflower honey
  • Seasoned & Blackened Walnuts:
  • 1 cup black walnuts roughly chopped and dry roasted
  • 1 tablespoon butter melted
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground peppercorn to taste
  • Garnish:
  • 2-3 tablespoons thyme leaves chopped
  • 2-3 tablespoons dried rosemary leaves finely ground in pestle and mortar
  • Parmesan cheese shaved
  • Balsamic reduction pre-made or click HERE for a phenomenal recipe

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400○F.
  • In a heavy bottom pan over low-medium heat, bring grapes, shallots, garlic juice, brandy, cinnamon & cayenne to a gentle simmer. Cover & cook at low heat until nearly all liquid absorbed. Express caution in maintaining temperature, as to not allow grapes to burst. Set aside in refrigerator for 1 hour & cool completely.
  • Slice baguette in 1" increments, brush with oil & lay flat in single layer over baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes, flipping half way through. Remove when golden brown. Set aside.
  • Meanwhile, in mixing bowl toss walnuts with butter & sugar, season to taste with salt & pepper, then spread in a single layer over a light-colored lined baking sheet. Roast for 8-12 minutes, shaking pan 1/2 way through to turn nuts. Remove from oven when browned & fragrant. Spread over a cooling rack. Set aside.
  • While walnuts roasting, whip ricotta, cream cheese & honey in a food processor until creamy and smooth in texture. Set aside.
  • To plate, spread a layer of whipped ricotta over the toasted baguettes. Top with a spoonful of roasted grapes. Sprinkle blackened walnuts & Parmesan shavings. Dust with thyme & rosemary powder. Finally, drizzle with a dash of balsamic reduction. Season to taste, as appropriate & serve.

 

 

 

Chef Christo Gonzales – An amazing father and husband, incredibly talented chef, inspirational poet, a lovable & sharp-witted jokester, the selfie-taking extraordinaire of selfie-taking extraordinaires, & most compassionate of human beings.  My prayers pour over his son, wife, family & those who’s lives he unforgettably touched.  I’m surely thankful for our time together over the last 3 years & unique friendship we formed – I will miss our weekly late night laughs and wee-morning chats.  May you rest in peace with the good Lord above.  Until we meet again. -David

Sweet Cherry and Dark Chocolate Stout Cocktail

 

 

Cherry and Dark Chocolate Stout Cocktail

Prep Time1 min
Cook Time1 min
Total Time2 mins
Servings: 1 Mug
Author: A Bachelor & His Grill

Ingredients

  • Fresh cherries pitted
  • 4 oz Framboise Lambic Cherry Beer
  • 1 1/2 oz Cherry Liqueur
  • 1 Bottle Chocolate Stout

Instructions

  • prepare cherries and toss into bottom of chilled mug. Pour in Framboise & Liqueur. Then fill to brim with Chocolate Stout. Kick feet up. Consume beer cocktail. Repeat.