Friday, September 23, 2011

Wild Hare's Goat Cheese Quesadilla

Posted By on Fri, Sep 23, 2011 at 2:23 PM

Although the Wild Hare has been reported on a lot, I am finding that it may be one of the best, most consistent and creative menus in town. I have loved everything that I have ordered, which is a rare feat for most new restaurants. From the Wild Hare burger (which may be my new favorite burger in town), to the pizza with herbed ricotta and Benton’s bacon, this place hasn’t missed a mark yet.

My husband and I were also happy to recently find the goat-cheese quesadilla appetizer. We have this theory that you could put goat cheese on anything and we would like it. Think about it — PB&J with goat cheese? Probably good. Biscuits, gravy, and goat cheese? Awesome. Chocolate chip goat-cheese cookies? Probably great.

So obviously, we were excited to try this new twist on a quesadilla — and were surprised to find that this wasn’t an ooey-gooey mozzarella-heavy quesadilla with a little goat cheese sprinkled in. No, it was straight goat cheese (albeit spiced up, as you’ll see below). And since goat cheese doesn’t melt like most cheeses, it was especially nice because it wasn’t greasy at all. I asked the restaurant about the ingredients so that I could try to replicate it at home.

My husband said my version tasted a little more “goaty” than the Wild Hare version, which makes me wonder if they add more of the spices/oil than I chose to use. Either way, he ate the whole thing, then asked, “Where’s the rest?” It’s such an easy recipe that I do plan to make it again. I might try some of my own add-ins, like roasted red peppers and/or sun-dried tomatoes.

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Goat Cheese Quesadilla as inspired by The Wild Hare

4 oz. chèvre goat cheese*
1 clove minced garlic
3 teaspoons chopped scallions
½ teaspoon ancho chili powder
¼ teaspoon chili powder
salt and pepper to taste
½ teaspoon garlic oil** or olive oil
2 soft 10-12” tortillas
spicy pico de gallo or salsa***

1. Soften goat cheese by leaving it out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes.
2. In a small bowl, combine softened goat cheese, garlic, scallions, ancho chili, chili powder, salt, pepper, and garlic/olive oil with a fork.
3. Spread cheese mixture over one tortilla and top with the other tortilla.
4. Heat on high in a skillet for about 2 minutes on each side, until each tortilla is browned.
5. Cut into wedges and serve with pico or salsa.

* I definitely recommend the local, delicious Noble Springs Dairy chèvre goat cheese, found at many local grocers and markets. I also recommend taking a tour of their farm out in Franklin — it is beautiful, and they couldn’t be a sweeter couple of goat farmers.

** I couldn’t find garlic oil in my crappy neighborhood Kroger, but after a quick Internet search, I found an easy recipe by Ina Garten for something that seemed to work. I’m not sure if Wild Hare puts the oil in the goat-cheese mixture or if they fry the quesadilla with it, but I went ahead and put it in the mixture and didn’t miss it on the tortillas.

*** Wild Hare makes a yummy homemade pico that I didn’t have time to prepare, so I served it with store-bought salsa that I drained a little so it would be a little easier to scoop on top of the quesadilla.

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