Not too long ago I discovered a great new appetizer, the baked goat cheese marinara , where the goat cheese is baked in a marinara sauce and it is then served with toasted baguette slices for dipping and scooping. While I was enjoying the baked goat cheese marinara I thought that this would also probably work well with a salsa ranchera swapped in for the marinara sauce. When I look at the the recipes for a marinara sauce and salsa ranchera they are pretty similar save for the use of the chili peppers so I figured that it should work out pretty well. For the salsa ranchera I went with a simple version with some roasted serrano and poblano peppers. The baked goat cheese salsa was excellent! The creamy and tangy goat cheese went really well with the fiery hot salsa. I like the way that the goat cheese retains it shape only to crumble into melted cheesy goodness when touched. Although I am pretty sure that the baked goat cheese salsa would go great served with toasted baguette, I went with something that seemed a little more appropriate, tortilla chips.
Since the baked goat cheese salsa had so few ingredients I wanted to make sure that the salsa ranchera was a tasty one. Although I like the ease of the jalapeno salsa ranchera I wanted to add a bit more flavour and I did so by using a variety of chili peppers including serranos and poblanos and by roasting them. Had tomatoes been in season, I would have roasted some fresh tomatoes as well but since they are not I went with canned tomatoes this time which is perfectly acceptable. I finished the salsa renchera off with some fresh chopped cilantro and a splash of lime for some freshness. I pureed the salsa in a food processor to ensure that it was nice and smooth for the baked goat cheese salsa.
Baked Goat Cheese Salsa
- 2/3 cup salsa (see below)
- 4 ounces goat cheese (sliced)
- Place the salsa in a baking dish and top with the goat cheese.
- Broil until the goat cheese is soft and golden brown, about 4-6 minutes.
- Serve with the tortilla chips.
Roasted Serrano and Poblano Salsa Ranchera
- 1 tablespoon corn oil
- 1 small onion (chopped)
- 2 cloves garlic (chopped)
- 1 teaspoon cumin (toasted and ground)
- 2 serrano chilies (roasted)
- 1 poblano chili (roasted)
- 1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes (fire roasted is good)
- 1 handful cilantro (chopped)
- 1 lime
- Heat the oil in a pan.
- Add the onions and saute until tender, about 5-7 minutes.
- Add the garlic and cumin and saute until fragrant, about a minute.
- Add the chillies and tomatoes and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer until the sauce thickens about 20 minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in the cilantro and a squeeze of lime.