Several years ago–well, m0re than several, if you want to get technical–The Beloved and I enjoyed a lovely dinner at a restaurant in Charlotte: 300 East. (So, I just went to their website, and an iteration of this appetizer is still on the menu. Keen)! For our appetizer, they brought us (because we ordered it) baked go-at cheese and baguette. What showed up at our table was a wee log of chevre submerged in herbed olive oil and served with a sliced baguette. The go-at cheese was Warm and Spreadable, and it was a simple but fantastic appetizer. The Beloved and I looked at each other and said, “Heck, we can do this.“ And ever since, baked go-at cheese is our go-to easy/romantic light supper. Along with a bottle of wine and a light salad (or not), it really is the perfect supper. And now, I’m going to share it with you.
Of course, I’m just going to tell you the way I make it. You may take any Liberties with this that you care to. Use smoked go-at cheese. Change up the herbs. Use herbed or pepper-crusted go-at cheese. You can even change up the oil that you use. As with most of my “recipes,” this one is really more about the technique. Take note, and go forth and make some of this. You won’t be sorry. I daresay you will be Very Happy. You may thank me later.
Baked Go-at Cheese a la 300 East as Interpreted by Moi
- 1 log young go-at cheese–whatever you like
- a bunch of extra virgin olive oil
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- whatever herb blend makes you happy
- Some sort of crusty bread cut into 1/2″ thick slices
I am lucky enough to have some little Pyrex baking dishes that are only about 5″X7″. I don’t know where I got them, but they are perfect for this. Use whatever small broiler-proof shallow baking dish you have. Put the whole log of go-at cheese in the dish, and drizzle on a Very Ton of olive oil. I like to have about 1/4″ pooled in the bottom of the dish. Don’t worry, you’ll use it up in a later step, and it’s good for your heart. See, I care about your health.
Sprinkle on a healthy pinch of kosher salt and pepper and whatever herbs strike your fancy. You can probably even use some kind of crazy dipping oil blend that you have in the back of your cabinet from that Christmas party from last year.
Place in the oven about 5″ from the broiler and let it go until the top of the cheese is a delightful golden brown and it’s all bubbly and wonderful.
In the meantime, toast the bread on both sides–I do this with the broiler, too, because my wee Pyrex fits alongside my baking pan. Yay.
Once your bread and cheese are browned, take everything out of the oven. Arrange the bread Attractively on some sort of platter, leaving room in the middle for the cheese. Drizzle/spoon the hot, herbed oil over the bread, making sure that each piece gets its share.
To serve, use a metal spatula to place the Very Soft, Very Hot cheese in the center of the platter. If you have any oil left in the baking dish, drizzle that on top of the cheese. Use a spreader or knife to spread the hot cheese on the toasted bread. You can call them crostini if you want. Or even bruschetta. Whatever–just make some.