Monday, December 20, 2010

Bleu Cheese Pecan Bread with Balsamic Reduction aka "Crack Bread"

As promised, here is another dish I served my cookie exchange guests that has nothing to do with cookies, but is just as addictive. The best thing about it is that it is so easy to make!!

I came up with the idea for this when I had something very similar at a place in Grass Valley called The Owl Grill. The dish there is called Billy Blue Bread. Go there if you have a chance!! I decided for myself that Grass Valley is too far away for me and that I should just recreate the dish from memory. :)

Bleu Cheese Pecan Bread with Balsamic Reduction aka Crack Bread

You will need:
1 bottle of balsamic vinegar
1 baguette
1 1/2 sticks of butter (softened)
2 containers of bleu cheese
2 cups chopped pecans
1/2 cup brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350°.
Line a baking sheet with parchment and spread the chopped pecans on the sheet. Toast for 5-10 minutes. Be careful not to burn the pecans. Transfer to a medium-sized bowl.

Reduce the balsamic vinegar over a simmer until it gets to be the consistency of molasses. This will take about 20 minutes. You will be looking for a thick, viscous consistency that will stick to the back of a spoon.

Raise the oven temperature to 375°.
While the balsamic is reducing, slice your bread on a bias, into 1/2 to 3/4 inch slices. Line another baking sheet with parchment and toast your baguette slices about 5 minutes.

Mix one container of the bleu cheese with 1 stick of butter. The other 1/2 stick of butter you will use with the toasted pecans. Take the bread out of the oven and allow to cool slightly.

Melt the remaining 1/2 stick of butter and pour it over the toasted pecans. Then sprinkle the brown sugar over the pecans. Toss to coat.

Spread the toasted cooled slices with the bleu cheese and butter mixture. Then press the bread slices face down into the brown sugared pecans. Then line each slice on a baking sheet once again, and top with 1-2 Tbs of extra blue cheese crumbles.

Bake for 10 more minutes until bread is toasted and cheese is melted. Be careful not to burn the sugared pecans... it is easy to do.

When the bread is done, allow to cool slightly and then drizzle the balsamic reduction over each slice.
This is one of my favorite appetizers, hands down. ADDICTIVE!!

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