Created by Bauman College natural chef Paula Tashjian as part of the 2013 Bhakti Chai Recipe Challenge, this snazzy appetizer also works as a sweet-savory, sophisticated dessert. Serve with champagne or a cold glass of rose wine.
Note: This recipe has not been tested in the Delicious Living kitchens.
Grilled Pears with Cheese and Chai Sauce
- 1 cup Bhakti Chai concentrate, unsweetened
- 2 tablespoons molasses
- 1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh ginger
- 4 cardamom pods
- 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
- A few tablespoons water, to dissolve arrowroot
- 1/2 cup pecan pieces
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
- 12 snack-size baby gouda cheeses remove coverings
- 1/2 cup cashews
- 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- Pinch each of ground ginger, cardamom, and crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil plus more if needed for pears
- 3 Bosc pears, sliced
- In a medium saucepan, combine chai concentrate, molasses, ginger, and cardamom pods; bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until reduced to 1/2 cup. Strain out and discard solids.
- Dissolve arrowroot in cold water; add to reduced chai mixture and simmer, stirring, until thickened. Keep warm.
- In a food processor, combine pecans and sunflower seeds; pulse until well ground. (Do not overdo it.) Press mixture onto gouda balls. Cover and refrigerate.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, toss together cashews, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, spices, and honey; stir until coated. Spread on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 10 minutes. Stir and add raisins to baking sheet; bake another 5 minutes.
- In a frying pan, heat coconut oil to very hot. Add coated cheese balls and fry until crispy; remove and keep warm. Fry pear slices (add a little more oil if needed) until slightly browned (or use a griddle for grill marks).
- On serving plates, assemble chai sauce, 1 cheese ball, 1 pear slice, and toasted spiced nuts. Serve warm.