How do I prepare for unexpected guests during this entertaining season? One thing I do is make this recipe for Goat Cheese and Sun-Dried Tomato Torte. I divide the ingredients into four portions, layering them into four individual ramekins. Keep assembled tortes covered and stored in your refrigerator until someone unexpected drops by; then just remove and unmold onto a plate. Voila! Surround by crackers or a sliced baguette, open a bottle of wine and you're good to go. A layer of chopped black olives in the torte wouldn't be bad, either... just a thought; many possibilities to improvise.
Goat Cheese and Sun-Dried Tomato Torte
from a December 1990 issue of HG Magazine
• 8 ounces cream cheese
• 8 ounces Montrachet cheese, or a domestic soft goat cheese
• 3 sticks butter
• 1 cup pesto
• 1 cup drained minced sun-dried tomatoes
Beat the cheeses and butter until well-blended and fluffy. Line a cake pan ( I used 4 ramekins and have also used one large brioche pan) with damp cheesecloth, making sure the cloth is large enough to fold over the top of the pan. Fill the pan with one third of the butter-cheese mixture, followed by half of the pesto. Repeat. Spread over the remaining mixture and cover with the tomatoes. Place plastic wrap over the top of the torte and fold the cheesecloth over. Refrigerate at least 1 hour. To serve, fold the cheesecloth back, turn the torte out, and removed the cloth from the bottom. Invert, tomato side up, onto a serving plate and remove the plastic wrap. Serve with crackers.