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Goat Cheese Terrine with Dried Figs and Hazelnuts
Makes Twelve 2-oz. Servings
*1/4 lb. high-quality dried figs, preferably Turkish
*1/4 cup sweet sherry, such as Pedro Jimenez
*5 grape leaves preserved in brine (available in jars in the Middle Eastern section of your grocery store), rinsed and drained
*1 lb. fresh goat cheese, divided into 5 equal portions
*1/4 lb. aged goat cheese (such as Coach Farm Aged Brick or Bucheron), crumbled
*1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted and coarsley chopped
1Remove the stems from the figs and slice the figs crosswise into ¼-inch slices. Put into a bowl and pour the sherry over them. Allow them to steep for 30 minutes, then drain if there's any remaining liquid.
2Line a 6 x 3-inch loaf pan with plastic wrap, letting several extra inches drape over the sides (there should be enough so that once the pan is filled, the overhanging plastic wrap can be folded over to cover the top completely). The plastic wrap makes it easy to unmold the terrine after chilling; if you're using a metal pan that isn't nonreactive, the wrap also prevents the metal from interacting with the cheese mixture.
3Line the sides and bottom of the pan with grape leaves, allowing a couple of inches of leaves to drape over the sides so that after the terrine is filled, the leaves can be folded back over the top. Spread 1 portion of the fresh goat cheese over the bottom of the pan and top with half of the aged goat cheese. Lay half the figs over the cheese, top with another portion of fresh cheese, and cover with half the hazelnuts. Top with another portion of fresh goat cheese and then the remaining aged cheese. Lay the remaining figs over the cheese, top with another layer of fresh goat cheese, and cover with the remaining hazelnuts. Finish with a final layer of fresh goat cheese. Fold the grape leaves back over the terrine, followed by the plastic wrap. Tap the pan several times on the counter to release any air bubbles. Refrigerate for 4 hours to set.
4Invert the terrine onto a platter. The terrine should easily come out of the pan once it's chilled. Carefully peel away the plastic wrap, so you don't tear the grape leaves. Cut a slice from the terrine with a knife so the inside is visible. Present the terrine and end slice on a small platter.
In the Hands of a Chef: Cooking with Jody Adams of Rialto Restaurant by Jody Adams and Ken Rivard (HarperCollinsPublishers; January 2002)