Photo and Recipe courtesy of <a href='http://chefericlevine.com/' target='_blank'>Chef Eric LeVine</a>
Yield: 12-16 pieces
ounces goat cheese, softened
ounces cream cheese, softened
leeks white and light green parts only, well washed and finely diced
c. thinly sliced strawberries
Salt and pepper, to taste
Combine goat cheese and cream cheese in a bowl, mix well to blend, cover, and place in the refrigerator. Once mixture hardens, scoop out generous tablespoons and roll into balls. Return to refrigerator, covered, until ready to use.
Preheat the oven to 120° F.
Dry the diced leeks on a sheet pan placed in the preheated oven for 1 hour. On a separate sheet pan, dry the strawberries for 2 hours. These may be in the oven together but must be in separate pans, or the moisture from the strawberries will affect the leeks. Remove strawberries and leeks from oven, being sure they are dried; they should be crisp like a potato chip. Lightly chop both leeks and strawberries separately.
Combine the dried strawberries and leeks on a sheet pan. Remove goat cheese “truffles” from refrigerator and roll lightly in the chopped dried strawberry and leeks.
The uncoated goat-cheese balls can be made several days in advance and refrigerated in an airtight container. The strawberries and leeks can also be oven dried in advance as long as they are kept in separate airtight containers in a cool, dry place.
Hands down, one of my favorite pairings is ripe strawberries with creamy, tangy fresh goat cheese. Here they are rolled together with sweet spring leeks into a “truffle” that your guests can just pop in their mouths. The really fun twist is that the strawberries and leeks are oven dried to concentrate the sugars and create a crust for the goat cheese balls.
Change goat cheese to another soft cheese such as Cotswold or Gorgonzola.
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