I’m the plan ahead type when it comes to groceries. I like to buy a week’s worth of food at a time, knowing exactly what we’ll be cooking each night of the week.
And doing this every single week, I’ve learned a few things.
Namely, make the list when you’re hungry. And go shopping when you’re not.
It makes the final bill much more tolerable.
I found this recipe in one of my rushed and hunger-crazed list making sessions, which are easier if I’m browsing a site like tastespotting.com with my stomach growling. It’s like eating with your eyes. I can easily find a week’s worth of new and unique recipes there in 15 minutes. Then I wipe the drool off of my chin, slam a granola bar, and head off to the store.
Poached Pear, Pecan, and Goat Cheese Salad
Makes 3-4 servings. Adapted from Laylita’s Recipes.
3 firm pears (we used Bosc)
3 cups white wine
Â¾ cup of sugar
1 cinnamon stick
4 strips orange peel
Herbed Goat Cheese:
6oz goat cheese, room temperature
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tablespoons of chopped fresh herbs, such as thyme or basil
4 tablespoons white wine, sherry, or pear vinegar
6 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium sized shallots, peeled and chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup whole, shelled pecans
1 teaspoon water
1 egg white
Â½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Â½ cup granulated sugar
About 6 cups of mixed greens
Heat the wine, sugar, cinnamon and orange peel in a large saucepan, stir occasionally. Meanwhile, peel the pears, cut them in half and core them; add them to the wine mix once it boils. Cook until the pears are tender but still slightly firm, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.
With a fork, thoroughly combine goat cheese, garlic, and herbs. You can also use a food processor if you’d like.
To prepare the vinaigrette combine all of the ingredients in a food processor or blender until emulsified.
To make candied pecans, pre-heat the oven to 275 degrees F. Separate one large egg. Add the egg white to one teaspoon of cold water to form an egg wash. Toss the pecans in the egg wash. Combine sugar, salt and cinnamon. Mix this with the pecans. Distribute the pecans in one layer on a cookie sheet and place in the oven. Let them cook for 20-30 minutes, stirring every so often. Remove pecans from oven and let cool.
To serve, toss the salad greens with the vinaigrette and arrange on a plate. Place each Â½ pear on top of the salad greens or slice and arrange on top of the mixed greens. Top with crumbled herb goat cheese and cooled pecans. Serve immediately.