Miami Spice Napoleons with Queso Fresco Cheese
Grilled portobello mushrooms, red bell peppers and crumbled queso fresco cheese are layered in a mold to form the 'Napoleons', and drizzled with a refreshing lime-cilantro dressing to serve.
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
12 baby portobello mushrooms (about 2 inches in diameter)
2 large red bell peppers
3 cups (18 ounces) crumbled queso fresco cheese
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon salt
4 limes, quartered, or edible flowers
- For the Napoleons: Prepare the grill according to the manufacturer's directions, or preheat the oven to broil.
- Mix the oil and the garlic, and brush it on the mushrooms. Set the remaining oil/garlic mixture aside.
- Grill or broil the mushrooms until they begin to brown and the juices just begin to exude. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
- Brush the peppers with the oil/garlic mixture. Place them on the grill or under the broiler. Cook the peppers, turning as necessary until skins are blackened. Remove from the heat and place the peppers into a paper bag to steam and cool. When the peppers have cooled, peel off the skins and discard the seeds and membranes.
- Lightly oil twelve 2-inch ring molds.
- Cut the mushrooms diagonally into thin slices to expose the interior surface. Trim the mushrooms and peppers to fit the diameter of the mold.
- Place a layer of mushrooms in the bottom of each mold. Top with an even, thin layer of the crumbled cheese (use a total of 1 ounce of cheese per napoleon). Top with a layer of roasted peppers, then another layer of the cheese. Continue layering until you have 4 layers of vegetables and 3 layers of cheese, ending with a layer of peppers. Repeat the procedure for all 12 napoleons. Press down firmly, cover, and chill at least 30 minutes.
- For the dressing: Whisk together all four ingredients.
- To serve, invert the napoleons onto twelve serving plates, loosening the edges with a knife. Drizzle with the dressing and garnish with quartered limes, or edible flowers.
Makes 12 appetizer servings.
Recipe and photograph provided courtesy of Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, Inc.