I made this terrine for one of our Thanksgiving appetizers this year, along with the creamy beet dip. I didn't think the terrine was too much to look at, but I dressed it up with some toasted walnuts and grapes. I kid you not, this was gone in under five minutes! It was a huge hit.
I organized all of my old cooking magazines this fall as part of our new office/house makeover. Despite being encouraged for years to toss them because everything is online these days, I just can't part with my old copies of Gourmet and Bon Appétit. I love flipping through them, reading the articles, seeing the photos. Previously, they have sat in stacks on the bottom of the bookcase and moved around from house to house with us. They were organized chronologically, but it was useless. For my new system, I bought magazine holders at Target and organized them by month and season. Pulling out the big stack of Thanksgiving magazines and paging through them this year to make my menu was awesome. And, I did manage to find a few recipes that were not online, thank.you.very.much. This is one of them.
This recipe is from the Favorite Restaurant Recipes section of Bon Appétit, November 2005. A Ms. Martino from Reno, Nevada was lucky enough to dine at Lombardino's in Madison where she enjoyed the gorgonzola and fig terrine.
Since it was Thanksgiving, and a homemade one at that, I wanted to make my own crackers to accompany the terrine. I love olive oil crackers, but they are like $8 for a pack of six crackers sooooo, I made my own. I used the recipe on 101 Cookbooks and slightly adapted it to what I had on hand. They were super simple and easy and so tasty. The dough was smooth and silky and a dream to work with. Heidi suggests using a pasta machine to roll them out, but I didn't feel like going to the trouble so I just used my rolling pin with no trouble. I added coarse sea salt and chopped fresh rosemary to the tops before I baked them.
The recipe below made enough crackers to serve five people for our Thanksgiving and day-after appetizers. I made them on the Saturday night before Thanksgiving, let them cool completely and then packed in freezer bags. They were still fresh and crispy almost a week later. There are so many variations you can do with these, and I'm looking forward to making them again!
Gorgonzola and Fig Terrine
Slightly adapted from Bon Appétit, November 2005
1/2 cup fig jam
1 1/2 cups crumbled gorgonzola cheese
5 1/2 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted
Crackers (See recipe below)
Line a small loaf pan (about 6x4x2) with foil. Using electric mixer, beat gorgonzola and cream cheese to blend.
Spread 1/3 of cheese mixture into the bottom of the pan. Spread 1/4 cup fig jam over cheese. Now, this is the tricky part - spread another 1/3 of the cheese mixture over the fig jam. It won't be super pretty, but do the best you can. Spread another 1/2 cup of fig jam and top with remaining cheese mixture.
Cover terrine and refrigerate until firm, at least 4 hours. (I made this on the Monday night before Thanksgiving, wrapped really well and stored in a freezer bag to serve on Thursday.)
Remove terrine from fridge 30 minutes before serving. Unwrap, carefully invert terrine onto serving platter. It will not look beautiful, but rest assured that it will taste wonderful. Garnish with toasted walnuts and grapes. Serve with crackers.
Olive Oil Crackers
Slightly adapted from 101 Cookbooks
1 cup semolina flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon fine grain salt
1 cup warm water
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Freshly chopped rosemary, about 3 tablespoons
or, any topping you prefer such as a spice blend, nuts, freshly grated cheese, etc.
Whisk together flours and salt. Add water and olive oil. Using a mixer with a dough hook attachment, mix the dough at medium speed for about 5-7 minutes. Or, you can mix and knead by hand. The dough should be slightly tacky - not too dry and not too sticky to work with.
Shape the dough into a large ball and cut into 12 equal size pieces (I cut mine into 24 pieces because I wanted smaller crackers). Gently rub each piece with a bit of olive oil, shape into a small ball and place on a plate. Cover with a clean dishtowel or plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature for 30-60 minutes.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. If you have one, which I do not, you can insert a pizza stone to heat up.
When the dough is done resting, flatten one ball of dough on a lightly floured surface. Using a rolling pin (or pasta machine), shape into a flat strip of dough. Using a pizza cutter, cut the dough into the size and shape of crackers you want. Pull each cracker a little thinner by hand (like you might pull pizza dough). Set the pieces of dough on a floured backing sheet, poke each cracker with a fork to prevent puffing, sprinkle with sea salt and rosemary. Using your fingers, gently pat down the toppings so they stick to the crackers. Otherwise, I found that they just fell off when removed from the oven.
Bake in small batches until deeply golden. For me this was about 8-10 minutes. Keep your eye on them because once they start to go from deeply golden to brown, they burn quickly. Cool on a rack. Let them cool completely before eating or storing. They will get crispier as they cool.
Repeat the process for the remaining balls of dough.