As I was moseying my way down the aisles of a local co-op, I happened upon a lovely lady sampling these Harvest Pumpkin Chips. I know that doesn’t sound terribly exciting, but hold on. These chips are unlike anything pumpkin I have ever encountered before. They’re super crispy and actually taste like pumpkin. They’re laced with a touch of cinnamon, nutmeg and sea salt. I immediately grabbed a bag and decided, on the spot, to make an appetizer for Thanksgiving. But not just any appetizer. THE appetizer. The one that would cause a symphony of autumny flavors in your mouth. Have you ever done that? Been so inspired by one simple ingredient that it generated the creation of a whole recipe? That’s what makes shopping in specialty food stores fun for me. It’s like a sport. Pick one amazing ingredient and GO.
This is what I came up with. I bought some fruit juice-sweetened dried cranberries, a jar of local, raw honey, a log of Trader Joe’s honey goat cheese, and a container of fresh thyme. And this was born.
8 oz. honey chevre (goat cheese) OR regular chevre
2 Tablespoons raw honey + more for drizzling
1/2 cup to 3/4 cup dried cranberries (craisins)
2 Tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, or to taste (I like a lot)
freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
Roll the chevre log in the 2 Tablespoons of honey. Place on a pretty serving platter. Coarsely chop the dried cranberries and firmly press them into the cheese log. Sprinkle the fresh thyme over the cheese, followed by a generous sprinkling of the fresh pepper.
Using a cheese knife, slice off little chunks of the cheese and place them on the chips. Drizzle with more honey. Enjoy with your favorite red wine.