I realized when I was organizing some pictures on my computer that I had never posted this recipe I made for Christmas. We've started a tradition in my family where we have a bunch of awesome appetizers for Christmas dinner instead of a real, sit-down dinner. It's so much nicer and easier than scrambling around to get dinner ready and everything finished at once while also opening presents and all that Christmas jazz. This was the second year we've done it, and it seems to be a big hit.
Last year we had an insane amount of food, so my mom suggested we scale it back some this year. Honestly the last two weeks of December are such a blur with my dad passing away, I don't even remember what my contributions were. I think I did a baked brie, Lil' Smokies in the crockpot, and this stuffed baguette. There may have been something else, I'm not sure. I don't even remember what all other foods there were. My uncle made an awesome shrimp dip (my pregnant cousin and I finished it off the next night) for which I need to get the recipe. There were meatballs in the crockpot, a ricotta/lemon spread our friend Betty made, deviled eggs. It was a feast, and that's all that really matters.
Last January I came across this recipe somehow and emailed it to myself. When I was trying to figure out what I'd make for Christmas I went through my recipes email folder and saw this. I don't know why I hadn't made it for another event, it sounded super yummy. It also sounded easy and was something I could make ahead of time, so I slated it for one of my contributions to Christmas "dinner."
Baguette about 14-inch long
8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
4 oz fresh goat cheese
1 large garlic clove, minced
½ cup finely chopped red bell pepper (about 1 medium)
½ cup finely chopped sun dried tomatoes in olive oil
¼ cup finely chopped Kalamata olives
2 oz finely chopped spicy salami
About 2 tbsp minced Italian parsley
About 1 tsp minced fresh thyme
Freshly ground black pepper
Salt to taste (very unlikely since there’re plenty of salty ingredients)
Slice off both ends of the baguette. Using a long thin knife and working from the both ends, hollow the baguette out leaving about ½-inch thick crust all around.
Using an electric mixer beat the cream cheese until smooth and lump-free. Beat in the goat cheese and garlic. Stir in the rest of the ingredients.
Working again from the both ends, fill the baguette with the cheese mixture. Pack the filling tight. I like to use a slender tequila shot glass for pressing the filling in. Wrap the stuffed baguette very well in plastic and refrigerate for at least two hours and up to two days. Right before serving, slice the baguette into ½-inch thick slices and serve. For the most neat looking slices, treat it as a cheesecake – each time slice it with a hot dry knife.
Now that I think about it, I think Aggie's Kitchen posted a link to it on Facebook. Perhaps in the future when I email myself recipes I should include in the email how I came across it since after having two kids I have zero memory left.
I didn't make any changes to this because I wanted to see how it turned out on its own. It definitely didn't need any salt, with the salty salami and kalamata olives it was pretty well salted. When I tasted the filling mixture it reminded me a lot of a muffuletta sandwich, so I think at some point I'm going to try making this with muffuletta ingredients and see how it turns out.
I thought I was being really smart in my preparation and threw everything into my food processor that needed to be chopped. My plan was to then add the cream cheese and goat cheese straight to the bowl of the food processor to mix it all up, but I was worried the ingredients would end up just mushing together into a paste and you wouldn't be able to tell what everything was. So after I used the food processor for chopping I threw it all in a bowl and added the goat cheese and cream cheese to that and just mixed by hand. Can you believe I don't own an electic mixer aside from my stand mixer? It's something I keep meaning to get but just never do.
I stood staring down my baguette for awhile trying to decide what to do with it exactly. I ended up cutting it in half to make it slightly more manageable for stuffing. As far as tearing the bread out from the inside, I used a serrated knife at first but then ended up using it to scrape the insides out as I found that to be a lot easier. I did use the tequila shot glass trick to compact the filling, but I was kicking myself because at some point I decided instead of stuffing from just one end I'd stuff from both so it would meet in the middle. It worked out okay, but I was worried there'd be a big empty spot in the middle where the filling wouldn't have met up with the other side, if that makes sense.
This was a big hit. Everyone really liked it. I'd recommend eating it the day of or day after preparing it so the bread doesn't get too soggy. This will definitely go into my appetizer rotation, and it's something that the filling ingredients could easily be changed up to make it a different way each time.