The Blasphemist's Christmas

See Also
The Feasts: Holiday Banquets to the Nth Degree
  Goat-Cheese Panna Cotta With Bacon Syrup and Cashews

The Chef
Wylie Dufresne of WD-50

8 people

3 cups cream
1 cup goat’s milk
1 envelope powdered gelatin, bloomed in 3 tablespoons water
7 ounces goat cheese
1 packed cup of 1/4-inch diced bacon
¾ cup maple syrup, B-grade
2 tablespoons toasted, crushed cashews
Few pinches of Maldon sea salt
Handful of small arugula leaves

Cooking Instructions
Gently heat the cream and milk in a saucepan. When hot, whisk in the bloomed gelatin. Whisk in the goat cheese until the mixture is smooth, and pour into 8 4-ounce molds. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, preferably 12.

Cook the bacon in a skillet until crisp. Deglaze the pan with 1 cup water and the maple syrup and reduce until two cups remain. Strain, discard the bacon, and return the syrup to a small saucepan and whisk over high heat for 3 to 4 minutes, until the syrup thickens. Allow to cool, whisking occasionally to make sure the fat does not separate. Once refrigerated, the syrup will thicken further. Bring to room temperature. Unmold the panna cottas onto 8 plates and drizzle with syrup. Sprinkle with cashews and sea salt, and garnish with arugula.

Best With
Suggested Menu: eggnog ice cream with caviar and pumpernickel croutons; rack of lamb with candy-cane crust; smoked mashed potatoes; lentils in cider with nori, mincemeat gravy; goat-cheese panna cotta with bacon syrup and cashews

Photograph by Reinhard Hunger