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Miami Spice Napoleons with Queso Fresco Cheese

Miami Spice Napoleons with Queso Fresco CheeseGrilled 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.

Recipe Ingredients:

Napoleons:
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

Lime-Cilantro Dressing:
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon salt

Garnish:
4 limes, quartered, or edible flowers

Cooking Directions:

  1. For the Napoleons: Prepare the grill according to the manufacturer's directions, or preheat the oven to broil.
  2. Mix the oil and the garlic, and brush it on the mushrooms. Set the remaining oil/garlic mixture aside.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Lightly oil twelve 2-inch ring molds.
  6. Cut the mushrooms diagonally into thin slices to expose the interior surface. Trim the mushrooms and peppers to fit the diameter of the mold.
  7. 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.
  8. For the dressing: Whisk together all four ingredients.
  9. 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.