Tyler Florence has smiled upon me once more. Somehow he figured out that I hadn't had any blue cheese for months, and I had begun to crave it. But what a great way to enjoy it. Juicy pears, creamy gorgonzola and crunchy walnuts - oh Tyler! So refined! Aren't you the same laid back guy who showed me how to make those smokin' Chili Cheese Dogs? And now you throw me a curveball by breaking out the gourmet inside?! Oh I see. You're trying to win me over by showing me how well-rounded you are, that you're there for me no matter what mood I'm in. Well well well Mr. Florence, you're sneakier than I thought. You're playing me. You tease. Watch yourself there, Tyler, I'm not like those other girls. But you do have a certain way about you. I've got to hand it to you - I'm hooked!
(Peek inside Muneeba's imagination during this discourse: Against a film noir-ish setting of blacks, greys and whites, Tyler is dressed like a manly private investigator - trenchcoat, fedora, wing-tip shoes - while I am the mysterious bombshell looking to hire him ... for his culinary skills, of course!)
Roasted Pears With Gorgonzola And Walnuts (see original recipe here)
4 Bosc pears, halved and cored, but not peeled
Extra-virgin olive oil
A few pinches of dried thyme
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup crumbled good-quality blue cheese / gorgonzola
1/4 cup walnut pieces
2 tbsp honey
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Arrange the pears, cut sides up, on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, honey and sprinkle with thyme, salt and pepper.
3. Put the baking sheet in the oven and bake 15-20 minutes.
4. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and spoon a generous teaspoon of crumbled cheese in the center of each pear half, return the pears to the oven and roast until they are tender and the cheese is soft, about 5-10 more minutes.
5. Meanwhile, put the walnuts on another baking sheet and toast in the oven until golden brown and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Chop.
6. When the pears are cooked, transfer them to a serving plate and sprinkle the toasted walnuts over the top. Serve warm.
Verdict: These were just what I had hoped for. I can proudly submit them to Tyler Florence Fridays now. The key was to get some of the pear, gorgonzola and walnut in each bite. That made it a tantalizing mix of mellow sweetness, smooth creaminess and satisfying crunchiness. I personally was a little confused what I could pair this with, so I just ended up having two or three of these pear halves for lunch! And they were fine the next day too - just had to nuke them for a few seconds in the microwave. I had zero hopes that DH would go for this, since these flavor combinations are a little foreign to him. But I should know by now not to underestimate my guy! Turns out that he really liked them - he even asked for seconds. It's not like he was starving either - I got a genuine thumbs up from him. Men are more complex than we give them credit for ... sometimes.