For Port Wine Reduction:
- 1 quart Port wine
- 1 cup chopped basic mirepoix
- 1 cup crumbled Maytag blue cheese
- 1 cup chopped roasted walnuts
- 4 poached pears, cored from the bottom leaving the stem intact
- 2 prepared puff pastry sheets 8 by 10 inches, split in half
- Egg wash--1 egg mixed with 1 teaspoon water
- 1/2 cup roasted walnut pieces
- 1/2 cup snipped chives
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. For Port wine reduction: Combine the port with the mirepoix and reduce by 2/3 to a syrup consistency, about 6 to 8 minutes.
For stuffed pears: Combine the blue cheese and walnuts together. Stuff each pear with 1/4 of the mixture. Place a pear in the center of the halved puff pastry sheet and wrap like a bundle, trimming any excess, thus leaving the shape of the pear evident. Brush each pear with the egg wash and bake until golden, about 8 to 10 minutes.
To assemble, place the pear in the center of the plate, drizzle with the Port wine reduction, sprinkle with the walnuts and chives.
Poached pears in vanilla and champagne:
In a sauce pot combine the sugar and water together and boil for 2 to 3 minutes thus creating a simple syrup. Split the vanilla bean in half, scraping the inside to remove the pulp. Add the champagne and vanilla to the simple syrup. Bring to a simmer and add the pears. Poach until tender-- about 6 to 8 minutes. Remove and cool. Yield: 4 servings