APPLES AND STILTON WITH PORT AND WALNUTS (for four)
about 24 pecan or walnut halves, or the same amount of sugared walnuts
1 large apple (eight to ten ounces)
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
4 pieces Stilton cheese (about 4 ounces total)
4 glasses (about 4 fluid ounces each) old port wine (Taylor’s Vintage Port is a good choice)
toasted bread rounds or crackers (optional)
1. If you are using plain walnut or pecan halves, preheat the oven to 400*. Spread the nuts on a baking sheet and roast them about 6 minutes to intensify their flavor. If you are using sugared walnuts, remove them from the refrigerator and bring them to room temperature.
2. Quarter the apple and remove and discard the core. Cut each quarter into quarters (for 16 wedges total) and arrange 4 wedges on each of four dessert plates. Sprinkle with lemon juice and coarse pepper. Add about 6 nuts to each plate, arranging them attractively between the apple wedges. Put a piece of cheese in the center of each plate.
3. Serve with port wine and, if you like, toasted bread or crackers.
adapted from Jacques Pepin, More Fast Food My Way