Monday, June 10, 2013

Dinner with Mac & Sacha: Bruschetta

Basil, tomato, cheese and carby goodness have long dazzled the world in pizzas and pasta. Fortunately, some genius (who was surely viewed as a mad man in his time) decided these things should be put into convenient bite-sized treats known as bruschetta (No matter how hard I try, handheld pasta continues to remain a poor choice.). We thought this crunchy Italian treat was the perfect way to start kick off our grown-up feast and balance the delicate fish. Our chopping skills would be put to the ultimate test. Could we come together to create the world's most delicious appetizer, or would we succumb to man's oldest and greatest enemy- serrated bread knives (hint: a little bit of both)?

Servings: However much makes you feel less gross about eating an entire baguette by yourself
Time: 20 minutes (plus additional for medical attention)

Chopping courtesy of Maconda
1 French Baguette (I used sourdough)
6 roma tomatoes
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, previously packed in oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped with stems removed
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
Shredded Mozzarella

What a nice, unassuming knife (that's how they ninja get you)
  1. Preheat the oven to the broiler setting.
  2. Mix the roma tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, basil, salt and pepper together in a large bowl. Let the flavors blend for 10 minutes.
  3. Cut the baguette into 1/2 to 3/4-inch slices. 
  4. Discover that new knives are surprisingly sharp.
  5. Rely on Sacha's EMT skills and Maconda's chopping skills to finish the meal.
  6. Arrange the slices in a single layer on a baking sheet.
  7. Broil each side until slightly browned (~1-2 minutes per side).
  8. Scoop the tomato mix onto each slice and top with cheese.
  9. Broil until the cheese is melted.
  10. Realize that saving room for dinner is a sucker's game.
Shockingly, we actually had a debate about the proper amount of cheese. Frenchman Sacha correctly chose the right amount of melty goodness.
We quickly came to the realization that we could've just made these for dinner and gladly eaten them until bread and cheese lost all meaning. By toasting both sides, we ensured the bruschetta wouldn't fall into a soggy trap, allowing the powerful ingredients to come through beautifully. The juicy double tomato punch melded nicely with the crisp baguette and gooey melted cheese, while the balsamic vinegar and basil gave this the extra kick that kept us coming back for more.
New EMT Sacha's triage care strategy: use obscene amounts of tape.
Stay tuned for our exciting finale featuring roasted cauliflower and Robin's feedback from employing the tape and paper towel method into her doctoring.

It's important to remember to crop out all the juice from your sauce for pretty pictures.

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