I was surprised at myself that I didn't post at all last week... The days kind of dwindled by without many words to share. Unfortunately, the words still aren't flowing easily but my time in the kitchen has been increasing, so I thought I'd share a bit of it with you this week.
These recipes work together and with the holidays fast approaching, their accessibility for entertaining could be a welcome contribution to a little get together or family affair for some of you.
Caveats all week long: as with much of my cooking, I don't always follow recipes or write down amounts of ingredients. I taste as I go and don't quit until it tastes the way I want it to. So, I've tried to indicate proper amounts of ingredients in these recipes but please use your own discretion, imagination, and taste buds when making them. Please taste as you go and make these basic recipes your own.
I believe having a batch of homemade crostinis on hand is very helpful. They are easy to make, fairly inexpensive, and lend themselves to a vast number of yummy creations. I'll mention those at the end of this recipe/instructions.
1 loaf white french bread (don't go whole grain here)
2 C. olive oil
1 head of garlic, each clove peeled
salt & pepper
Make a garlic-infused oil by heating the oil and the garlic cloves slowly to barely a simmer and then turn off heat. Let the garlic sit in the oil for over an hour. Never let the garlic brown. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Slice the french bread into very thin slices (less than a half-inch. Sometimes it is easier to do this if the bread has been placed in the freezer for 45 minutes or so. Think of these crostinis as more like a cracker than a slice of bread in terms of thickness). Lay the bread slices out in a single layer on a half-sheet pan.
With a pastry brush, brush the bread slices very, very generously with the garlic oil. You want the slices to be drenched with oil! Sprinkle the slices with salt and fresh ground pepper.
Place the crostini in the preheated oven and bake for approximately 10 minutes, or until they are light brown and very crisp. Let cool. Once cool, the crostini will keep in an airtight jar for weeks (or you can freeze them).
Crostini uses: Later this week, I'll share my recipes for a couple lunch salads to spread on garlic crostini that make wonderful appetizers or snacks. Crostini are also excellent in salads, especially Caesar salad. To add to Caesar salad, break them apart into the salad just before serving.
And one last note, I have seen crostini for sale at the local supermarket, but they don't taste the same as the homemade variety made from fresh garlic and great olive oil. In fact, homemade crostini could make a great little holiday gift to your neighbors or your children's teachers!! Place the crostini in a clear gift bag and tie on a recipe. As with much of cooking, image and presentation is everything...