Sunday, August 16, 2009
Sometimes, we remember the frites more than the steak. My sister recently dined at a new eatery in town and had a most memorable meal. But the one item that really blew her mind was the bread. In fact, she was so besotted with their bread that she came over to my house, armed with a bagful of goodies, among them a baguette, some olive oil and hummus dip. "We must try and replicate the taste!" she said, like a woman on a mission.
"Hmmm ... the bread was that good, huh?" I thought.
In the kitchen, we laid out the ingredients on the table. "Rumour has it that the bread is flavoured with a splash of vodka," she said, with a glint in her eyes.
"Ooooh!" Now I was starting to feel her enthusiasm.
"Vodka I have none, but I do have cognac," I offered.
And so we began our kitchen experiment ...
- 1 baguette
- 4 to 5 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- a knob of butter
- 1 tbsp cognac (or vodka)
- 1 clove (or 2) garlic, sliced/smashed
- Sea salt
- Black pepper
1. Pre-heat oven to 200 degree celcius.
2. Slice the baguettes into 1/2 inch thick pieces and lay out on a tray.
3. In a bowl, combine olive oil, butter, garlic and cognac, and microwave on high for about 2 minutes, so that the flavour of garlic is infused into the oil (butter should be melted by then). Stir well.
4. Brush both sides of all the baguette slices generously with the flavoured oil.
5. Toast in the oven for slightly over 1 minute, or when the sides start turning crusty and golden brown. Don't take your eyes off them! The bread should still be soft, chewy and pliable in the centre.
6. Take the tray of crostini out of the oven, sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper. Serve immediately.
You will notice that the addition of alcohol really provides a robust depth to the crostini. Very irresistible! We wiped out 2 trays of crostini just like that! *snaps fingers*
We had them with hummus but I can imagine they would go well with an avocado dip too. Or spoon some fish tartare on top of them! Ah, that would be such a posh hors d'oeuvre, wouldn't it? :)