Crostini Topped with Blue Cheese and Caramelised Pear

Ingredients

1/2 thin baguette
olive oil, for brushing
2 tablespoons butter
1 pear, halved, peeled, cored, and cut into 12 thin wedges
4 oz Gorgonzola or other blue cheese
12 pecan halves (optional)

Method

  1. Cut the baguette diagonally into 12 thin slices, just under 1/2-inch thick. Brush with oil, then toast on both sides until crisp and golden. Let cool.
  2. Melt the butter in a nonstick skillet, add the pears, and cook for 10 minutes, turning occasionally until golden and caramelized. Remove the pears from the pan, then top each crostini with a thin slice of Gorgonzola, a wedge of pear, and a pecan half, if using.
  3. Serve after the pears cool down.

Makes 12 pieces.

Source: On Toast


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Hong Kong Style Baguette (硬豬仔包)

Ingredients

240 g all purpose flour
20 g low-gluten flour
1-5 g instant yeast
5g bread improver
5g salt
160 g water

Method

  1. Sieve both kinds of flour together over a countertop. Make a well at the centre. Add all remaining ingredients and mix well. Knead into a soft dough. Let it prove for 30 minutes.
  2. Divide the dough into 8 portions. Make each dough into an olive shape. Arrange on a baking tray. Cover with a dry cloth. Prove for 20 minutes more.
  3. Preheat an oven to 200°C for 15 minutes. Make a cut on the surface of each dough with a knife. Bake at 180°C for 2 minutes. Sprinkle water over the doughs. Bake for 25 minutes more.

Makes 8 pieces.

Source: Hong Kong Memorable Bakery


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Sausage and Mushroom Brioche

Ingredients

2 large carrots
4 fresh chunky Italian sausages (about 1 lb)
6 fresh tarragon sprigs, leaves only
1 garlic clove, chopped
4 tbsp olive oil
grated zest and juice of 1 orange
7 oz open chestnut mushrooms or shiitake, thickly sliced
4 thick slices good brioche loaf (plain, not sweetened or flavored with vanilla)
corn salad or other salad leaves, to serve

Method

  1. Use a vegetable peeler to pare the carrots into fine strips. Place in a bowl of cold water, then add ice and set aside for about 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat the broiler on a medium—high setting. Broil the sausages for about 15 minutes, turning once or twice, until browned and almost cooked.
  3. In a bowl, mix together the tarragon, garlic, oil, and orange rind and juice. Mix half the dressing with the mushrooms.
  4. Toast the brioche lightly on both sides in a toaster.
  5. Increase the heat to the hottest setting. Place the brioche on the rack in the broiler pan. Cover with mushrooms up to the edges of the bread (otherwise it will burn). Broil close to the heat source for 2-4 minutes until lightly cooked.
  6. Slice the sausages and arrange them on the mushrooms. Broil well away from the heat for about 5 minutes, until the sausages are browned.
  7. Drain the carrots. Arrange the corn salad or other salad leaves on plates and drizzle with the remaining dressing. Add the toasts and top with the carrot curls. Serve immediately.

Makes 2 to 4 servings.

Source: Toast It!


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Grilled Eggplant and Chaumes with Marinated Peppers and Red Chili Aioli

Ingredients

1 eggplant, cut crosswise into 1/4- to 1/2-inch-thick slices
olive oil
4 soft white or sourdough rolls, or 8 slices of country-style white or sourdough bread
1/2 cup marinated roasted red and/or yellow peppers, preferably in brine (purchased, or homemade)
about 12 ounces semi-soft but flavorful cheese such as Chaumes, Bel Paese, Port-Salut, or Jack, cut into fat slices to fit onto the bread

Red Chili Aioli

2-3 cloves garlic, minced
4-6 tablespoons mayonnaise
juice of 1/2 lemon or lime (about 1 tablespoon or to taste)
2-3 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
large pinch dried oregano leaves, crushed
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
several shakes smoky chili sauce such as Chipotle Tabasco, or Buffala
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

Method

  1. Make the Red Chili Aioli. In a small bowl, combine the garlic with the mayonnaise, lemon juice, chili powder, paprika, cumin, and oregano; stir well to combine. With your spoon or a whisk, beat in the olive oil, adding the oil a few teaspoons at a time and beating it until incorporated into the mixture before adding the rest. When smooth, shake in smoked chili sauce to taste, and finally stir in the cilantro. Cover and chill until ready to use. Makes about 1/3 cup.
  2. Prepare the eggplant. Lightly brush the eggplant slices with olive oil and heat a heavy nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Pan brown the eggplant slices on each side until they are lightly browned and tender when pierced with a fork. Set aside
  3. Make the sandwiches. Lay out the open soft rolls and slather the red chili aioli generously on the insides. Layer eggplant slices on one side of the rolls, then the peppers, then a layer of the cheese. Close up and press together well.
  4. Lightly brush the outside of each sandwich with olive oil.
  5. Heat the skillet again over medium-high heat, then add the sandwiches and reduce the heat to medium-low. Weight down the sandwiches, and cook for a few minutes.
  6. When the bottom bread is golden and slightly browned in places, turn over and cook the other side, similarly weighted.
  7. When that side too is golden and crisp, the cheese should be melted and gooey. It may be oozing out a bit and crisping as it does. (Don’t discard these delicious crispy bits, just plop them onto each plate along with the sandwich.)
  8. Remove the sandwiches to serving plates. Cut into halves and serve.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Grilled Cheese


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Avocado Toast with Spinach and Tomatoes

Ingredients

8 cups spinach
salt
green hot sauce (such as Tabasco)
4 slices natural gluten-free bread
1/2 ripe avocado, mashed with a fork
4 thick (1/2-inch) slices ripe tomato
freshly ground black pepper
4 medium eggs, poached

Method

  1. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Put in the spinach and cook until wilted. Transfer the spinach to a colander and press out as much of the water as possible. Put the drained spinach in a mixing bowl and season with salt and green hot sauce.
  2. Toast the bread in the toaster.
  3. Season the avocado with salt.
  4. Once the toast is done, spread the avocado evenly over each piece of toast and place a slice of tomato on top. Season the tomatoes with salt and pepper and top each slice with an even amount of the spinach mixture.
  5. Place each piece of toast on a plate, top with a poached egg, and serve.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: The Negative Calorie Diet


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