Bruschetta, or Let’s Face It, Italian Chips and Salsa

January 23, 2012 § 4 Comments

All right. Let’s clear this shit up once and for all. The way you pronounce bruschetta is “broo-SKET-ta,” not “broo-SHET-ta.” If you want to get really Old Country on people’s asses, you can roll that R in the first syllable, but that’s where I disown you as a friend. (Unless you’re actually from the Old Country, then you can roll whatever R’s you want. You can also come over to my house and cook any time. Because all Italians are good cooks. Obviously.)

It’s simple Italian phonetics, folks. If you see a “ch” followed by an i or an e, it’s pronounced with a hard C sound, like a K.

But let’s be honest here, it’s tomatoes, onions, garlic, and some seasonings, which is essentially a simple salsa. And since everyone can actually pronounce salsa, we’re just going to call this one Italian Chips and Salsa.

Bruschetta, or Italian Chips and Salsa

What You’ll Need How Much
roma tomatoes, diced 2-3 lbs.
red onion, diced 1/2 c
garlic, minced 1 T
balsamic vinegar 1 T
fresh basil, chopped 1/4 c
fresh grated Parmesan 1/4 c
salt & fresh cracked pepper to taste
French baguette 1 baguette
extra virgin olive oil to coat

What You’ll Do

1) Seriously folks, if you can’t make Italian salsa, then you have bigger problems than I’m qualified to help with. Chop up all your shit (tomatoes, onion, garlic, basil), measure it out (Parmesan, vinegar), put it in a big enough bowl, crack and dash some salt and pepper, stir it all together, taste. Is it good? More salt and/or pepper? Add it. Stir. Repeat until awesome. Simple.

It should look something like this.

NB: The rad thing about bruschetta is it’s easily personalized. It’s all proportions. If you decide you’d like more onion in yours, add more. More garlic, add it. Not a fan of balsalmic, leave it out. You’re eating it; make it yours.

2) Okay, getting the bread perfectly toasted takes some skill. Open your oven door, put a rack on the very top slot, and turn that sucker on broil.

3) Slice the baguette into about 1/4″ thick slices.

3) Brush one side of the bread slices with the olive oil, and I like to season it with salt and pepper.

Pro tip: if you’re making a shit ton of the stuff, pour a thin level of oil into a plate, and dip the bread, but I’m talking thin, or else the bread absorbs way to much and end up more like a crouton.

Thin. See that spot in the middle where it looks like there's no oil? That's where I dip.

4) Slide the baking sheet in the oven, and keep an eye on it. Verily I say unto you, this will only take a minute. The slices in the back will naturally toast quicker than those in the front, so as soon as I see the front slices starting to brown, I give the baking sheet a turnaround for even toastage.

Even toastage is paramount to even tastage.

5) Put these toasties on a plate, spoon on a bit of the bruschetta, and naturally, put that shit in your face. Say Mmmm while you do so.

Should feed 6-8 faces.

Bruschetta

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Oxymoronic Roasted Sweet Potato Fries

January 9, 2012 § 7 Comments

Can you call roasted potato fries “fries”? Does that even count?

I wanted to call these “Sweet Potato Roasts,” but I feel like that would mislead people. A “roast” generally means a big thick of beef, which these are not. A “bake” seems to be reserved for various sorts of casseroles. And we’re not baking anyway, because there actually is a definitive difference between baking and roasting, n00b.

So, here’s a recipe for roasted sweet potato fries, because evidently “fries” just means “thin strips of potatoes” these days, no matter whether they’re baked, grilled, actually fried, or even shoved up your ass (which I wouldn’t advise).

Roasted Sweet Potato “Fries”

For your face, not your ass.

What You’ll Need How Much
large sweet potatoes 2 potatoes
dried oregano 1 t
dried thyme 1 t
dried basil 1 t
salt 1/2 t
fresh cracked pepper 1/2 t
extra virgin olive oil to coat, 1-2 T

What You’ll Do

1) Preheat the oven to 425F.

2) Wash the potatoes, because we’re clean here, and cut them into strips about a 1/4-inch thick.

3) Soak in cold water for 30 minutes, then dry thoroughly with paper towels.

4) Put the strips of potatoes in a large bowl. Add olive oil, oregano, thyme, basil, salt, and pepper. Toss to coat evenly.

5) Dump all this into a baking pan (metal recommended; save the Pyrex for casseroles). It’s the heat of the pan that gets them to crisp up a bit, so try to get as many strips as possible to lay flat against the pan. Be careful of overcrowding, which causes the soggies instead of the crispies.

6) Chuck this into the oven on the bottom rack, and set a timer for 20 minutes. Pull it out, and flip them over. This distributes the crispiness and prevents your bottoms burning.

7) Roast for another 10-15 minutes.

7) And of course, plate them up, grab some ketchup (or mayo if you’re gross*), and put them in your face.

Should feed 3-4 faces.

*Actually, I’ve never tried it, but I bet an aioli could be conceived to pair well with these. But aioli doesn’t count as mayo to me.

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