Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Starting Over

I’m back.  Yet another winter delay.  However, even if I had found a way to light the blog I’m not sure I could have found the time; Jim and I have been quite busy the past 6 months.  We have been to Mississippi, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Indiana, Illinois, California, Germany, France, Luxembourg, the British Virgin Islands and Florida

And you know we ate our faces off everywhere we went. Hamburgers in Mississippi. Restaurant August and La Petite Grocery in New Orleans. Frogmore stew with the family in South Carolina. Spiny lobsters, snapper ceviche, plantains and the ubiquitous conch fritters in Tortola.  Macarons in Luxembourg.  Sausage this, currywurst that, a pork chop here and a pork loaf there, and, yes, lots of beer, in Germany. 

We also bought a new house in the interim as well.  Moving created some culinary challenges.  Well, to be honest, I created them for myself.  Just to add a little thrill factor to the challenge of moving at some point I stopped going to the grocery store.  I was determined we would eat as much of our existing pantry as possible, lest we have to pack and move it.  Everyone was warned ‘If you bring it in this house you better eat it.’  I also found out in the moving process that apparently I am a condiment hoarder.  My refrigerator door contained exactly 2 tablespoons of condiments from about 30 countries. Of course these condiments were not housed in 2 tablespoon vessels.  I managed to break up with my condiment collection.

Needless to say with all of this going on I haven’t really been cooking like myself.  And I don’t know what that means, I just know I haven’t been doing it.  So I am ready to refocus, or as Jim likes to call it ‘Summer of I have to wait 10 minutes for my dinner to be photographed before I can eat it.’  

So, I started with an old favorite that I have not made in about a year. After Jim patiently waited for the photography he deemed it ‘a tasty little snack’.

Grilled Mango Bruschetta – Makes 16-20 pieces

1 Baguette
2 Mangos
2 Garlic cloves, sliced in half lengthwise
1 ½ cups Fontina, grated
¼ cup Basil, chopped
Olive oil
Honey or Agave Nectar
Maldon, Fleur de Sel or some type of sea salt

Pre-heat the broiler.  Set up a charcoal grill for direct heat grilling.  Oil the grill grate.  Slice the baguette on the bias.  Peel the mango and slice in to large chunks to keep them from falling through the grate of the grill.  Toss the mango with about 1.5 tablespoons of olive oil.

Place the bread slices on a baking sheet, rub them with the garlic halves then brush lightly with olive oil.  Place them in the broiler until lightly toasted, this was 1.5 minutes for my broiler but I recommend checking the bread every 30 seconds to make sure it does not burn.  Remove the bread from oven and set aside.  When the grill is hot, it takes my grill about ½ an hour to get hot (we use a Weber kettle with mesquite briquettes) put the mango on and grill for about 2 minutes per side until nice char marks appear and the mango is slightly cooked but not falling apart.

Remove the mango from the grill and slice in to ¼” slices.  Place 2 slices of mango on each toast, top with Fontina and return to the broiler for another 90 seconds (or whatever it take for the cheese to become bubbly).  Remove from the oven and top with basil, drizzle some honey or agave nectar then sprinkle with a bit of sea salt.  Serve immediately.

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