Just my luck. Today this blog thing is set to be featured on the CNN's "Eatocracy" Blogger Spotlight and what did I have scheduled to dazzle the world with? Toast. Had the gods smiled on me I'm sure I would be featuring a mouthwatering cocktail or an impressive desert all lined up and ready receive the throngs of adoring Sis. Boom. Virgins but nope...today it looks like I'm featuring...sigh....toast. Well, not just toast but "stuff on toast" but it is still toast nonetheless.
So there goes my 'big break'. By not serving up something spectacular and garnering tens of thousands of new readers I won't be able to quit my day job, move to Paris, and blog out the rest of my years (like some people I know). Oh well. At least I can afford toast.
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Every Friday an email circulates around our firm with the subject: "Fridge Clean-Out at 3PM!". The email contains a warning that any food left in the common lunch room refrigerator will be thrown away at the announced cutoff time. At 3PM there is a merciless trash toss tasked to eliminate the neglected pieces of dehydrated pizza, moldy sandwiches and containers of yogurt incubating new life forms. Unspoiled things must go too under this policy but that is the way it must be if order is to be preserved and room for our future is to be considered.
Come Monday morning people will arrive with new food and offer a compelling glimpse into their home via the sack lunches and Tupperware containers they put on display in the public refrigerator
For the weekly "Fridge Clean-Out" at home I do not circulate a warning email. I just do it when I feel it is time. Unlike at work however, everything gets one last chance to make it to the dinner table. After I deem the night "clean-out" I get to work going through and pulling out items setting them out to audition for that night's dinner.
Some bloggers out there are masters of invention with their unused herbs, dressings, slices of bacon, pasta sauces, withering garlic cloves, unused diced pepper, a single new potatoes, etc. They have the ability to create new entrees, soups or exotic salads, give them extraordinary 'foodie' sounding names, and then take stunning photos to share with us. These, my friends, are the real deal. That's just not me.
I usually just make "Stuff on Toast". You might think it is lowbrow but even The Ina will put stuff on toast, call it something fancy, write it up for her book and then shoot it for her show. She'll call it a 'tartine' or 'smørrebrød' but she knows that I know that this is just stuff on toast. So whenever you see it on her show or in her books it just remember it was probably a Friday and she had to clean out her refrigerator.
The key is good toast. If you take the time to make some really good toast you can put anything on it, call it something fancy, and dig in. I you can't remember a fancy foodie sounding name just make one up. Now you are just like Ina. Maybe you can even get your own show or book deal.
Topping our toast tonight is a simple garlic rosemary white been mash. I wanted to use up some cans of white beans which had been sitting in the pantry forever and I had some rosemary leftover from some of the week's oven roasted potatoes. A wedge of Parmesan cheese came in handy but any cheese bits and pieces will do; as will any herb, spice or whatever else you have on hand about to go to waste that can be chopped real small and added. I know you have something good.
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And Doristas, I finally got around to making the Eggplant Caviar for French Friday's with Dorie. I had made it for some guests earlier in the week and...well..I thought it was so awful I pulled it off the menu at the last minute and refused to serve it to them. For toast night I messed around with it a bit but could never take it out of that 'eggplant salsa' vibe I was getting from it. I know this dish can be so much better so stay tuned.
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When my husband asked what was for dinner I told him it was garlic rosemary white bread tartines and eggplant smørrebrød. He replied, "oh, is it clean out night?"
See why I love him?
Grilled Bread aka "Toast" with Garlic Rosemary White Bean Mash
(remarkably, this toast recipe is adapted from Epicurious. No lie.)
- 1 loaf French bread, cut into 1-inch slices
- 1/4 cup extra -virgin olive oil
(recipe for Garlic-Rosemary White Bean Mash after the jump)
Garlic-Rosemary White Bean Mash
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 large cloves garlic, peeled, but left whole
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- two 14-ounce cans Cannellini beans, drained, rinsed
- 2-3 tablespoons chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Kosher salt & black pepper
- Olive oil
Eggplant Caviar a la Dorie Greenspan
Don't bother with this one.