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Tuesday, August 9, 2011


Inspired by cheese, I was.  (Opening sentence inspired by Yoda and his backward way of speaking. Tee-hee!)

Okay, back to the cheese.

I was at the supermarket, at the cheese counter to get the Parmigiano Reggiano that was on my list, when I noticed a cheese called "Tropical Queso Blanco."

Well, I'm a fan of anything tropical, so I had to investigate.  The package suggested serving it with dessert, such as "crackers and fruit preserves."  Hmmmm, I thought, it must be mild.

Then I sort of squished the cheese, to see how soft it was.  It wasn't soft, it wasn't hard, it was just right.   Hmmmm, I thought, I could dice this cheese easily and it's firm enough to hold its little dicey-cube shape without turning to mush.

And then I thought, it will be perfect for bruschetta.  Just like that.  Inspired by cheese, I was.

Today's Playlist
  • "Bella Notte".......Lou Monte
  • "Pretend You Don't See Her"........Jerry Vale
  • "Little Bitty Pretty One"......Bobby Day
  • "Whatever Lola Wants"....Sarah Vaughan
  • "Mambo Italiano"....Rosemary Clooney
  • "Lazy Mary".........Lou Monte
  • "Mack The Knife"......Bobby Darin
  • "Al Di La"......Emilio Pericoli
  • "Botch-A-Me"........Rosemary Clooney

  • 1 1/2 pounds plum tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 cup basil leaves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup diced Tropical Queso Blanco (or any mild cheese)
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 baguette or other crusty loaf, cut into diagonal slices

Gather your ingredients.  Oops, grabbed two olive oils instead of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  Not to worry, I noticed my mistake when it was time to actually add the vinegar.

Chop the tomatoes.  Place them in a large bowl.

Crush the garlic directly into the bowl.

Add the basil........


..........and oil.

To dice the cheese, I sliced it about 1/4" thick, cut the slices into strips about 1/4" wide........

.........and cut the strips into cubes.
Toss those bitty cheese cubes into the bowl and mix it all up.  You will have more than enough of the bruschetta for one baguette.  Save the extra in your refrigerator and serve it with tortilla chips.

Next, I lined a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
And drizzled a couple of tablespoons of olive oil onto it.
And spread it so it evenly covered the foil.

Time to turn your broiler onto "high."

Slice your bread at an angle, into slices about 3/4" thick.

Arrange the bread slices on the baking sheet, clustered together so that they will broil evenly.

Put them in the oven, but keep a close eye on them.  They will go from crisp to burnt in an instant.

I took them out just in the nick of time!

Arrange them on a plate.  Flip them over so that the toasted side is down.  You could toast both sides, if you like.

I prefer to only toast one side.  That way it stays crunchy, yet also chewy.

Place heaping spoonfuls of the bruschetta on the warm bread slices and serve immediately.


p.s..............remember that I told you that you will have extra bruschetta?  And to refrigerate it?  So that you can serve it with tortilla chips the next day?

Here it is, the next day.

With tortilla chips.


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