Creating a blog was out of the question for a long time for me, as measuring everything in the kitchen was like biting into an eggshell. I enjoy cooking and don’t want to waste even a slightest bit of enjoyment in that small world of mine. But little did I know that everything will change, when my husband came home with the Oscar nominated film ‘Julie and Julia’( a real life story) where Julie Powell (part played by Amy Adams) challenged herself to make all the 524 recipes from Julia Child's cook book ‘Mastering the Art of French Cooking’ and blogging all her experiences (The Julie/Julia Project). It was an inspiring movie. A few days later when we were discussing this casually with a friend of ours over tea…everything changed dramatically…..” How about you making at least half of it in one year? Not French but your own. 262 recipes that will inspire others and present it as a blog?” For a minute my mind traveled faster than light… With an experience as a helper in my mother in laws kitchen for 6 years followed by a three year everyday struggle to satisfy the palate of my foodie husband, if I cannot do it then why should I cook? But on the other side with an experience in English literature extending no more than expanding outline stories in English grammar class when I was 18 and two small kids that come in handy at times, will a commitment for the next one year work? Anyway my ‘cook's ego’ didn’t allow me to say no...

So my friends …here I am opening my recipe book, trying to perfect and present 262 recipes in the coming 365 days….A Challenge that will of course tastes good. Come.. Have a walk with me along my journey.. Cheering and inspiring….Forgiving and tolerating…Testing and tasting….for ‘A Tasty Challenge’

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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Roasted Garlic Tomato Bruschetta

Recipe No: 118
I love French Baguette and have tons of sweet memories about it . Baguette usually has a tough outer side and a soft inside and will become tough when it sits. Back in Tiruvanandapuram, we know only one place that sells this…a Swiss Bake House at Kowdiar. I remember, as newlyweds we making frequent visits to this shop on our favorite Hero Honda Motor Cycle and coming back with this long, thin bread squished between both of mother in law saying a big ‘No’ to this bread when her ‘Nigeria bought ‘‘England Made’ bread knife fails to cut through its surface… hearing that 'No' my groom running with that bread upstairs to watch that days Cricket highlights (or a match from the previous decade)…me and him having a ‘Tug of War’ on the bread to get a piece… and enjoying its taste by chewing it in front of the Television… Ha… memories…

Even though our Hero Honda is not with us anymore and a new one came and gone…  but still that old one is our favorite bike of all time…the one who took us back to our nest many times in pouring rain from Cinema Theaters…a silent witness to all our ‘roaming around’ as newlyweds…who had never given us a trouble amidst our ventures…. I should say if we used a car then… boy…we wouldn’t have been realizing how much fun we are missing out…

Coming back to the present, I had Tomato Bruschetta at one of our friend’s party a long time before. Even though there were a lot of other fabulous dishes, this one grabbed by taste buds suddenly. I made this many times  with some modifications every time. But this one is my favorite. 

Roasting Garlic is very easy and you won’t believe what a difference roasting makes to our regular everyday Garlic. Give this dish a try either as a vegetarian appetizer or a nutritious 4’O clock snack.

Ingredients                                                 Makes 14
To make Roasted Garlic Butter
  • Garlic head……………………………1 (Whole)
  • Butter…………………………..………4 Tablespoons (at room temperature)
  • Salt………………………………………A pinch (Avoid this if you are using salted butter)
To make the Bruschetta
  • Thin Slices of French Bread……14 Pieces (Slice diagonally to get long pieces)
  • Tomato Chopped…………….…….1 ½ Cups (Remove seeds before chopping)
  • Salt……………………………...………1/2 Teaspoon
  • Pepper Powder………………..……1/4 Teaspoon
  • Balsamic Vinegar………………….1/2 Teaspoon (If not available use ½ teaspoon regular Vinegar)
  • Fresh Basil Leaves………………2-3 Chopped (If not substitute with ½ teaspoon dried Basil; Read ‘notes’ section for more substitutes)
  • Mozzarella Cheese……………… per needed (Slice into thin long pieces or shred)
    Method of Preparation
    To make roasted Garlic Butter
    1. Cut the Garlic head into  two through the middle and drizzle ½ teaspoon of Oil; cover in an Aluminum foil and roast in a 400˚F/ 204˚C oven for 1 hour. I don't prefer keeping the Oven at such high temperature for this long for just roasting Garlic. So I will do this when I bake something else and keep the roasted Garlic in the refrigerator. It will stay good for a long time.
    2. When it is cold enough to handle, press the roasted Garlic out of its skin and mash it with the help of a fork.
    3. Mix in Butter and Salt with the mashed roasted Garlic and keep it aside till ready to be used.
    To make the Tomato Mixture
    1. Combine Tomato, Basil, Salt, Pepper and Balsamic Vinegar; mix well and keep aside till ready to be used.
    To make Bruschetta
    1. Set the broil mode on your Oven to high.
    2. Spread a thin layer of roasted Garlic butter on one side of the Bread slice and keep the buttered side down on a baking sheet.
    3. Place it on the second rack from the top and let it toast for 2 minutes or till the sides starts to turn golden brown.
    4. Take it out of the oven, turn the bread and let it crisp up in the Oven for another two minutes.
    5. Take the bread out of the oven and spread an even layer of Tomato mixture on top followed by a few strands of Mozzarella Cheese.
    6. Keep it back in the oven (On broil again) for a minute or till the Cheese starts to melt.
    7. Take it out of the Oven and serve hot while the bread is crispy.
    • Instead of roasting Garlic and making Garlic Butter, you can use ready made Garlic Butter or Garlic spread that are available in the market.
    • Thulsi comes from the same family as that of Basil and both of them have a very similar flavor and taste and so you can substitute Basil with Thulsi.
    • Lining the baking sheet with Aluminum foil before arranging the bread will aid in easy clean up later.
    • When you layer the Tomato make sure to discard the excess water that may ooze out from the Tomato, otherwise it will make the bread soggy.
    • Do keep an eye on the bread while it is in the oven broiling, as it may burn fast.
    • If you keep this dish at room temperature for long time the bread may lose the crispiness.

    Make it, enjoy the deliciousness and
    serve it to your family with love...


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