During college, while still in that experimental phase in terms of Majors and Minors, I was dabbling in obtaining a Bachelors in Theater Arts. I loved the idea that the stage could be a portal to any place, era, or idea. Perched atop its blackish patina, and with the help of a bevy of curtain raisers, set movers, and fellow thespians, I looked out into the spotlight and emoted with all my 19 year old heart in dozens of plays, operas and of course the occasional Lerner and Loewe extravaganza.
As I look back, it would have been a suitable degree given my flair for the dramatic. As it is, I find that I still look at life through this lens, knowing that setting a stage is as important as any job when you are trying to communicate an emotion to those around you. And certainly in cooking, there is no better metaphor.
Take the lowly bread slice for instance. Especially a slice of newly baked french bread that has been gently toasted to a friendly golden brown. It just sits there, much like a stage and says, "Tell a story with me." And so by crowding my counter top with the accoutrements of culinary experimentation I began to think about all the players that should crowd my savory podium.
First, a bright red jar of cherry peppers would be the muse. Papadews as they are often called, have a wonderful sweetness that balances their heat and tang. By mixing some fresh thyme leaves in with the Mascarpone cheese, I added some earthiness to the creaminess, and slathered it all on the toasted discs. Next, the layers of sliced peppers -- garnet, shiny, and happy for the white bed of cream -- were elevated and ready for their closeup . Hmmm. How could I create the overture? The music that would turn heads and pull all the flavors together in harmony? Yes. I would add a bit of fine brandy to some honey and drizzle that upon it all. And just for flair, a few tiny flecks of Himilayan sea salt for a topping of crunch and a way to set off the sweetness of the honey.
Sound good to you? I hope so. If you want to read about the actors in this production, click on and download the recipe to my SWEET CHERRY PEPPER BRUSCHETTA WITH THYME INFUSED MASCARPONE AND BRANDIED HONEY and turn your diners into a happy audience.
Yes, applause is always welcome. Although an encore is up to you.
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Meet the Cook...
My name is Camine Pappas and I love to create beautiful and delicious food that anyone can make. My signature style is one of combining things in a way you might not expect as I work to find a hidden combination of colors, textures and flavors from the things that are in my pantry and/or easy to obtain.