Tuesday, November 5, 2013

A Thanksgiving Bruschetta...You Betta!

Today's entry title is brought to you by all those northeasterners who have a strong Jersey accent.

Try it yourself.  Channel your inner Snooku or The Situation or Jonny-B (what happened to real people with real names, eh?) and say the blog title out loud.

Then, you'll get the rhyme.

So, it's November, right?  That means it's National Novel Writing Month (just over 10k words here, btw), not to mention the month of, like, the biggest feast of the year.  The greatest chance for people like myself to showcase our skills, wow the crowds, and dream of being able to modestly address our adoring families and friends with words like, Oh, it was nothing!  I just whipped it together in a couple of hours.   Etc., ad nauseum.

Now is the time to begin planning your Thanksgiving meal menu.  Actually, last month was the time to start planning it, but those days are gone by, and we must focus on the now.

What I've got here is a fun little hors d'oeuvres that totally will appeal to the cranberry lovers in the crowd: Apple-Cranberry Bruschetta (or Crostini - same diff).  I know, bruschetta conjures up images of tomatoes and basil and olive oil.  Except here at Thanksgiving.

Cranberries, by the way, are now available in grocery stores...so stock up now!  What you're looking at here above is a cooked compote of whole cranberries, apples, red onion, minced garlic, red wine vinegar, brown sugar, dried basil and oregano (specifics in the recipe listed below).  It boiled, then simmered on the stove...altogether, about 15 minutes.  Then, I cooled it to room temp.  While I waited, I sliced my baguette in nice, thick slices on the bias, brushed them with olive oil, and baked them for about 10 minutes.  A thin layer of goat cheese was spread on the crusty tops before I spooned a bit of the compote on top.  The tartness is tempered by the brown sugar and enhanced by the tang of the goat cheese.  A great first course or addition to the relish/appetizer tray, if I do say.

Apple-Cranberry Bruschetta

1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
1 ½ cup Granny Smith apple, chopped
1/4 cup brown sugar (taste during cooking..if too tart, add another 2 Tbsp of brown sugar)
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. water
½ red onion, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp. dried basil
1 tsp. oregano
1 5-oz. log goat cheese, softened (which means left out on counter for awhile)
1 8-oz. French baguette


Combine cranberries, apples, sugar, and liquids in medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil. Add onion and garlic and return to the boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until cranberries pop (or soften if using dried).

Remove from heat and transfer to a clean container; add herbs.  Let cool to room temperature.

Cut baguette on the bias into 15 ¾” slices and brush both with oil.  Bake in a 350 oven until toasted (10 minutes).  Spread with a thin layer of the goat cheese and top each slice with the cranberry compote.

Now you go, getta bruschetta!

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