Monday, April 28, 2008

Southwestern "Bruschetta"

Recipe: Southwestern "Bruschetta"

On Saturday evening we went to a party at the home of our friends Karla and Frankie. Another friend, Don, who moved way out west to Wyoming was visiting for a few days, so we used it as an excuse to get together. I enjoy going to Karla's house. It's a modern, clean design with a nice deck overlooking the river where we were able to sit and enjoy the unusually warm weather. The guests were fun, the food delicious, and the drink... strong. :)

Karla had a southwestern theme going, and I decided to make a variation on bruschetta as my contribution. I had found a recipe, but decided to go in a slightly different direction. This turned out to be very good. The bread was brushed with garlic oil and toasted on one side, topped with a mixture of avocado and tomato, sprinkled with cheese and cilantro.

* Exported from MasterCook *

Southwestern "Bruschetta"

Recipe By : Vicci
Serving Size : 20 (2 pieces)

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
1 whole French baguette -- about 15" long-- sliced into 40 3/8" thick rounds
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 large garlic cloves -- minced
1 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 teaspoon Mexican oregano -- crumbled
1/2 teaspoon chipotle pepper powder -- optional
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 medium avocados -- about 8 ounces each (before peeling and removing pit)
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
4 ounces Cotija cheese -- crumbled
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro -- optional

Preheat broiler.

In a small saucepan over low heat, saute the garlic in olive oil until very light brown. Remove from heat. Brush baguette slices with the garlic oil. Place under the broiler and broil until light brown (should take less than a minute-- watch carefully!). Remove to a rack to cool.

Toss the chopped tomatoes through salt in a medium bowl. Pour mixture into a wire strainer, set over a bowl, and drain at room temperature for 45 minutes to an hour. Peel and remove the pit from the avocados. Chop finely, place in a bowl, and toss with lime juice. Allow to stand for 5 minutes, tossing once or twice. Pour the avocado mixture into another wire strainer and drain for 15 minutes. Mix both tomato mixture and avocado mixture together. If not using immediately, cover and refrigerate for up to 2 hours. Allow to come to room temperature before using.

To assemble, top each baguette slice with a scant tablespoon of the tomato/avocado mixture. Arrange on a serving plate and sprinkle crumbled cotija cheese over all. Sprinkle with additional chopped cilantro, if desired.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Per serving: 72 Calories (kcal); 7g Total Fat (2g saturated); (76% calories from fat); 2g Protein; 3g Carbohydrate; 5mg Cholesterol; 138mg Sodium
Food Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 0 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 1 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates

The tomatoes are thoroughly drained so the bread will not get soggy, and if you make the topping ahead of time you may want to store it (for no longer than a couple of hours or the avocado, despite the lime juice, may begin to brown a little) in a container with a few layers of paper towels at the bottom to absorb excess moisture. Also, the bread can be toasted ahead of time-- just cool and tightly wrap in plastic.

On a totally different line, here is what is poking up between the patio stones:

Don't they have the most adorable little faces? :)