One of my favorite cooking shows on tv is called “chucks day off.” The show is pretty basic, you have this awesome chef/restaurant owner in Quebec who owns the hottest restaurant in town and his day off each week is Monday. Well on Monday he is in the kitchen preparing his favorite dishes for friends and business contacts etc. Its really a cool show and you can watch in on the cooking channel (new spin off from Food Network.) So why did you know this? I got my inspiration for this grilled bruschetta recipe from that show like a year ago.
Ingredients you will need:
- French bread or country bread. Basically go to the bakery section of the grocery store and get the home made non sliced long loaf of bread.
- Goat cheese- one log (they literally usually come in a log form)
- Arugala (spinach if no arugala, but try to find arugala)
- Fresh basil
- Garlic clove
- Pancetta (can use bacon if you want but I would use pancetta)
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
mix the goat cheese with maybe a quarter cup milk and mix with a fork so it become spreadable.
slice tomatoes thin
Chiffonade your basil (instructions below)
fry your pancetta just like you would bacon
You do not have to grill the bread but I prefer that to toasting it in the oven. Slice the bread length wise and then in half if you want smaller easy to manage pieces. Once cut you need to brush them or drizzle them with olive oil.
After you have it sliced is when you go grill it up or broil it on the top oven rack. Again I think grilling over open flames is better as it gives it grill marks, a bit of a smoky summery taste and is just more fun. I suggest grilling or broiling it until it is pretty crispy and I even turn mine over so that both the bottom and the doughy side crisp up.
Take the bread off the grill and while still hot you take one clove of raw fresh garlic and you run it over the crusty toasted bread. You will see the garlic start to go down in size as if you are grating it like you would cheese. The crispy bread will take upon itself the garlic and you will soon smell the wonderful aroma.
Now you need to apply your goat cheese spread. You should have mixed some milk with your goat cheese so that you have a spreadable and easily pliable goat cheese. It is true that goat cheese is already pretty soft, but you want to soften it up a bit more so that you can easily spread it over the bread.
Once the goat cheese is spread over the bread (use as much as you would for a pretty good peanut butter sandwhich) Get a decent layer of cheese on the bread. You want to spread your pancetta which has already been fried up all over the cheese. You will notice in my picture below I bought pancetta that was cubed and what I did was put it in a food processor to chop it even finer so that after I fried it (you cook it just like bacon) I wanted to be able to sprinkle it. I would suggest buying thinly sliced pancetta from your deli and fry it like bacon til crisp.
On top of your cheese and pancetta you want to lay thinly sliced tomatoes.
At this time you also want to drizzle the arugala with olive oil and then squeeze lemon juice all over it and then also zest some lemon peel all over it too. The large picture below will give you a good visual of what I mean. Notice the lemon zest, some oil and lemon juice giving it a wet look and also the basic chiffonade!
Chiffonade your basil and sprinkle it over the arugala. For info on how to chiffonade basil click here.
The final product is delicious. Fresh grind some black pepper and add some kosher salt flakes or just salt and enjoy. I will normally cut the bread into individual slices about 1-2 inches wide. If I have time later I will come back and add some other pictures that my wife took. PS, these photos are not as good as many you will find here on we are foodies, but I just had the trusty Iphone when making this tonight. Enjoy the great flavors! Oh one more hint on something you will find in the photo below. I had some very small orange cherry like tomotoes left over from my Jacobs Cove pick up and they looked so colorful that I sliced them up and sprinkled them also on the very top. You will see that in the picture below.