In this zesty recipe inspired by our Chef of the Month, small slices of baguette or sandwich bread are spread with a bit of chile and cheese, then baked for five minutes until they get beautifully golden and puffed. These little toasts fill the bill for flavor and appeal without making you feel too stuffed to enjoy the main course, a nice plus for holiday dinner parties.
Pass around these tasty little toasts and prepare to be complimented! Here is the recipe:
1 egg, separated
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Canned chipotle chile, pureed
3/4 cup grated Cheddar, Munster or Jack cheese
1 teaspoon minced scallion or shallot
Salt and freshly-ground black pepper
12 slices baguette or 3 slices good-quality sandwich bread, quartered
1. Preheat oven to 400F. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolk with the mustard, then stir in the cheese, scallion. and a little salt. In a separate bowl, beat the egg white until it holds soft peaks and fold it into the mixture.
2. Spread a thin layer of pureed chipotle on each toast, then spread the cheese mixture over that. Bake about 5 minutes, until puffed and golden. Top with freshly-ground black pepper and serve immediately.
Makes 12 little toasts.
Inspired by Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, by Deborah Madison (Broadway Books 1997).