Monday, September 8, 2008

Nautical wind

Sleepy. So sleepy. Barely time, before I nod off to remind myself of one of my favorite restaurants on earth sometimes for no other reason than the snug shoulder-to-shoulderness of the refined, sailing-inspired dining room. And sometimes because the food really has moments of blazing glory. While I have for years take umbrage at Zelda's Chicken Fried Lobster and wanted to leap upon the chef and wrestle him to the floor finally preventing him from thick-coating another giant sweet crustacean, I was so enchanted with the honey glazed salmon and Gorgonzola bread that I was driven to recreate them for my easy, missing-Newport repertoire. I must not have been the only one taken with the Gorgonzola Bread appetizer because my Brother, Chris, and his new wife, Amy served it at their rehearsal dinner, held at Zelda's, last summer.

This recipe is creamy, messy, and a delicious snazzy snack at all hours of the day and night... on a J boat, or anywhere else good food is appreciated.

Gorgonzola Bread
as I suspect it is made at Cafe Zelda in Newport, Rhode Island
Serves 8

This is a great appetizer, most easily served at the table. If you are having a cocktail party, it can be a little messy, best to spread it generously but neatly on grilled or toasted baguette slices. If you are having a top notch occasion then, top it with a beautiful slice of rare filet Mignon or tenderloin. Best to make this easy sauce just before serving.

Grill or toast the bread on one side only. Leaving one side soft allows the bread to give a bit of crunch while still remaining soft enough on the other side to accept the Gorgonzola sauce. Texture is as important to this recipe as flavor.

To increase the number served or simply if you like a bit more sauce, just increase the cheese and cream in equal amounts.

It is imperative that you allow the cheese and heavy cream to heat slowly. Patience will be rewarded, haste will invariably cause scorching.

1 large baguette loaf, slice in 3/4" wide slices
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
1 cup heavy cream
1 medium tomato, seeded and diced

With a pastry brush, apply a light coat of olive oil to the bread slices and either toast gently over a low grill or place on a baking sheet under a low broil for mere seconds until golden and toasted. Do not grill or toast on the opposite side. Place these on the serving platter.

In a saucepan over low heat combine the cream and Gorgonzola. Heat slowly, stirring occasionally until the Gorgonzola is melted an sauce is mostly smooth except for the blue chunks. Depending on pan and stove, this can take ten or fifteen minutes. Pour this cheese sauce over the top of all the bread slices. Sprinkle diced tomato over the platter. Serve immediately.

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