What says good morning like a thick slice of toast with melty butter tucking into each bit, crumb and bite? Food nerds on Facebook and Twitter a couple weeks back spread around an article about fancy toast in and around San Francisco, making mouths water at breakfast tables ever since. Describing a $3, $4 and higher pricetags per slice at chic diners and restos, the article and a few that followed it prompted the question: Is toast worth it? (For some the pricetags are a headscratcher; others, not so much.) Set aside any debate about whether toast is going artisanal on the West Coast or elsewhere and who started it, though, because the best toast you’ve ever had can be made, of course, right at home.
Contrary to popular belief, FN staffers are not treated to mind-blowing tastings and delicious snack breaks daily. We pack lunches or grab take-out like everyone else. However, special occasions sneak up on us and when they do, they are not to be missed.
Food Network recently launched its brand-new magazine (which makes me insanely hungry every time I thumb through it). To celebrate, our test kitchen chefs served up one feature called 50 Toast Toppers. It’s my guess that our diligent cooks actually tackled all 50 but I lost count somewhere around 27.
The spread was bountiful and impressive which triggered a somewhat embarrassing stomach growl when I walked in. The base for each app was a baked round of French bread, brushed with creamy salted butter. Atop each was a tiny explosion of flavor, whether a bite of gorgonzola, fig jam and prosciutto or hummus with olive tapenade. Sweet and savory made appearances as the team served up tender blue crab with wasabi mayo, an addictive Nutella with tangy orange marmalade and butter-sautéed apples with thinly-sliced ham. The formula was only broken with bite-sized versions of Tyler’s Ultimate Pumpkin Pie. (the dessert featured on the cover). Silky. Sweet. Tart. Crunchy. YUM!
The spread looked complex for a beginner cook like myself. However, a chef confided to me that prep was actually simple. Apparently, I could knock out these toast toppers without issue (or fire alarm). With the holidays around the corner, I’m looking for easy.
Better yet, they are all featured in a pull-out booklet that can live with your cookbooks. Get details on the new FN magazine here.
And don’t miss when Bruce sits down with the magazine’s Editor-in-Chief, Maile Carpenter, on Monday.