Monday, May 2, 2011

May 2, 2011: Cheddar Apple Caramelized Onion Crostini Recipe

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We were invited to a barbecue recently at the home of some of our friends. They planned to grill salmon and serve it with a salad and steamed asparagus.

While they were generous enough to supply everything, I just couldn’t show up without bringing something. I gave my friend a call and asked her what I could bring. “Cheese and crackers,” was her reply. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any crackers and not enough cheese to slice. What I did have, however, was lots of onions and apples and a leftover hunk of homemade French bread. I figured those flavors would meld nicely, producing something that was slightly sweet, slightly tangy.

Imagining I was a contestant on The Food Network’s show, Chopped, I thought of how I could put these ingredients together. The result is this recipe:
I added a few more slices of apple in the center of this platter and drizzled them with just a bit of honey.

Cheddar, Apple, and Caramelized Onion Crostini

12 thin slices of French bread (or a baguette, sourdough bread, or other artisan-style bread)
Butter for spreading
1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
¼ cup mayonnaise
1 T. butter, softened
2 t. olive oil
½ large white onion, thinly sliced
Balsamic vinegar
1 apple (gala, fuji, or other sweet)
1 t. lemon juice

Butter the slices of bread and place them on a large, ungreased baking pan. Toast them in a 350 degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until crisp on the edges.

Meanwhile, add the cheese, mayo, and butter to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse just until combined; set aside.

Heat the olive oil over low heat in a saucepan. Add the onion slices and sauté low and slow for about 20 minutes, until caramelized. Add a splash of balsamic vinegar and mix with the onions.

Slice the apple into 12 thin pieces. Toss the apple slices with the lemon juice immediately after cutting to prevent them from browning.

Take the toasted bread and spread each slice with about 1 tablespoon of the cheese mixture. Top with about 1 tablespoon of the caramelized and an apple slice. Arrange on a platter and serve at room temperature.

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