I don’t know about you and yours, but my family are the Uber ‘don’t move my cheese’ type. As a mom, I have my standard set of family, kiddie friendly recipes, and I kind of make the same types of meals on a regular basis – I know… B O R I N G!! But what can I do? They look at me funny when I place a foreign looking meal in front of them, and then I have to endure all the comments during meal times like ‘I don’t eat this’ or ‘I am full, ma, really!’ or my ultimate favorite, ‘I am allergic to this’.
But before you start feeling sorry for me or start a Ya Ya sista chant, there is a bright side! Once they’ve managed to find some room in their already full tummy, or suddenly overcome their allergy, the verdict is more often than not, that it may stay on the meal-time repertoire. So slowly but surely they are training their palate and will hopefully one day be brave enough to relish everything on the menu.
Here is one case in point: this beautiful creamy baked crostini is so delicious, my mouth is watering even as I type out the recipe name! I served this to my family on a mild and sunny Saturday afternoon, thinking it would be an easy sell with all the cream and bacon! And surely, the minute I put a lovely rocket and tomato salad down next to the crostini, the crostini flew off their plates! (And then they complained that they don’t eat rocket, and that they are sure they are highly allergic to it!) OY!
Well, the crostini did get their approval… and I am certain that this will become a firm family favorite of yours too, so here goes:
- 8 slices white or brown bread
- some soft garlic and parsley butter
- 250 ml grated mature cheddar
- 150 ml grated or diced mozzarella cheese
- 125 ml grated Parmesan cheese
- 65 ml finely chopped parsley
- 6 jumbo eggs
- 200 ml fat-reduced cream
- 200 ml milk
- salt and milled black pepper
- 4 rashers streaky bacon, cut into batons
- 250 ml cherry tomatoes, sliced or quartered
Spread the bread generously on both sides with the garlic butter and cut each slice in half, diagonally, so that you have triangles of bread. Place the triangles with crusts pointing upwards into four small individual oven baking dishes (lasagne dishes are perfect).
Mix together the cheddar, mozzarella, Parmesan and parsley. Divide into four portions and place nuggets of each portion in between the slices of bread.
Whisk together the eggs, cream and milk and season to taste. Pour in equal quantities over the bread and cheese arrangements. At this stage, you can cover the dishes with cling film and chill for a few hours until required.
To complete, arrange the bacon and tomatoes over the top and bake in the oven preheated to 180ºC for 15 – 20 minutes or until the creamy egg custard is set and the exposed bread crusts golden and crisp. Remove from oven and serve.
Chef’s hint: You can prepare this in a large dish and bake it a little longer. Also, you can go crazy with types of cheese and toppings and herbs.