I was excited whenever Carrie won for her “Fancy Toast” because like many other people around the world, I have made meals on numerous occasions for myself out of stale bread that I revived by toasting and topping it with whatever could be found in my refrigerator. But I never imagined it could be something that anyone else would be interested in eating, let alone excited to devour. After seeing Carrie place her plate of fancy toast for the first time in front of the Top Chef Judges amidst a sea of fancier dishes and take home the win for something simple yet done well, I realized that so many easy, basic things that I enjoy eating, may make others happy, too.
Here’s my version of a favorite “fancy toast recipe”. I have upgraded it in the past by serving the cheese and tomato jam on top of grilled homemade focaccia at a swanky cocktail party and presented it to Ava while she was watching a movie at home, made from bread that was stashed in the freezer.
Fancy Toast with Tomato Jam (makes one serving) 2 slices bread of your choice 1 recipe Tomato Jam 2 tablespoons spreadable herb cheese such as Boursin or Allouette Toast bread. Spread with herb cheese and top with warm tomato jam. Pairs nicely with pajamas and pinot noir. Tomato Jam 2 cups cherry tomatoes (use the ones that are wrinkled and ready to rot) 1 sprig fresh rosemary or a few sprigs fresh thyme 2-3 tablespoons olive oil 3 teaspoons balsamic vinegar 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon sugar pepper Place all ingredients in an oven proof skillet. (I use cast-iron.) Heat ingredients on medium until tomatoes begin to brown. Place in a 325 degree oven for 30 minutes to continue cooking until the tomatoes become jam-like. Cool slightly before serving warm or at room temperature.