Sweet & Savory Tartines

by Anh-Minh on May 29, 2015

tartines

Okay, I know what I want to make for breakfast this weekend: Melina Hammer‘s fig/mozzarella tartine one morning, and the brittle/lettuce tartine the next. Oh, and the bruléed banana/chocolate recipe she’s also sharing this week? I think that needs to be dessert one night! —Anh-Minh

Tartines. A.k.a., the classic open-faced sandwich. What better way to enjoy a snack or meal, than piled beautifully atop good toast? I created a few open sandwich combinations that offer great contrasts to surprise and wow. Savory and sweet. Creamy and crunchy. Which one will be your new favorite?

I’ve made toasts instead of just sliced bread, as I prefer the soft-crunchy layers of texture. And since little needs to be done in each of these preparations, be sure to use freshly baked, good bread. Consider what personality your sweet-and-savory tartine calls for: Sourdough, dried fruit loaf, baguette, and seeded rye are all widely available at bakeries these days, and also make for an elevated bread experience.

The most important part is to have fun with it, because really, the possibilities are endless.

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Do you remember the figs from last summer’s ice cream cake? At that same time, I also made fig and Carpano Antica preserves. I’m so happy I held off on dipping into my last jar, as it completed this toast perfectly. A sprinkle of pink peppercorns adds an unexpected fruity-peppery punch to this jammy and creamy tartine, sprinkled liberally if you feel daring.

fig preserves and buffalo mozzarella with pink peppercorns

Serves 2

  • 1 buffalo mozzarella ball, drained from its liquid
  • 2 slices dried fruit country loaf
  • a few spoonfuls of fig preserves; blackberry or currant jams work nicely, too
  • a few pinches of pink peppercorn salt, to your taste
  • good olive oil, for the toast

Pink peppercorn salt blend is a mix available in the bulk section of Whole Foods. If you cannot find it in your area, buy pink peppercorns and good sea salt, and with your fingers, gently rub the two together a bit to combine, so that the flaky pink shells intermingle throughout.

Drizzle bread with olive oil and bake until golden in a toaster oven. If you don’t have one, use the regular oven set to 350°F. It will take about 7-10 minutes to achieve that golden crispness.

Place toast on plates. Tear mozzarella into pieces and place onto toast. Spoon preserves on top, to your taste. At the table, sprinkle the pink peppercorn mixture to finish, with extra available as needed. Because it’s so good, you’ll want to add more.

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Who doesn’t love melted chocolate and caramelized sugar-topped bananas? Right?! Not only delicious, but this on-toast is super easy to prepare with a little patience and minding the flame. A last flourish of crunchy sea salt tops this snack, a lush indulgence for sure.

bruléed bananas and melted chocolate toasts with sea salt

Serves 2

  • 2 bananas, peeled and sliced lengthwise
  • 1 cup chopped semi-sweet chocolate
  • 2 slices hearty country bread; I used sourdough
  • good flake sea salt, such as Maldon
  • organic cane sugar, for the flame
  • butter, for spreading onto toast

Toast bread in toaster oven until golden and butter well. Set aside. Melt chocolate in a double boiler, simmering until completely melted.

Meanwhile, place banana halves cut side-up on a rimmed sheet pan. Sprinkle sugar onto each. Use a handheld kitchen torch (or place into broiler as an alternative), and run the flame across the surface until sugar melts, bubbles, and caramelizes. Do this just before you intend to eat the toasts, because if they sit once bruléed, the sugar will re-absorb into the banana and you lose the hardened “glass” surface which adds its pleasing crunch.

Spread melted chocolate onto the toasts. Top with bruléed bananas, trimming to fit as needed. Sprinkle with sea salt and dig in. Oh yes.

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This open-faced sandwich combo is probably for the more daring of you out there, I have a feeling. But oh what rewards you’ll reap for having risen to the challenge! Definite umami. Sweet, crunchy, airy brittle. Soft, juicy collapsed little lettuce heads atop crunchy toast. It’s almost too much. But not really. This toast is awesome.

pepita-honeycomb brittle on grilled umami lettuce toasts

Serves 2

for the brittle

  • 1 cup pepitas, toasted until golden
  • 3/4 cup organic cane sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 honey; I used a chili-infused honey which added some heat (smoked honey is nice here, too)
  • 2 tsp baking soda

You will have brittle leftover, and you will be so happy about this!

for the lettuce toasts

  • 2 heads gem lettuce or baby romaine
  • roasted garlic-anchovy dressing*
  • 4 slices baguette, cut long on a diagonal
  • butter, for frying
  • olive oil, for the grill

*The roasted garlic-anchovy dressing is the same from the umami grain story, but omit the dijon mustard and chopped parsley.

Lay toasted pepitas on a Silpat-lined rimmed sheet pan. If you don’t have a Silpat, nonstick cooking spray also works well.

Fix a candy thermometer to the side of a medium saucepan. Combine sugar, honey, and water, stir to combine, and over high heat, bring mixture to a boil. Lower heat to medium-high, and continue boiling without stirring, until mixture reaches 300°F. This will take about 7-10 minutes.

Remove pan from heat as soon as it reaches temperature and add baking soda. Whisk briefly to combine—it will foam up as the hot caramel reacts to the baking soda—and quickly empty out over the pepitas. It will look like a blob, which is fine. Either allow it to come to room temperature and then break into fragments or, especially if it is humid, place into refrigerator to chill and then break into fragments. Any leftovers you may have will keep for a week, stored between layers of parchment in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

Once butter foams in a skillet over medium-high heat, pan-sear baguette slices on one side. Set aside.

Cut lettuce heads in half. Liberally paint cut sides with dressing, getting into their layers. Using a grill pan or on a grill over medium-high heat, place lettuces cut sides-down and grill for 3 minutes or so, until lettuce begins to wilt. Meanwhile, brush sides facing you with a little olive oil. Turn lettuces and grill for one minute further, and remove from heat.

Divide grilled lettuce halves between toasts and top with crumbled pepita honeycomb brittle. Have extra brittle at the table so you can pile more on as you discover how delicious this flavor and texture combination is.

{ Recipes and Photography by Melina Hammer for Anthology Magazine }

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Ceramics by Matthew D. Ward

by Joanna on May 28, 2015

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Brooklyn-based ceramicist and artist Matthew D. Ward creates pieces that feel straightforward in form, but also very mid-century modern and also a bit Scandinavian. Ward is totally self-taught and believes in the daily practice of his art form, something which I wholeheartedly believe has helped to develop his personal style so nicely. In fact, he finds, “that the most reward from artistic endeavors comes from the act of doing.” One can only hope that he keeps producing such gorgeous pieces!

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{ Images via Matthew D. Ward }

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Kendyll Hillegas

by Joanna on May 27, 2015

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Hungry? Well, soon you will be, thanks to these illustrations by Kendyll Hillegas! Naturally, my favorite pieces are the sweets.

Hillegas uses a layered mix of watercolor, colored pencils, and gouache to create these delectable, mouthwatering pieces. Often, the creations evoke a certain memory for her, with a hope that “it’s also approachable since we all have favorite foods and cherished objects.” She does such a great job of capturing the texture of each food that I’m suddenly craving pop-tarts. Funny how that works, huh?

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{ Images via Kendyll Hillegas }

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Twigitecture

by Kate on May 26, 2015

anthology-mag-blog-design-twighouses-1Oh, to sleep amongst the trees! I cannot imagine a more magical way to experience the outdoors. Last year, when we were scouting locations for Issue 17′s Market Report, I looked far and wide for treehouses in the Bay Area and found some real stunners. Ever since then, I’ve been somewhat obsessed with treehouse architecture of all kinds.

I came across this New York Times article from a couple of years ago only recently, but was delighted to learn that there are several examples of “twigitecture,” or humans nests, installed in the Bay Area. The nest at Treebones Resort (pictured below) not only has an amazing view, but probably smells pretty good, too—the creator, Jayson Fann, uses eucalyptus to make his suspended shelters. If you find yourself taking a trip to Northern California, consider booking a stay among the birds.

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anthology-mag-blog-design-twighouses-5 { All images via New York Times }

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I’ve been watching my grandmother and mother cook Korean food in the kitchen all my life. (Though hovering over them like an annoying gnat might be a more apt description for my behavior.) As everything was made from sight and taste, I learned that there would be no written family recipes passed down to me. I would have to learn by observation, taste, and lots of mistakes. Though I adopted their cooking habits, I didn’t realize how difficult it would be to figure out measurements until I wrote a few recipes in Issue No. 9 (“A Fine-Tuned Feast”).

When I found out about Selina Lee from SKYCreatives’ Banchan Workshop, I immediately signed up. It’s not easy finding Korean cooking classes. And more importantly, attendees cook from Selina’s recipes

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Born in Seoul and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Selina is a graphic designer with a passion for cooking. At the workshop last weekend, Selina offered six recipes to choose from. The class broke up into pairs, each selecting two dishes to create. My partner and I made Korean Style Meatballs with Glazed Sauce and Sanjuk Kkochi (Korean style kebab). Though I also wanted to make the Korean Chicken Taco with Kimchi Slaw and the Buckwheat Noodle Salad. We were shown an egg technique demo, a Fluffy Rolled Egg, where I learned that I had been making it wrong all these years! After the demo, we tried our hand at making our own rolled egg.

Selina teamed up with Feastly which hosted the event in Berkeley, CA. If you’re in the Bay Area, she will be having another workshop, this time featuring Korean street food, in September in San Francisco.

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{All images by Lisa Wong Jackson}

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