As I attempt to prepare our 'first' menu for the week, I saw myself browsing through an old Food Magazine, hoping to get some new, quick-and-easy dishes I can try to whip up. With the many traditional Filipino dishes, I chanced upon a special feature on French chef Cyrille Soenen (pardon my ignorance on his professional background) presenting a few of his simple dishes he's serving for lunch. Out of the three dishes, I was particularly excited to try this appetizer -- Baguette with Pan-fried Kesong Puti & Sardines.
It called for toasted sliced baguette, pan-fried sliced kesong puti (native white cheese made from fermented carabao's milk), fresh sardines marinated in herbs and olive oil, a couple of garlic cloves, and fleur de sel -- 'flower of salt', the famous and expensive sea salt that's hand-harvested in France.
I can just imagine the flavors of the garlic rub on toasted baguette, with the rich and salty flavors of kesong puti and sardines. Mmm...
Well, what I got for my version is a mini baguette (since we can't finish a full roll), this wonderful bottle of a mildly hot Zaragoza Spanish-style sardines in corn oil, and a bundle of kesong puti -- a very disappointing purchase from Unimart (grocery) since the 'bundle' of leaf-wrapped cheese were just that, leaves! After removing the thick wrapping, it left me with only two slices. I felt robbed!
To divide the cheese on more toast, I sliced it across and made it thinner. Now I have four slices instead of just two. Wrong move!
After pan-frying those small squares of cheese, I ended up with a thin, gooey blob that looked liked a fried egg white...sigh...
But I was still optimistic.
To rectify the 'situation' with the white cheese, I cut up a few slices of tomatoes and finely chopped fresh parsley drizzled with olive oil and pinch of rock salt, just to add to the topping. It worked wonderfully well -- at least for me :)
The flavors just complemented each other and I gobbled up four toasts before dinner.
Friday is almost over and I finally made my cut-off after quite a hectic week. I hope this scrumptious starter will be able to satisfy your taste buds for your weekend meal.
The gooey-looking, burnt kesong puti turned out to really kick the taste up a notch! Even with just two slices, it certainly redeemed itself in the end ;)