red bell pepper, garlic, and béchamel crostini


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you’ll need:

  • french bread
  • one red bell pepper
  • béchamel sauce
  • garlic
  • pork shoulder
  • oil for frying
  1. whip yourself up a little batch of béchamel sauce.  if you don’t feel like working that hard, you can always substitute store-bought alfredo or cream sauce.  but remember, homemade sauce is almost always better quality and allows you to exercise more control over the flavor profile of your dish.  just something to keep in mind.
  2. slice the bread.  remember, a crostini is typically made from a baguette of some kind so you can maintain that beautiful plate-like disk.  i like to slice at a diagonal to maximize the surface area and give a little bit more of slender, elegant look to my appetizers.  slice as thin as you possibly can.  the goal is to make a slice thin enough that it can be consumed without tearing at, but thick enough that it doesn’t burn up in the oven.  give them a quick toast on high temperature, maybe only two or three minutes.  be careful, make sure to watch them while they are in the oven.
  3. you don’t necessarily have to use pork shoulder.  almost any pork that is thinly sliced will do the job well.  the goal is to add a little bit of crispness to the dish, so bacon, ham, or shoulder will suffice.
  4. core the red bell pepper.  the best way to do this is to cut off both the top and bottom of the pepper, then run the knife down the veins of the interior.  the core should just pull right out when you are done, and all those pesky seeds with it.  cut the pepper in half, and then cut each half into as thin slices as you possibly can.
  5. add a tablespoon or so of oil to a frying pan and get it nice and hot over medium high heat.  peel about six cloves of garlic and slice them.  the slices don’t need to be paper thin, so don’t worry too much about it.  once the oil is hot, add them in and make sure they are evenly distributed across the surface of the pan (i.e. not are sitting on top of one another).  once you start to see a little browning, stir the garlic for a few seconds, doing your best to make sure the browned side is up of each piece.  give them a few more seconds, and take them from the pan onto a paper towel.  the result will be slightly smoky, deliciously crispy garlic chips.
  6. assemble.  add some crispy pork to each piece of toast, followed by red bell pepper, a few chips of fried garlic, and finally a drizzle of hot béchamel sauce.

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