I don’t often write about things we didn’t make ourselves, but every once in a while, someone else makes something that is just too good not to blab about. And tonight is one of those times.
The guys we had brunch with, yesterday, are old friends of Victor’s from the Lickety Split and Montserrat days – the beginning of the young and hip restaurant renaissance in Philadelphia. One pal, Tony, started Zantonio Brands of Hammonton.
At brunch, Tony gifted us with a batch of his bruscetta sauce – it’s bru-SKETTA.
Bruschetta to Italians is like salsa to Mexicans. You put it on everything. And, like salsa – some bruschettas are good, some are okay, some suck, and some are awesome. Tony’s is awesome. And I’m not just saying that because it’s true. It really is awesome.
The first thing I did when we got home was open the lid. I was immediately hit with the scent of tomatoes. Real tomatoes. And the flavor. It tasted like it had just been made with the best tomatoes right out of my yard. I’ve been around food long enough to know it ain’t easy to make something in quantity and have it taste like it was just made in your own kitchen.
Tony did it. And without preservatives!
As I was standing at the counter eating spoonfuls out of the container, I thought that for my first dish I’d use it to top a chicken breast. It’s pretty much a classic pairing, but something this good meant I had to up the chicken game, a bit.
I started off with organic, free range boneless, skinless chicken breasts because I love being pretentious now and again. If I could have found pastured chicken at the local grocery I would have gone with it – damn the cost!
I floured them, dipped them in egg, and then dipped them in a coating of fresh bread crumbs, shredded Locatelli, grated garlic, and a bit of freshly-ground pepper. I browned them in a skillet with olive oil, and then placed them on a rack in the oven to finish. It is so much easier – and much less messy – to cook them this way.
Five minutes before pulling them out of the oven, I topped them with generous helpings of bruschetta and then a handful of lump crab meat because crab makes everything better. That, and crab, chicken, and tomato just really go well together.
For a side dish, I baked slices of potatoes in the oven on a sheet pan and then tossed them into a skillet with several different olives, pimento strips, and about a third of a cup of homemade tomato sauce. Just enough to coat everything.
Dinner was spectacular. Even Nonna completely cleaned her plate.
Tomorrow will probably be a classic bread and bruschetta since I baked bread today.
Locally, you can get Tony’s bruschetta at Shop Rite and at Acme. It’s refrigerated. He also makes a scampi sauce that I’m going to actually go out and buy!
Can’t wait to try it!