Toasting the Holidays

toast-party-1

Are you intrigued by the delicious photo above? Don’t worry, I’ll tell you all about how to recreate it in just a minute. First we have to talk about a problem. Holiday party spreads. While eating too many sweets and feeling sick is a grand tradition, the older I get the less I want to eat 45 Ferrero Rocher’s in one evening.

And no, it’s not good enough to put carrot sticks and dip on a table laden with chocolate tarts, spiced nuts, rum balls, sugar cookies, almond brittle etc. You know what I’m going to go for! Don’t do this to me! Don’t do this to your friends.

Let’s care for ourselves and our guests by having at least SOME appealing, non-sugar laden food for them so they can stay and party late into the night. And let’s do it without going broke. Okay?

Let’s have a toast party! Stuff on Toast seems to be the standout favourite amongst Good and Cheap fans so I got pretty inspired this past weekend and came up with a bunch of yummy stuff on ricotta toast. You start with toast and….HOMEMADE RICOTTA. It’s all you need for super decadence (see I’m still in the spirit I swear!). Smear and smoosh the homemade ricotta onto warm toast and top with ….. just about anything!

Below the ricotta recipe I’ll share the 8 different toppings for ricotta toast I tried based on stuff I had kicking around the house. They were all really delicious, even the ones I was a little dubious about like the oranges and carrots. I also tried a bunch of other stuff like topping with leftover sauces, chipotle in adobo and jam. The point is that there isn’t much that doesn’t work and they all look and taste great! You could also do this with bigger toasts rather than baguette slices like I did. Crackers work too of course.

If any of you decide to have a toast party I’d love to see what you come up with! Please share it on twitter, facebook or instagram with #toastparty!


Homemade Ricotta
Print Recipe
A rich ricotta cheese made with milk, cream and a little lemon juice. Easy to make using a large pot, sieve and some cheese cloth or paper towel.
Servings
1 1/2 cups
Servings
1 1/2 cups
Homemade Ricotta
Print Recipe
A rich ricotta cheese made with milk, cream and a little lemon juice. Easy to make using a large pot, sieve and some cheese cloth or paper towel.
Servings
1 1/2 cups
Servings
1 1/2 cups
Ingredients
  • 1/2 gallon whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 Tbsp vinegar or lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Bring milk, cream and salt to the point of just beginning to boil in a large, heavy bottomed pot. When just one bubble comes up to the top, add vinegar, give it a stir, and turn off the heat. The addition of vinegar should create a disturbance and the whey and cream begin to separate into curds and whey. (the magical part!)
  2. While you wait, line a sieve with cheesecloth or two layers of paper towel and place over a large bowl.
  3. Leave the mixture for 5 minutes, then stir to separate completely. There should be two distinct parts of the mixture, the cheesy chunk and the watery yellowish whey. If some of it is still milky, stir it a bit and then leave it to sit for a few more minutes.
  4. Pour your ricotta mixture into the cheese-cloth-lined sieve with the bowl underneath to catch the whey. Leave for half an hour to drain. (You can save the whey to use in soups instead of broth.)
  5. The cheese cloth will be full of a crumbly white cheese. That's your ricotta! Taste it and add more salt if you think it needs it, or add herbs or any spices you'd like to flavour it with.
  6. Eat immediately, or pack it into an airtight container and store in the fridge.
  7. Now spread it on your toasts and get creative with vegetable and fruit toppings like the ideas above!
Ideas for Toppings
  1. Ricotta topped with chopped, roasted brussels sprouts.
  2. Ricotta topped with roasted cauliflower from Good and Cheap.
  3. Ricotta topped with sliced, roasted carrots with black pepper.
  4. Ricotta topped with Grated roasted beets and fresh dill (raw would work as well!)
  5. Ricotta topped with clementine slices and a little honey. Looks weird, but this was way better than I expected. Any little oranges would work I'm sure!
  6. Ricotta topped with chopped tomato. Not so seasonal, but I had some drab, out of season tomatoes leftover and this livened them up!
  7. Ricotta topped with sliced grapes.
  8. Ricotta topped with candied walnuts. Super good and very holiday. I made these by coating them with simple syrup, (equal parts water and sugar boiled until sugar dissolves), salt and a little cayenne pepper powder. Then spread them on a baking tray and baked at 350F for 10 minutes.

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Leanne Brown

Hi! I'm Leanne Brown, a home cook in Brooklyn by way of Canada. I write cookbooks, like the one below!

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