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Fresh Cheese, Cherry Preserve and Basil Sandwich

Posted Jul 01 2009 6:38pm

I made this sandwich when I started to feel hungry last Saturday afternoon. At first, I made it only with cherry preserves which I’m supposed to use as a filling for the chocolate cake. Then, the other day, I added some slices of cheese. Finally yesterday, I added some basil leaves. I have some leftover roast chicken and I also thought of adding it. Although the bread is high in fiber, it’s not the type of bread for thick sandwiches. The bread is also a bit on the thin side. So, I’ll just use the roast chicken for something else.

I’m still looking for a good artisan hand-crafted bread but so far I haven’t found one.There are breads available that are made that way but I’m still not satisfied. After a day or two, they usually end up really dry. Multi-grain bread is good but I’m not looking for low-fat, low-calorie type of bread that doesn’t have any flavor. Filipinos have a sweet tooth so most loaves of bread sold at the supermarket and bakeries are on the sweet side.

For the cheese, I am using our local cheese called “ Kesong Puti", literally means "cheese white". Let’s just call it local white cheese. It has the flavor and texture of buffalo mozzarella although the consistency could be somewhat on the crumbly side if you mash it with a work but it can also hold its shape very well. It is made from carabao's milk and is usually a filling for freshly baked pan de sal. But it can also be used in cooking as well.

I actually like the combination of the three: something sweet and tart from the cherry preserves, something mild and creamy from the cheese and something fresh and pungent from the basil. I also season the cheese with unrefined sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Then I spread a little bit of butter on the other bread just to make sure that the cheese doesn’t slide off easily. You can substitute the cherry preserve and the cheese for something else and create a whole new different flavor.I guess a recipe is not necessary. Just make sure it's a good bread, a good cherry preserve, fresh basil and your local fresh cheese.

You can call me a minimalist, but I’ve learned that sometimes you can still make a gourmet sandwich out of a few good ingredients. To me, that’s already an effortless gourmet sandwich. What do you think?

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