Tue 16 Jun 2009
Here it is, friends, the ultimate cheese toast, the baroque-est of the baroque, the heartiest of the hearty, the manliest of men. What you have here are pieces of FK’s homemade bread slathered with another of our new favorite condiments, Bone Suckin’ Mustard — motto: “We’re Talkin’ Serious” — distributed by Ford’s Foods in Raleigh, N.C.; topped with diced tasso, a ham that directs its feet to the spicy side of the street; further topped with a few slices of Roma tomato. Rummaging through the fridge, I found, in a box of take-out whatever, some slivers of roasted red and yellow pepper, which I requisitioned. I shaved cheddar cheese, Gruyere, a mystery cheese from which the label had fled, and after arranging those, of course I grated some Parmesan. Finally, a dusting of our other new favorite condiment, Urfa Pepper from Turkey. More about that anon.* Run those babies under the broiler until the cheese gets all melty and crusty. Woo-hoo, readers, these cheese toasts were flat-out, freakin’ great!
The wine? It certainly needed to be hearty and manly to match this over-the-top version of cheese toast, so I chose the Diseño Malbec 2007, from Argentina’s Mendoza region. The nose is all briers and brambles, roots and moss, earth and minerals, with hints of blackberry, black currant and wild berry. It’s tremendously spicy, packed with dried fruit, fruit cake, oolong tea and orange zest, with touches of intense and concentrated black fruit flavors. Chewy tannins and polished oak lend framing and foundation. A good choice with burgers and steaks and full-flavored red sauce pastas — as well as Terminator Supreme cheese toast. Very Good. About $13, Good Value. I have seen this wine discounted as low as $9, though at winechateau.com, the “regular” price is listed as $18.89, but the “sale” price is $13.79. Caveat emptor, indeed!
Imported by International Cellars, Gonzales, Cal.
*Urfa biber is a red pepper grown around the ancient city of Urfa in southeast Turkey. Almost black in color, the peppers are sun-dried during the day and tightly wrapped and sweated at night to concentrate the deep, earthy, meaty, raisiny flavor. Urfa pepper flakes are spicy hot — say a bit hotter than medium –but more intense than merely mouth-burning. We got out little jar from Zingerman’s mail order website and we use the stuff on everything, from cheese toast to tuna.