Monday, July 30, 2012

Snacking on Carbs

  I was tested for a gluten allergy when I had my physical earlier this year.  I wasn't positive for Celiac's, but I do feel like I'm sensitive to gluten: I can't drink beer anymore without feeling painfully bloated; excessive amounts of sourdough bread make me so gassy.  TMI, I know... sorry, but gluten has been making me feel uncomfortable lately.

Because of this,  I haven't had bread and cheese as a snack in a long time (which is super sad since that had been my go-to snack throughout my life.) But this past Saturday, I unexpectedly had some leftover crusty bread in the fridge.  Friday night I had gone out for dinner at Polcari's in Woburn.  We ordered pizza & salad but were brought this awesome crusty loaf of bread - complete with majorly garlicky dipping oil - before the meal arrived.  Because we were trying to "be good" we didn't eat most of the bread.  That's how it ended up in my fridge.

Rather than smothering in brie, which is a favorite activity, I remembered some flavored olive oil in the cupboard.  White truffle flavored, to be exact.  Just taking a whiff of the stuff makes my mouth water instantly.  And I don't even like mushrooms!  Something about that rich, creamy, pungently earthy flavor sends me over the moon - I love it!  So, what would be better than some amazing bread dipped in this oil that makes my taste buds orgasm?  Top it with some smoked sea salt!  Holy Mother... that added a whole other taste dimension, almost like grilled truffles with a hint of bacon.  I think the smoked sea salt has the power of making something taste bacon-y, which is fantastic news for me.  I'm a vegetarian and I miss bacon.  I admit it.

Not only are the two pantry ingredients I unearthed an amazing flavor combination (can't wait to try it on potato soup this fall) but they are also from local businesses!  The truffle oil comes from a little company based on the Cape, Gustare Oils & Vinegars.  I had discovered them last summer when on a Cape Cod shopping outing with my friend Heather who was in town visiting from Chicago.  Their store is really cool because you can sample all their different flavors of olive oils & vinegars.  The women who work there have some great tips for using the different flavors together, too.  As you'll see on their website, they have a ton of recipes available.  So far, I've mixed their Persian Lime olive oil with their Honey-Ginger balsamic vinegar to make dressing for a mango/avocado mixed salad, but I digress.  The smoked sea salt is from Soluna Garden Farm, based right near me in lovely Winchester, MA.  A few weekends ago, I went to the SoWa market in Boston and stumbled across their booth, full of amazing herbs and spices.  It was so hard deciding which amazing-smelling item to buy!  I'm taking a whiff of the salt right now.  I made the right choice.  It smells like campfire and smoked bacon.  Maybe I have bacon on the brain - the descriptive label on the bottle doesn't mention pork at all - but honestly, I can smell it.  The smokiness of the salt mixed with the earthiness of the truffle oil will delight your mouth - I'm serious.  Do yourself a favor and try this the next time you're looking for a new way to dress a delicious loaf of your favorite bread.  You can thank me later.

Yes, that's my cute soy dish, in case you're wondering!

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