Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas Trees Crostinis

Content submitted by: Jane Ong

I never had to even boil water until I graduated college.  My parents always discouraged me from even stepping into the kitchen, because they themselves were forced to spend their entire childhood and young adulthood in the home kitchen and working in the kitchen.  For some twisted reasons, my parents just didn't want their children to go even close to the kitchen.  I'd come to learn how to make a sandwich when I started working and living on my own.  This year, I felt I had to prove to my friends that I wasn't totally helpless and spoiled just because I get most of my meals from restaurants. So, I decided to throw an early Christmas cocktail party at my tiny apartment before I went overseas for my Christmas vacation. Based on my years of sandwich making experience, I made Christmas Trees Crostinis for the cocktail party.  It was fast, and easy and I was proud that they were extremely well received and they disappeared from my party tray really really fast.

The Japanese bakeries here in Los Angeles make the best and freshest white bread in the entire Los Angeles (just my opinion).  Naturally, the delicious white bread makes the best tasting Crostini. My friends could just eat the plain toasted white bread by itself non-stop.  It's how good the Japanese white bread was. 

I bought a Christmas tree cookie cutter years ago wanting to make Christmas tree cookies to bring to the Christmas party at work.  I ended up not making any cookies but bought a party tray of disgusting cookies from the grocery store instead.   When I saw the brand new cookie cutter that had never been used all these years, I thought of using it to may be  make some croutons for salads.  Then I felt they were too big for salads and decided to turn them into Crostinis.  The cookie cutter turned out to be really useful in making festive looking Crostini. These Crostinis are extremely easy to make and taste really good with Champagne.   

Makes 24 Crostinis  

  1. 24 pieces of really really good quality white bread 
  2. 4 tablespoons olive oil
  3. 2 teaspoons dry parsley flakes
  4. 1 can (5oz) tuna in oil, drained and flaked (reserve 1 to 2 tablespoons of oil)
  5. 1 red bell pepper, finely diced
  6. 1 cup can (7oz) sweet corn
  7. 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  8. Salt & ground pepper 
  9. Powdered Parmesan cheese for garnish
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Cut 24 Christmas trees out of the white bread using a cookie cutter. Place the Christmas tree pieces on the baking sheet.  On both sides, brush with olive oil and sprinkle with parsley flakes.  Bake for 10  to 12 minutes or until golden.  Turn over once during baking.  

  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix together ingredients 4) to 7).  Use some of the reserved oil from the can tuna to bind the ingredients if necessary. Or you can use some mayo to bind instead.  Season with salt and ground pepper.

  3. Spoon the tuna mixture from step 2 above onto the baked Christmas tree pieces, garnish with powdered Parmesan cheese and serve.  

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