Baked Brie with Slow-Roasted Sunblushed Tomato Topped Ciabatta
I first met Angela from Spinach Tiger in San Francisco at the Foodbuzz Festival in 2009. There are many people that we meet throughout the blogosphere year after year, but there are those who stand out in our hearts for whatever reason. Angela is one of those people with whom I felt a connection, after all we each have a commitment to blogging, family, raising awareness and a passion for all things food related. But there is one thing that I am happy to say we do not have in common and that is that I have never lost a loved one from AIDS. I can certainly understand her loss, but, so far have been blessed not to have my friends and family shattered by this disease. Many world wide have not been so lucky.
I was invited by Angela to once again participate and raise awareness for this global crisis. I had heard out in the blogosphere that she would once again be hosting her event in support of World Aids Day which is December 1st. What better way to gather "foodies" together than to get involved in cooking something "red" for her event Cooking Red to Remember.
An estimated 30 million people have died from 1981 to 2009 according to Wikipedia. In all parts of the world, people living with HIV still face AIDS-related stigma and discrimination, and many people still cannot access sufficient HIV treatment and care.
The discovery of antiretroviral drug therapy has radically helped those infected with the HIV virus. It meant that an infection that was once deemed a death sentence began to look more like a chronic but manageable condition. But those people receiving treatment can experience a whole range of side effects, complications and challenges. HIV is still a global threat.
So it is time for a reality check. Although antiretroviral drugs are helping HIV-affected individuals live longer they have not eradicated the disease. Prevention efforts that have proved to be effective need to be scaled-up and treatment targets reached. Commitments from national governments right down to the community level need to be intensified and subsequently met, so that one day the world might see an end to the global AIDS pandemic.
Take a moment to read Angela's very poignant and touching story. Please support the many more who are struggling with this disease on a daily basis today and always. In memory of those who saw no hope and for those who live with hope every day I am sending this red dish to Angela's event.
For those of you who read this blog you will know I have been absent for the last 5 weeks but am privileged to celebrate my return to the blogosphere in support of this cause. On December 1st please take a moment to read what others have to say over at Spinach Tiger.
**Baked Brie with Slow-Roasted Sunblushed Tomato Topped Ciabatta**
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon minced fresh chilies
6 mini wheels or three 4.5 oz wheels of brie cheese, at room temperature
1 Baguette (French Bread), pide (flat Turkish bread) or ciabatta loaf
2 large cloves garlic, peeled
Sunblushed tomatoes, recipe follows
Preheat oven to 375˚F. Layer a cookie tray with parchment paper.
Meanwhile, whisk the olive oil in a large bowl with the lemon zest, garlic and chilies. Add cheeses to the bowl and coat with the mixture. Let stand for 15 minutes.
Slice the baguette, pide or ciabatta and toast. As they are done rub them, one at a time, with a whole garlic clove. Season with a little sea salt, then stack them one on top of the other and set aside.
Arrange the cheeses on the parchment lined tray. Drizzle with any remaining marinade. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until the cheeses are swollen and ready to burst. Let stand for 5 minutes. Serve the cheeses with toasted ciabata. To eat, make a shallow cut on top of cheese and party peel back skin. Dunk bread in melted cheese and go for it! Serve with Sunblushed tomatoes
**Sunblushed Tomatoes**makes about 1 cup (can easily be multiplied, though)
250g (1/2 lb) fresh cherry tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup olive oil
Heat your oven to its top temperature. Remove the stems from the tomatoes and cut larger ones in half along their equator. Place cut side up in an ovenproof dish.
Mix together the salt, thyme, oregano and sugar and sprinkle over the top of the tomatoes. Drizzle over the olive oil and put in the oven.
Immediately, turn the heat down to somewhere in the region of 165-200°F. This isn’t an exact science, and will depend on how long you want to wait for your tomatoes... the lower the temperature, the longer it will take but more flavourful they will be.
Cook for 2-3 hours, until the tomatoes are soft and fragrant. They should lose their raw look, but not be charred.