Here is a recipe I learned from the Cajun Chef.

One french loaf
quarter cup butter
pinch salt
3-4 cloves garlic

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Chop the garlic very fine. I prefer this to using a garlic press, since that tends to bruise the garlic. Soften the butter  and stir in the garlic and salt. Spread the newly made garlic butter over the french bread, which you have cut in half. Place in the heated oven for about ten minutes, or until the top is slightly browned.

You can alter the amount of garlic to butter as you prefer of couse, and sprinkling some grated parmesan over the whole deal never hurts either.

Cheesy Garlic Bread

This is a super quick recipe. Look for leftover, reduced price bread loaves at the grocery store in the bakery section. This garlic bread is equally delicious with either plain French bread or sourdough. Sourdough is chewier and has a subtle tang that blends ooo la la! seductively with the oil, garlic and cheese. It's good to make several loaves and freeze for an economical side dish or snack in a snap. Make sure to have French bread and grated Parmesan cheese on the shopping list and check to make sure there is butter, garlic and dried parsley on hand. Cheesy Garlic Bread takes about 5 minutes to prepare 15 minutes in the oven and a perfect partner to lasagna, or how about chicken? Substitute white Cheddar cheese for the Parmesan and chopped chives for the parsley!

Ingredients

    1 medium loaf French bread, unsliced.
    ½ Cup Butter or Margarine, softened
    1 Teaspoon Dried Parsley
    2 Cloves Garlic
    1/3 Cup Grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 375°. Cut slices down the length loaf at 1 inch intervals, without cutting all the way through. Rub slices and top of loaf with cut sides of garlic halves then mince the garlic. Combine the butter, garlic, parsley and Parmesan cheese in a small bowl. Spread the butter mixture in between the bread slices and on top of the loaf. Wrap the bread in some foil, leaving the top partially uncovered. Bake until heated through, about 15 minutes look for a perfect, bubbling, slightly browned top. Serve it while it's hot!

Some helpful hints: Combine the butter, garlic, parsley, and Parmesan cheese as the recipe says. You can make this up ahead of time and store in the refrigerate for up to three days. Soften at room temperature before using. For easier peeling, microwave un peeled garlic cloves for 10 to 20 seconds. Cool and store un peeled cloves in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. To satisfy the real cheese lovers in my family I use sliced provolone cheese in place of the grated Parmesan. yum!

I doubt that there is another recipe, from any source or any country that is so mis-understood and abused as garlic bread. Horrific mass-produced versions are available at tin-pot "Italian" restaurants the world over, and we saps eat this crap up like there is no tomorrow. Lemme guess - the last time you got garlic bread at this sort of joint; did it came wrapped in foil? Was it dripping with some pseudo-garlicky butter sort of substance? Shit man, someone should slap the chef - cause there 'aint no easier dish to make than garlic bread.

So where did this dish come from? I would hazard a guess that the ancestor of modern garlic bread was bruschetta (pronounced Broo-sket-tah). This is garlic bread at its most ancient, simple and desirable. Bruschetta is simply good quality country Italian bread, toasted over hot coals, rubbed with a cut clove of garlic, then drizzled with the finest extra virgin olive oil you can afford. Dismiss any versions of bruschtta that include cheese, spinach or tandoori chicken. The only variant you should entertain is tomato and basil bruschetta.

My garlic bread pays homage to the classic Italian original - yet still remains a little different. Many years ago I was the chef at a restaurant that pumped these garlic breads out at an obscene pace - they were called "garlic foccaccia" on the menu, but were simply known as "G-Focc" to us kitchen lackeys. Yells of "G-FOCC" would reverberate around the kitchen as yet another table ordered fifty cents worth of bread that we charged five bucks for. Nobody ever complained cause the damn things tasted so good.

So how do you make them at home? Well we had a head start with a commercial char-grill, but you can make a pretty good version at home as well. If you have an open flame, like a BBQ, then you are well on the way, however this dish can also be made on the stovetop - just use a large non-stick skillet or fry pan.

Ingredients

  • 1 loaf good quality bread - sourdough, ciabatta or pain de campagne.
  • 1 quantity of garlic oil
  • Chopped fresh rosemary, oregano or thyme
  • Sea salt
  • Method

    Slice the bread into thick wedges. With the aid of a pastry brush, paint each cut slice of bread generously with the garlic oil. Sprinkle with the herbs and salt, then place onto the BBQ grill, or a well-heated, dry fry pan (skillet).

    Cook for a few minutes, until the slices are nicely golden, then turn over and do the other side. Serve up while they still smell fantastic and are piping-hot.

    So I just kind of guessed at the oven temp and time, but it's not complicated. Just think like a toaster. But I figured I might as well do a web search anyway to see if anybody had better ways of making the flavoring stick to the bread than our usual method. "making garlic toast" (because I am under the impression that many people will call it that, since I have seen menus reading that way) gave me a bunch of mountebanks using garlic salt and garlic powder. That's fine if you're in college and you have no sink to wash up the cutting board and stuff, or you're a single parent, or whatever, but really, there's a better way. Then I tried "make garlic bread traditional" and just got snobbish pieces about how bruschetta in its various pronunciations is The Only True And Authorized Combination of Garlic And Bread, and how it must be made by smearing a sliced clove against a piece of lightly toasted bread either before or after oliveoiling it, and never ever should butter be used because they don't have butter in Italy, and the Acceptable and Sanctioned Serving Additions are fresh basil and tomatoes, and so on.

    Now look; bruschetta is nice. It's fresh, tasty, delicious. It may even be Italian. But when you want garlic bread, that is not it, just as fettucine and manicotti and anything else featuring doubled consonants and ending in a diminutive are not the noodles Made In The Traditional Way, which is of course in pork bone soup with anise and cinnamon and ginger, or whichever Chinese way is the oldest.

    So maybe garlic bread is an American invention. It is tasty, and it has a new name, and no one is losing royalties or recognition, so God bless it.

    Now, my crux scribendi is this: Whereas it turns out that apparently no one makes garlic bread the way my family does; and whereas sensei on everything2 taught me how to make a great vindaloo, and whereas everything2 also brought me gems like "Onigiri is made of someone", So despite any latent ambitions I may have about opening a little neighborhood eatery some day, I will give back to everything2.

    Mince about six or seven garlic cloves per two footlong hoagie rolls, or whatever bread you have. Slice hoagie rolls diagonally, like 45° is fine, more is maybe finer, because then you get more absorbent surface area, and therefore more flavor. Melt butter in a skillet over low (say, 30%) heat, throw in the garlic and sautée it until golden, which comes just before brown. Smear your pieces of bread in there--one side is fine--leaving enough for the other pieces so they all win. Arrange the upgraded bread on a baking sheet/pan/dish. Into the oven, 425℉ for 5min worked for me, but watch them. When browning, remove. Serve hot. Usually we put them into the oven during the last few minutes of the lasagna's endothermic transformation, since saving resources and with lasagna is The Satkomuni Sanctioned Best Way To Serve garlic bread.

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