Pull-Apart Cheesy Garlic Bread

This is the third version I’ve made since this past fall, but only the first version I’ve been relatively happy with. There might be still more work to be done, but I will keep at it like the trooper that I am. D&D_1643

Things I’ve learned:
-You need a sturdy bread. A round is okay, but I like a Chicago Italian loaf the best so far. A white bread (version #2, I used White Mountain Bread round) and it was just too soft. You can’t really pull-apart the bread. Sort of defeats the purpose.
-Roast the head of garlic. Great flavor and compliments the minced garlic. Yes.
-Melt the butter in a pot and add all flavorings. Keep on low to infuse the butter with lots of flavor.
-Use sliced cheese in the lower part of the cross-hatched of bread. Use grated cheese above.
-Add lemon zest and lemon juice.
-Fresh herbs – your choice but I like chives, parsley, and finely minced rosemary.
-Red pepper flakes are a must, even if it’s just a tiny pinch.
-Make the cross-hatch pattern large – it’s easier to stuff than a tight cross-hatch pattern.

Loaf of Chicago Italian Bread
Head of garlic
1 Tbs olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
8 Tbs unsalted butter
1 tsp kosher salt
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
Zest and juice of one lemon
2 Tbs minced parsley
1 tsp finely minced rosemary
I Tbs Dijon mustard
1/3 pound provolone, sliced kind of thick
1/3 pound colby, grated on large holes of box grater
minced chives

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut top 1/2 inch of head of garlic to expose cloves. Place on piece of foil, pour olive oil on garlic, wrap tightly in foil and bake about 40 minutes, until garlic head is soft. Remove and set aside. Leave oven on.

Melt butter over medium low heat in saucepan, add in minced garlic, salt, red pepper, black pepper, zest and juice from lemon. Add in parsley, rosemary, and Dijon mustard. Remove from heat and keep warm.

Line a baking sheet with foil. Place bread on foil and make a large cross-hatch pattern, slicing most of the way, but not all the way through. Brush tops and sides with butter. Slide provolone in crevices, then squish roasted garlic in with the provolone, and then stuff the colby as well. Spread remaining butter with herbs into crevices and on top.

Bake until cheese melts, 18 – 20 minutes. Top with chives and serve.

15 January 2018

Thomas’ California French Bread

D&D-9144

Thomas’ California French Bread (addictive)

This a recipe I’ve had so long (pre 1990’s – pre The Boy) that I have no idea where it comes from. Well, that’s not exactly true – it was in the Jacksonville Times Union (Times-Onion if you want to be funny), but I have googled it and nothing comes up. Is that strange or cool? I’m going for cool. Not sure who Thomas is, but in my opinion, he’s a rock star.

It sounds simple and it is. You can mess about with it and use different cheeses or add Italian parsley which would probably be good,  but I kind of stick with the original. I think the key is baking the bread with the garlic, onion, and bleu cheese dressing first. The onions and garlic soften and the bleu cheese bits start to melt.  And I said it’s recommended to use Marie’s (I was trying to be nice, but …) , but it must be Marie’s Super Blue Cheese dressing (in the produce section). Get it when it is buy one – get one and it lasts pretty much, for months, in the fridge. This is key – if you ask me. OR make your own chunky bleu cheese dressing – that would work for sure. May have to try that next time and see if The Boy notices, as he a conniseur of this lovely garlic cheese bread.

1 loaf of French bread

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 small yellow onion, grated

1 cup chunky bleu cheese dressing (recommended: Marie’s)

2 cups extra sharp cheddar, grated

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice French bread in half horizontally. Combine onion and garlic in small bowl. Mix in bleu cheese dressing. Spread mixture on both sides of bread and close bread and wrap in foil. Bake in oven for 15 minutes.

Remove from oven and open bread to lay flat on the foil. Top with cheddar and return to the oven until the cheese melts. If desired, put under broiler for a few minutes until crunchy.

Remove from oven. Slice with serrated knife.