Thursday, May 29, 2014

Perfect Garlic Bread -Grill or Baked

This is one of my favorite things to make for a party because who doesn't love garlic bread? And its so cheap and there's no dishes to bring back home. 

Its so great with pastas, soups, chili, stews, salads or by itself.

In this post, you will see several events of the the garlic bread. Whats your style? 
Before you start to decide if your going to grill or bake it, you can make the filling.
 If your butter is not softened, you can cut it into smaller pieces to speed up the process. I used 2 sticks of butter to make a little extra in the end. But you can do this with 1 1/2 sticks of butter. 
Here's my French bread freshly baked from Safeway. 
Allow the butter to soften, it'll make a world of difference!
Once the butter is soft, grab some shredded parmesan cheese, about 1 cup. Its always better if you grate it yourself but for the sake of time, I always have this handy bag of parmesan from Sams Club ready to go. It lasts many months in the freezer!
1/2 tsp. of black pepper.
About 3 or more garlic cloves, minced. I usually throw a bunch into a food processor ahead of time and just spoon some out when needed. 
And the herbs, preferably freshly chopped parsley. I used 1/4 cup of dried parsley because I didn't have fresh ones. You can also use cilantro, basil or any herbs you find in pizza seasoning. I was thinking of using rosemary next time. I'll keep this blog posted if I do...
Mix the softened butter, garlic, herbs, pepper, parmesan until well combined.

Preheat the oven 350 degrees F.
You can cut the bread straight down (pictured) or slightly diagonal.
 Keep each piece slightly attached by not cutting all the way through.
Now spread the butter mix with a flat spatula on one side of each piece.
 Don't worry, be generous. It'll all melt away and everyone will be happy.

 Lay the bread on a piece of foil.
 And wrap it nice and tight. 
Place it in the oven for the first 10 minutes. 
Middle rack should do nicely.
After 10 minutes, take it out and add a sprinkle of grated parmesan cheese to the top. 
Cover it up in the foil and bake another 10 minutes on the highest rack. 
After the last 10 minutes, open up the middle of the foil and broil for 1-2 minutes. 
Make sure you watch every second of the broil because this is where it can burn all your hard work away. I kept it on the middle rack and tried to broil it a few minutes longer. 
It burned a little (at 3-4 min. broil, top rack) but it was still so delicious! Set aside uncovered to give it the perfect crisp.
At this time (while its still warm and pliable), cut and detatch each slice for easier serving. You can grab it by the foil if its still hot.
Here's a bread I broiled for 3 minutes, middle rack. Its also a diagonal cut as mentioned earlier.
Here's a bunch of breads I baked for a class luncheon.
Here's the bread cut lengthwise in half. If its not foiled, you can cut the time in half by baking only 10 minutes. Then broil for 3 minutes, top rack. The left side is the herb-garlic-butter and on the right is just butter. 

Repeat the spreading process and grill each piece for 2-3 minutes on each side. 
I grilled these at a pool party! 
I grilled these at a hotel timeshare.

Try adding bacon, pancetta or prosciutto!

Melt 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese and 2 tbsp butter in a sauce pan, add 1/2 tsp. of mustard, a pinch of cayenne pepper and a dash of worcestershire. You can add 1 tbsp of milk (or and egg yolk or a whole sunny side egg) if you want. Spread this on each slice of bread and broil. Garnish with chives or any herb you like. 

I love freezing the butter, its so useful to always have it on hand. 
 Just take some wax paper. 
 Plop the butter mix onto the wax paper.
 Fold and gently press to flatten.
You can roll it or just keep it like this. Ive rolled it before by running your finger down the right side to push the butter closer to the middle. But since I had a lot extra, I froze it in this form. 

Happy eating everyone! 

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