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Tag Archives: garlic

Easy Cheesy Garlic Bread

3 Dec

Bread just might be one of the very best edible creations ever.  Around here, we find nearly impossible to refuse soft, chewy, yummy bread.  When I’ve got a bit of time to spare, I work out my issues by making all kinds of bread from scratch.  Kneading and punching down dough is like therapy, but cheaper.  Our all-time favorites include rosemary garlic bread and those “famous” breadsticks.

Ok, but what if one is short on time?  Something’s gotta give when I’m in a time crunch and my beloved peeps are hungry for a hearty bread to go with their pasta.

Easy Cheesy Garlic Bread

Enter this super easy, cheesy, garlicky bread.  Cheese + garlic + crusty bread = Scrumptious.   How can that trio not be perfect together?  This cheesy garlic bread is chock full of savory garlic, butter, and cheese.  It’s tender and soft on the inside, and crisp on the outside.  This garlic cheese bread comes together in a pinch, so you can easily pop it in the oven at the last minute for tempting oven-fresh bread.

Easy Cheesey Garlic Bread 2

Try to use a large, thick, and crusty bread loaf, which will provide that hearty texture.  And, though eight cloves of crushed garlic may sound like a typo, rest assured that it’s correct.  Once it’s all thrown together, the garlic flavor actually tends to get lost, so the herb formula here is:  the more, the merrier.

Easy Cheesy Garlic Bread 3

Y-U-M.  Serve up your cheesy garlic bread with any pasta, soup, or salad dish.  It’s fabulous to use for soaking up broth, if you’re making a dish with savory broth to spare.  This bread is definitely best served warm, right out of the oven, so enjoy it immediately.

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RECIPE (1 large loaf)

INGREDIENTS
1 large, thick loaf of crusty bread (i.e., a rustic Italian or French loaf)
8 cloves of crushed garlic
1/2 tsp garlic powder
4 TB regular butter
4 TB good olive oil
1 cup shredded Italian blend cheese
fresh parsley, finely chopped

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 400F.

Combine the crushed garlic, garlic powder, butter, and oil in a saucepan and heat over low for several minutes, until incorporated.  Set aside.

Split loaf in half, lengthwise, and place on foil-lined baking sheet.  Brush bread generously with garlic butter mixture.   Bake bread 5-10 minutes, or until lightly golden.  Remove bread and sprinkle evenly with cheese and parsley.  Adjust oven to broil, and broil bread about 1 minute, or just until desired level of golden brown is achieved and cheese is melted.  Watch carefully and remove bread as soon as it looks done.

Cut into thick slices, wrap in clean cloth, and serve immediately.

By Chewoutloud

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Rustic Rosemary Garlic Bread

5 Oct Rustic Rosemary Garlic Bread

Recently, I felt compelled to obey that bread-making compulsion that comes calling now and then.  Everyone knows the fall season is synonymous with a sudden onset of baking activity.  For me, that includes bread.   Armed with a craving for rustic bread, an addiction to garlic, and a fondness for the heady aroma of rosemary, I decided to bake the Best Rosemary Garlic Bread ever.  If such a thing can be decided 🙂

Rustic Rosemary Garlic Bread

Rustic Rosemary Garlic Bread

I was super thrilled that this actually resulted in the Best Rosemary Garlic Bread we’ve ever had.  It’s most definitely a family favorite now.  The mouth watering aroma from the oven is one big ridiculous temptation.  Seriously, we all sooo wanted to tear into this loaf the minute it came out.

Rustic Rosemary Garlic Bread

Rustic Rosemary Garlic Bread

Needless to say, once the dinner bell was officially rung, the bread lasted maybe seconds.   Oh-So-Good.  The exterior has that artisan, rustic texture – a gorgeous golden crisp crust.  The inside?  Everything I’d want in a hearty dinner bread… it’s chewy, soft, yet robust… delicious.  The roasted garlic and rosemary are absolutely meant for one another.  The seasoning flavors this bread perfectly.

Rustic Rosemary Garlic Bread

Rustic Rosemary Garlic Bread

I always make homemade bread by hand, only because I’ve never purchased a bread maker.  I’ve thought about getting one, but so far it’s been fine without; if you don’t have a bread maker, no worries.  You can absolutely make this fab bread at home with a little extra elbow grease.

Rustic Rosemary Garlic Bread

Rustic Rosemary Garlic Bread

Plan ahead to allow time for rising.  Depending on the temperature of your room, it could take a couple of hours for the dough to double.  I like to put mine in an oven that has been slightly warmed up, which helps the rise time go a bit faster.  No doubt, this bread is so worth it.   You’ll be one popular baker at the dinner table.  Enjoy!

RECIPE (makes 1 loaf)

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1 cup warm water, 110-115F
2 tsp white sugar
2 tsp fine salt
3 TB extra virgin olive oil
2 1/2 cups bread flour
1 TB dried rosemary
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 head of roasted garlic
extra olive oil for brushing on top and serving
coarse sea salt for sprinkling on top
balsamic vinegar for serving
clean water in spray bottle

DIRECTIONS

In large bowl, Sprinkle yeast into 1 cup warm water.  Mix in the sugar and salt.  Let sit for about 10 minutes or until it foams.  Add in olive oil.  Add flour and knead (by hand or stand mixer) for about 10 minutes.  Add rosemary, black pepper, and oregano.  Knead another 5 minutes.  Finally, gently knead in roasted garlic by hand, about 1 minute.  Dough should come together well at this point; slightly sticky is fine.  Place dough ball in well oiled bowl, turning dough a few times so that dough surfaces are protected by oil.  Tightly cover bowl with cling wrap.  Place in warm, draft-free area to rise until dough is doubled, approx. 1 hour, depending on room temp (if your room is cooler, it could take 2 hours.)

After dough is doubled, punch it down and shape into a rounded loaf.  Using sharp knife, make a criss-cross design on top.  Place rounded loaf on greased baking sheet.  Cover up loaf with large mixing bowl inverted over it.  Make sure bowl is large enough that it gives your loaf room to rise.  Let rise until doubled again, approx 1 hour.

After dough has doubled again, gently brush with olive oil, sprinkle with coarse sea salt and a bit more rosemary.  Bake at 375F for 25-30 minutes, spraying loaf with water once during the middle of baking.  Bump oven up to 425F and spray loaf with water again.  Watch carefully – bake just until top is a  nice golden brown, taking care not to over bake.

Serve bread fresh and warm, with your favorite blend of good olive oil, freshly ground black pepper, and balsamic vinegar!

by chewoutloud, adapted from Jo’s Rosemary Bread

The Great Garlic – How to Roast it!

30 Jul roasted garlic

I don’t remember a time in my life when garlic wasn’t incorporated into the daily dinner menu in some shape or form.  Well, OK – during my pregnancies, garlic made me gag – but that’s a totally different story.  Other than that, this amazing bulb has been chopped, diced, sauteed, smashed, pureed, and used in every way possible in our family.  My parents claim garlic’s powerhouse antioxidant properties have benefited their health.  With all the research done on garlic’s medicinal virtues, my mom might be right.  However, we also just love the taste of garlic as an herb that greatly enhances the flavor of food.

roasted garlic

Roasted Garlic – pick fresh, firm bulbs

When I first started roasting garlic many years ago, it was for the garlic mashed potatoes we made every year during the holidays.  Since then, so many reasons to roast my garlic.  It is super easy and so versatile!  First, pick out a firm, fresh head of garlic – larger is better, as it will shrink a bit while roasting.

roasted garlic

Roasted Garlic – hello, antioxidants!

Next, use a good, sharp knife and carefully slice your bulb in half, across the middle.  Generously drizzle both halves with good olive oil and sprinkle with salt over each half.  Close the garlic bulb back together, seal up completely in foil, and roast in oven or toaster oven at 400F for 1 hour.

roasted garlic

Roasted Garlic – amp up the flavor of sauces, spreads, and countless savory dishes.

DONE!  Not too many good things are easier than that.  Pop out the soft roasted cloves and use in whatever way you like.  I already mentioned using mine in our family favorite roasted garlic mashed potatoes.  I also mash up roasted garlic to make roasted garlic mayo and roasted garlic butter.  I love including chopped roasted garlic in pizzas and pastas.  You probably have some delicious ideas of your own.  Here’s to using our imagination and getting more out of The Great Garlic.   Happy garlic roasting!

Source:  Chew Out Loud

Tantalizing Tomatoes and Tofu

30 Jun

“How do you eat tofu?”  I get that question when people see tofu in my shopping cart.  For starters, I rarely eat tofu uncooked.  When seasoned well and cooked right, it is easy to love this amazingly tasty and healthy soy food.   Tofu loves seasoning, especially salt.  Tofu is akin to a sponge that soaks in more flavor as it cooks and sits.

Tantalizing Tomatoes and Tofu (chewoutloud.com)

This one is close to my heart and goes back to my roots.  My folks prepared this Tomatoes and Tofu dish at home frequently, and it is one of the few healthy dishes that we kids would gobble up.

vine ripened tomatoes

It’s a tastefully smart way to use up any variety of tomatoes, serving up great protein and veggies at the same time – not to mention BIG flavor.  That’s right.  Big flavor!

tofu soaking in tomato flavor (chewoutloud.com)

Here’s our family’s tantalizing rendition of Tomatoes and Tofu.

RECIPE (serves about 4, as a side dish)

INGREDIENTS:
4 large vine-ripened tomatoes, diced, reserving juices (if using small tomatoes, just adjust amount)
10 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp sugar
1 (16oz) package firm tofu, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 to 1 1/2 tsp salt
2 TB green onions or scallions, thinly sliced
fresh cracked black pepper

DIRECTIONS:
Put chopped tomatoes with juices into large skillet.  Add chopped garlic and sugar.  Cover and cook on medium-high until tomatoes are cooked down, stirring occasionally.  About 10 minutes.

Drain tofu cubes of any water.  Add to skillet with the tomato mixture.  Sprinkle with 1 tsp salt and a few pinches of fresh cracked black pepper.  Cover and simmer about 5 minutes.  Gently stir several times while cooking, taking care not to break tofu.  If desired, taste and sprinkle in 1/2 tsp more salt or to taste.  Remove from heat and stir in sliced scallion.

Serve over white rice.  Happy tofu eating!

Source:  Chew Out Loud

Bruschetta with Roquefort Cheese and Peppers

28 Jun

We’ve been loving our Gourmet Dinner Club for the past three years.  It’s made up of several foodie-couples who adore cooking and eating.  We somehow get our acts together and pull off a four course meal with appetizers, salad, main dish, and dessert, complete with specific wine pairings to match each course.

On one of those fun nights, I made this Bruschetta.  Much of it can be prepared ahead of time, which is a huge plus that anyone who hates last-minute scrambling will appreciate!

Sauteed sweet peppers, garlic, basil, and Roquefort cheese over french baguette

We dig out our cute linens, our “good” dishware, and always the Riedel stem ware.  OK, yeah, it’s a little bit on the frou-frou side, but oh soooo much fun!  Bonus: We get to use our “good stuff” more than just once or twice a year!  If you have some food loving friends, chat about starting some kind of dinner club.  Whether you go with a casual or upscale style, it is absolutely loads of fun.  Oh, if you have young kiddos like we do… totally get a sitter.

Smoked salmon is also a deliciously savory accompaniment to have.

Add whatever other toppings you like to those crispy baguettes.  Have fun with it!

RECIPE (serves 6-8)

INGREDIENTS
1-2 French baguettes
extra virgin olive oil
2 bell peppers (I used red and yellow)
1/2 tsp sugar
3-4 garlic cloves
1/4 cup sliced basil leaves
1/4 lb Roquefort cheese (can also use Gorgonzola)
Fresh cracked pepper to taste
kosher salt to taste

DIRECTIONS
Seed and thinly slice the peppers.  Heat 2-3 TB olive oil over medium-high.  Saute garlic until aromatic and soft.  Add peppers and saute until they are soft, about 10 minutes.  Add sugar and saute for a couple more minutes.  Last, stir in basil for a minute.  Season to taste with salt and black pepper.  This pepper mixture can be made an hour or two ahead of time and set aside to warm later.

Heat oven to 375F.  Slice baguette evenly into 1/2 inch thick slices.  Brush each slice with olive oil on top.  Place in a large pan lined with parchment paper (important for even toasting and to avoid burnt bottoms).  Toast just until lightly browned, about 8-9 minutes.

Spoon pepper mixture on each baguette slice.  Top with crumbled cheese.  Return to oven for another minute just to warm up.  Serve warm.  Enjoy!
Source:  Chew Out Loud,  adapted from Ina Garten

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