Ya baby, thats what I'm talking about.
Is there anyone out there who doesn't love a good piece or two (or three) of Cheesy Garlic Bread? No no...don't tell me who you are cuz then I'll just have to feel sorry for you.
I got this really cool cookbook from a friend of mine for Christmas called "What Can I Bring? Cookbook". It says it has "over 200 great-tasting, easy-to-tote dishes for parties, picnics, potlucks, backyard barbecues, holiday dinners and any get-together!" (by Anne Byrn - The Cake Mix Doctor). I haven't used it much yet but that will change with the fast approaching summer season. The reason behind this gift (besides the knowledge of my love for cooking and all things kitchen related) is the fact that we love to cook together and do great in the kitchen together. We just sorta fall into place and it works wonderfully. We have very similar styles and have so much fun together.....so she bought the cookbook for me in anticipation of our future gatherings and kitchen adventures.
With that said, I just want to share with you one of the best garlic bread recipes I've had the pleasure of making. And yes, it came from my lovely cookbook gift. Over the years I've tried so many ways to make garlic bread and most have been good...but none have been great...until now :)
1 loaf (1 lb) Italian bread (I've used french bread with great results)
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, at room temperature
1 - 2 tablespoons olive oil
3 medium-sized cloves garlic, crushed in a garlic press
1 teaspoon dried oregano (I've used Italian seasoning instead...yum)
1 cup (4 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese
Red pepper flakes (optional)
Chopped fresh parsley (optional), for garnish
Just for the record...I double the recipe for my bread. I don't like to be skimpy with the butter mixture....and well, it just didn't seem like enough to do the job.
Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400' F. Place a piece of aluminum foil about 2 inches longer than the loaf of bread on a baking sheet.
Partially cut the bread into slices 1 to 2 inches thick; do not slice all the way through the loaf. Carefully transfer the cut loaf to the baking sheet (don't let it fall apart on you)
Place the butter, olive oil, garlic and oregano in a small bowl and stir to mix.
Check out one of my new little fun gadgets (the R2D2 looking thing on wheels). That baby is full of garlic. You stuff a few cloves inside, roll it back and forth like a one of those toy wind up cars and it chops that stuff up and does it good! BTW...It came with my cookbook :)
Place the butter mixture evenly on both sides of each of the slices of bread. Scatter the mozzarella cheese over the top of the loaf and sprinkle red pepper flakes over it, if desired.
Pull the aluminum foil up around the loaf sides, folding it together at each end to secure them but leaving the top of the loaf exposed.
Bake the bread until the cheese melts and the loaf has browned, 10 - 12 minutes. If desired, garnish with parsley. Totally yum and totally garlic!