How do you define "hometown food"? Is it food from the town you grew up in? From the town you currently live in? Maybe it's from the town that has your heart...you know that saying..'home is where your heart it'.
I had a difficult time deciding what to make for today's Sunday Supper theme. The town where I grew up is out of the way, hidden between a few mountains and from what I remember, wasn't known much for their food. I do remember a great burger joint or two. I also considered where my heart is, and most of my family but I think I've posted several southern dishes which actually represent a culture more than the town in Alabama where my folks live.
So that left me with my current location of nearly 30 yrs....beautiful downtown Burbank. We have an awful lot of restaurants in town. Mostly chains. Some new, some old. Some great and some not so much. But there's one restaurant down by the studios that has been around for decades. Owners have changed a few times as has the menu a bit but the one thing that the Smoke House is famous for is their Cheesy Garlic Bread.
The Smoke House is a great steak house with wonderful prime rib, a fabulous Sunday brunch and a real old time classic feel to it, complete with a bar, lounge and live music. It's been around since the end of WWII and used to be frequented by Hollywood legends such as Bob Hope and Bing Cosby. Dinning there has always been a great way to celebrate a special occasion. Regardless of what you order, several orders of cheesy garlic bread are a must. Plus one to go. The locals even make special trips just to pick up a few orders to take out. Nothing else....just cheesy garlic bread.
One of my dearest friends shared a recipe for their cheesy garlic bread. Funny thing is that the recipe calls for shredded American cheese, but there's a note at the bottom that says: 'or use powdered cheese (ie: the cheese packet from boxed macaroni and cheese)'.
Really?!...hmmm. That little note sure got my attention. Mostly because the cheesy garlic bread from the Smoke House doesn't have melty cheese all over it yet has that cheesy flavor. This must be the "trick".
I decided to try it both ways. One with the shredded American cheese and the other with powdered cheese. I knew in my heart which one was going to be closest to the real thing, but I had to do it anyway.
Btw...if you're looking at this from a "healthy" perspective, I don't feel that one is better than the other since American cheese is processed anyway so it's not like the powdered cheese is replacing the "real thing".
One more thing, you need to plan ahead as the garlic butter needs 3 days to do it's thing.
Smoke House Cheesy Garlic BreadPrintable Version
makes 2 loaves
1/2 cup melted butter
4 teaspoons dried garlic granules* or 4 cloves of fresh garlic, smashed and diced **
1 loaf of Italian bread
1/4 lb of American cheese, shredded (not sliced) OR 4 tablespoons of powdered cheese (or to taste)
(you can find American cheese in block form at the deli counter of most grocery stores)
**If using fresh garlic: In a small bowl, combine the melted butter with the smashed and diced garlic. Cover and let sit in the fridge for 3 days. (fresh garlic in any kind of oil that is not refrigerated can become the perfect host for botulism)
Once the 3 days are up, strain out the garlic (the butter might need to be heated up a tad first so the garlic can be removed easily). The garlic aroma and flavor is intense! Suweeeet!!!
Liberally brush the garlic butter over the bread. Sprinkle either the shredded American cheese or the powdered cheese all over. I actually found powdered cheese in a jar in the spice section of my grocery store.
Btw, grating American cheese is kinda weird. It mostly felt like I was just pushing the cheese through the grater. But man, it really does melt nicely.
The cheese sprinkles where a lot let messy but not as pretty.
Place the loaves in a hot broiler for a minute or two. Keep a close eye on it at all times as once it gets going it goes from done to burnt in a matter of seconds.
Then let it cool for a second. Slice and serve.
When all is said and done, the powdered cheese version is spot on...Smoke House Cheesy Garlic Bread! If you've moved from the area and miss this local Burbank treat, here's your fix.
Me? I have a thing for melty. I think the real star in this recipe actually, is the method used to make the garlic butter. It's a lot easier and better than the methods I've been using or trying over the years. How you choose to cheese your garlic bread is totally up to you.
Don't forget to check out the other Sunday Supper Hometown Foods recipes!
- Alamo City Breakfast Tacos by The Weekend Gourmet
- Gluten Free Cinnamon Raisin Bagels by Cupcakes & Kale Chips
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- Peanut Butter and Fluff French Toast by Momma’s Meals
- Candied Kumquat Peels, Kumquat Syrup, and Kumquat-Ade by Recipe for Perfection
- Wine Pairing Recommendations for Hometown Food by ENOFYLZ Wine Blog
- Baked Buffalo Chicken Wings by Peanut Butter and Peppers
- Cuban Sandwich Crostini by Casa de Crews
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- Philadelphia Tomato Pie by The Redhead Baker
- Pierogies by Hezzi D's Books and Cooks
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- Smoke House Cheesy Garlic Bread by Peaceful Cooking
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