Garlic Bread Secrets

"You can never have enough garlic. With enough garlic, you can eat The New York Times."Morley Safer

Show me a barbecue joint that doesn't serve garlic bread and I give them less than a year. If you're gonna que, you'd better know garlic bread.

There are more than 20 ways to skin this cat, and once you have the basics, you should create your own signature style (share it with us below).

Raw garlic is harsh enough to ward off vampires but it gets mellow when cooked. One of the best and most delicious ways to mellow garlic is to roast it. Here are some suggestions for superb roasted garlic bread.

Makes. 2 loaves of bread

Preparation time. 5 minutes

Cooking time. About 1 minute

Method #1

Ingredients

1 head of roasted garlic

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 loaves of crusty French or Italian bread

Method

1) Dump all the ingredients in a blender and beat the heck out of them for about a minute. Then let them sit for about 30 minutes so the dry ingredients can absorb the oil and the flavors can get to know each other better.

2) Slice the bread in 1" thick disks. Stir things up well and paint it on one side of the bread making sure you get some solids on the bread and make sure you paint all the way to the edges to prevent the edges from burning.

3) Put the bread on your grill over medium high direct heat and stay right in front of the grill checking every 30 seconds or so. The bread can go from not yet ready to black in moments. Get them golden. If the edges burn a bit, you can scrape off the black.

Method #2

If you have serious garlic lovers, slice a loaf of crusty bread about 1" thick, oil it lightly with olive oil all the way to the edges, and toast it over medium high direct heat. Serve a roasted garlic head on a plate drizzled with oil and sprinkled with sea salt, fresh thyme or rosemary or your favorite herb. Guests can dig out the cloves with a knife, and spread it on the toast.

Method #3

Take a loaf of crusty bread and slice it about 1" thick. Paint one side lightly with olive oil all the way to the edges. Then pop some roasted garlic cloves out and spread them lightly on the bread. Go easy. About 1/4 clove per slice is enough. Place the bread on the grill over medium high direct heat to toast. If you have some fresh thyme, sprinkle it on the bread and serve.

Optional. I like to put out some fresh chevre, a creamy goat cheese, and spread it on the bread after toaasting. Try warm brie, too. A sliver of sundried tomato and basil are also winning toppers. Or you can mix them all together and serve as a cheese spread. A reader says he and his guests loved Meathead's Hamburger Glop on the grilled bread, with or without the garlic.

Method #4

Take some butter from the fridge and let it come to room temp. Mash the roasted garlic in a bowl with a fork or a mortar and pestle. Mix 1 part mashed roasted garlic with 2 parts butter. Spread the mix on a thick slice of crusty bread making sure you go all the way to the edge or it will burn. Grill face down over direct medium high direct heat and stand there and watch it grill checking every 30 seconds.

Method #5

Get a tub of butter or margarine. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons powdered garlic (not garlic salt). Toss in a tablespoon of smoked or regular paprika. Mix it thoroughly with a fork. Spread it on bread and toast. You'll be surprised how good this simple method tastes.

garlic bread

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