perfect garlic bread
how to make a good garlic bread, I put butter, garlic power , onion power, cheese,
but the top never crispy, and it never taste like the one at chilis
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start out with very fresh italian bread or semolina bread, drizzle extra virgin olive oil, then add pats of butter, on top of this add red chili flakes, oregano, fresh parsley, and shaved fresh reggiano, drizzle some more olive oil to finish them off, and then put into broil, watch carefully so they don't burn, you might need to turn it around if one side isn't done the same as the other....always a hit....and sometimes I will add cubes of fresh tomatoes, or chopped olive tapenade that I make....
Never had Chili's but my first job was as a prep cook at a roadhouse-style restaurant. We melted butter with sliced garlic cloves in a skillet (about a 1/2" deep or less) and dipped baguette slices in it. Sliced mozzarella and parsley topped it off. It was cooked in a salamander until the cheese bubbled. Whenever I use this method, it gets raves.
BTW, I don't worry about low fat when I cook.
I agree with everyone who suggested the butter/garlic etc paste.
However, I do suggest that if you sprinkle the top with Parmigiano or Romano that you make sure you use a block of cheese and grate it yourself. You won't get that same crispy, cheesy texture if you attempt to use something like the evil green jar of Kraft, or any other grated cheese you will buy at the store. It really will make a difference in your garlic bread.
Try keeping a prep'd batch of butter or olive oil containing fresh roasted garlic, fresh oregano, thyme, rosemary, crushed black pepper in your refrigerator.
Buy crusty breads & experiment too.
Having the "spread" on hand makes the task so easy. A toaster oven set on bake is ideal for attaining a good top crust.
I wouldn't call the Chili's garlic bread a good benchmark, sad to say. What I do is I toast a bunch of unpeeled garlic (about 10 cloves) over medium heat in a small skillet, shaking when I think about it, until the papery skins get nice and dark and the garlic gets soft. I let it cool, then run it through a garlic press. I then mix the garlic with 6-8 tablespoons of butter, and then add whatever herbs you feel like throwing in... some parsley is good, maybe a little basil too. I'll add a chopped up chipotle pepper most of the time (or chipotle powder if I don't have any real chipotles around), and often some shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Then, I take my loaf of bread, a nice rustic Italian loaf, and slice it horizontally lengthwise down the middle like I'm going to make a HUGE sandwich. I spread half of the butter mixture on each half, then put it in a 500 degree oven for about 5-8 minutes, until the edges are starting to turn dark. Then, I take it out of the oven, slice each half into individual slices, and enjoy. It's way better than Chili's every time. And definitely play with the recipe- this is one you can easily make your own house special.
Try slightly toasting slices of Italian bread under the broiler just enough so that the surfaces of the slices are firm. Remove from the oven and allow to cool so that slices can be handled. Cut large cloves of fresh garlic in half so that the cloves can be held between your thumb and forefinger. Rub the bread slices with the raw garlic. Then brush with olive oil. Put the slices under the broiler to finish toasting the bread.
I don't know about the cheese, but if that's what you want finely grate fresh Reggio Parmigiano or Pecorino Romano on top of the slices while they are still hot.
Forget the garlic and onion powders!