Why is garlic bread such a problem child?
Why is the garlic bread in your head *so much better* than the garlic bread any restaurant ever serves? My guesses: first of all, we're talking Ital-Amer red-sauce joints, which at their best are heart-swelling ideals, the very picture of all that is good and comfy in the world, but tend far more often to be at their worst. Second, relatedly, I assume garlic bread is an afterthought, a boring given that prep cooks sort of get out of the way early on to then reheat.
But that would be stupid, because the truth is garlic bread is everybody's secret favorite part of the meal. (OK, I'm projecting, but bear with me.) So it should be treated with extra respect.
Anyone else have theories?
So many ppl are lacking grey matter these days that they think margarine is food, and garlic salt has some redeeming quality.
Crusty bread, butter, garlic. Is there some kind of mystery I'm not getting here? Don't answer that. I don't want to know. I find it really funny how when someone tastes food that I've made out of real ingredients, it's like they've never had food before in their life.
Ravioli does not come from a can.
Macaroni and cheese does not get its flavor from a foil packet of powder
Marinara sauce does not have more hfcs than tomatoes
Salad dressings are not made primarily of sugar
Hamburgers are made COMPLETELY from ground beef, not made WITH ground beef.
Cheese is not orange and made from vegetable oil and salt.
Because good garlic bread is hard to define? Other than there being garlic and bread, the variables are many. I love butter, but Ina Garten did a version with olive oil that looked amazing. Salt or no? How much fat (oil/butter/whatever)? What's the ratio of bread to garlic? So many differences ...
In my head, good garlic bread is crunchy, somewhat greasy but not overly so, intense caramelized garlic flavour. And yet, I've had good garlic bread that follows none of those qualities and bad garlic bread that follows all of these qualities. I've sat down to a meal with people who thought the bread we were served were perfect and some of the party thought it was mediocre.
No accounting for taste ...
pg's garlic bread (remembering I am an Aussie,so your ItalAmer red sauce reference means jack to me.. but I am all over a good garlic bread!)
take a whole head of garlic.
Squeeze out cloves and mash with unsalted butter.
Take a good sized baguette/french stick (I like to use long rolls from our local Viet bakery) and cut 1 inch slices (not severing the whole way)
spread lots and lots of yummy garlic butter between slices.
wrap in foil and pop in oven 15 mins before serving roast chicken.
Use warm slices of oily garlicky bready goodness to slurp up pieces of roast chook and scoff.
**insert sounds of heavenly choir**
It takes less than 2 minutes to slice half a baguette, crush a clove or 2 of garlic, butter up, and finish with coarse romano in the toaster oven. I don't trust restaurants to do garlic bread right. Try it for a tuna sandwich with romaine; it makes a symphony from a rag-time band.
In Denver, one must buy french bread in the morning and get it home into Zip-locks by noon, because the air is so dry that bread is stale by dinner otherwise.