Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Sriracha Garlic Bread

I like food. All kinds of food. I'm not sure I can pick a favorite food. I would have difficulty choosing a Top Ten list.

But if you put a gun to my head and forced me to write such a list, garlic bread would probably make the cut.

Well. Until last week, when I discovered something even better than garlic bread.

Sriracha garlic bread.

Clearly, the only thing fluffy French bread, creamy butter, garlic, and a nice toast in the oven needed to turn it into the food of angels was a shot of srirarcha. Oh, and cheese.

Unlike the sriracha shrimp recipe, this sriracha recipe is not particularly spicy. You get a zing, perhaps a playful nip of spice, but the butter, bread, and cheese all counteract it so it's not overwhelming or painful at all.

Try it.

You'll like it.

Sriracha garlic bread with sriracha shrimp.

Sriracha Garlic Bread
Adapted from this recipe at Bon Appetit (which pretty much just says, make garlic bread. With sriracha).

Clearly, for garlic bread, you need a good bread. Something fluffy, with a nice crust. When the French bread at Reasor's goes on sale for a dollar, I usually stock up on several loaves and freeze the extra. The thinner loaves (long with a smaller diameter) work as well and will make cute little bite-size toasts that are great for serving at a party.

The DDH cuts.
Make sure to cut nice thick slices, Texas toast style. You want to still have fluffy warm bread innards even once the outside is crisp and toasty.

Line a cookie sheet with foil (to cut down on cleanup) and lay your bread slices out on it.

Through trial and error (delicious, delicious trial and error), we discovered that you need about 1 Tbs. butter per slice of bread. You can get away with as little as 1/2 tablespoon, but why bother?

It helps if the butter is softened, but it's not necessary.

Put some garlic, minced, in with your butter. This is a matter of taste. We used three big cloves for five pieces of bread.

The DDH, a purist with much better knife skills than I, truly minced the garlic; I usually toss it in the garlic press because I'm lazy like that. If you like bigger chunks of garlic on your bread, I would use more and merely dice it.

Minced garlic.
Anyway. Whip in 1/2 to 1 Tbs. sriracha. Again, this is a matter of taste. The DDH says he used about a squeeze per tablespoon of butter. Remember that you can always add more, but you can't take it out if you use too much. :-)
You'll notice that the mixture is liquid in the picture. The recipe DDH used said to whisk the sriracha and garlic with melted butter, but through the aforementioned delicious, delicious trial and error, we discovered that it is more effective to whip the softened-not-melted butter, garlic, and sriracha using a handheld beater or a whisk and a strong whipping arm. The butter goes further this way when spread on the bread; it's hard to distribute liquified butter evenly to all the bread pieces.

You want whipped, not liquid, butter mixture.
Spread the butter mixture on your bread slices. Make sure to butter both sides of all the breads!

Orange bread.
Preheat the broiler; we discovered that low was safest with our broiler but broilers vary greatly.
Grate Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese over the bread slices.

Broil for about three minutes on low. Broilers take bread from toast to terrible pretty quickly, so keep an eye on them.
Flip, add more cheese, and broil for another three minutes or so, until the cheese melts and the bread is golden brown around the edges.

Astute readers may notice there is more bread on this pan
than in the pre-toasted pictures. I *told* you we learned
that broiling bread on low was safer....

 Those bits of crisped cheese between the bread slices are good eating, too. Just saying.

Serve with a meal or as a delicious, delicious snack.

Sriracha garlic bread and soup.

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