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Urban Foodies

Easy Homemade Ciabatta Garlic Bread Recipe

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This cheesy, toasty homemade garlic bread is a classic side dish that goes well with just about any pasta dish, or really just about any meal. And it’s super easy to make too!

Two slices of toasted bread topped with butter, garlic and cheese

I’ve been making this garlic bread for years. It’s so easy and you really can’t beat buttery, toasted garlic bread fresh out of the oven. Recently, a friend asked why the recipe wasn’t on the blog and I figured it was time to share it!

Garlic bread is one of those things that’s incredibly easy to make from scratch. It only requires a few ingredients and the hands-on time needed to prepare it is very limited.

Contents:

What makes this recipe so great

Whether you’re looking for an easy way to impress dinner guests, or just a treat for your next weeknight dinner, this cheesy garlic bread recipe is just the thing. Here’s why it works so well:

  • Well, first, let’s start with buttery, garlicy, cheesy slices of bread. Do I even have to say anything else??
  • It takes less than 25 minutes to make. Even less if you make the compound butter ahead of time. Then all you really need to do is let the butter come to room temperature, slice the bread and bake it. It doesn’t get much easier than that!
  • Homemade garlic bread is the best side dish to just about everything!

Recipe Ingredients

The full list of ingredients and quantities can be found in the recipe card below.

loaf of ciabatta bread, pats of butter, grated parmesan, salt, garlic cloves and parsley on a grey background

This recipe really only has six ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need:

Ciabatta bread: Ciabatta bread is crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside – the perfect texture to absorb the garlicky butter mixture. I prefer it over french bread for this recipe but you could substitute a loaf of french bread. You’ll need about half of a loaf for the recipe so I recommend freezing the other half to use later.

Butter: You’ll want unsalted butter for this recipe.

Garlic: You’ll need 2-3 cloves for this recipe. Make sure it’s pretty finely minced. 

Grated parmesan: Some garlic bread recipes don’t call for cheese, but I think it’s a key ingredient. The salty paremsan gives it extra flavor and texture. I recommend using freshly grated for the best results.

Spices: sea salt, dried parsley

How to make garlic bread from scratch

A few notes and tips before you get started: 

Soften the butter. This is a key step because without softened butter it’s really difficult to incorporate the garlic! Leave some unsalted butter out to soften for about an hour before you are going to make the garlic bread.

Black wire basket filled with slices of toasted bread topped with garlic butter and cheese

Make the compound butter. Compound butter is butter with other ingredients mixed in. In this case, those other ingredients are garlic, salt, parmesan cheese, and parsley.

Prepare the bread. Place the slices of bread on a sheet pan and slather one side of each slice with the compound butter mixture. Sprinkle the remaining parmesan cheese on each slice.

Bake the bread. Pop the sheet pan in the oven and bake for about 12 minutes, or until golden brown and toasty. This is a recipe where you want to watch the cooking time closely. If your oven runs cool, you may need to bake the bread for closer to 15 minutes.

Make-ahead tip: You can make the compound butter a couple of days in advance and store it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to make the bread. Just remember to take it out and let it soften for about an hour. Also, see the section about freezing this bread if you want to prep everything beforehand.

Frequently asked questions

  • Why sliced bread instead of the whole loaf? Given the shape of a ciabatta loaf, prefer to slice the loaf crosswise, like you see in the photo above, before slathering on the butter. If you prefer, you can slice the entire loaf in half lengthwise to create to large slabs, then slice into smaller pieces after baking
  • Fresh parsley or dried? Since you are mixing this into the butter and then baking it, dried parsley works well. You can use fresh as well, I’d recommend finely chopped Italian parsely if you do.  
  • What do I do with leftovers? You can wrap any leftover slices in aluminum foil and store them in the refrigerator for a day or two, then reheat in a toaster over, however, this bread is really best straight out of the oven. If you don’t think you’ll eat all six slices you can save some of the butter and cook the remaing slices the next day.

Can I freeze garlic bread?

Yes, you can. If you want to freeze it before baking I’d recommend you slice the bread in half lengthwise to make two large slabs. Spread the butter mixture on the bread, place it on a sheet pan, and freeze for 25-30 minutes until the butter mixture is solid. Then wrap the bread with plastic wrap, then aluminum foil and place in a freezer-safe bag.  Freeze for up to 1 month. When ready to heat, unwrap, and place the frozen bread on a sheet pan. Bake at 400°F for 25-30 minutes or golden brown.

Tools you’ll want for this recipe

Sheet pan –  You’ll want a half sheet pan so you have enough room for all the slices. A sheet pan is the best option for this recipe to ensure the bread doesn’t slide off when you remove it from the oven.

Microplane Zester – I consider this to be an essential kitchen tool. It’s great for grating hard cheese, and zesting all kinds of citrus.

Serving Suggestions

Garlic bread is a classic side for pasta so I’d serve this with this Bolognese Sauce or this Chicken and Artichoke Pasta.

Just add a simple green salad and you’ve got yourself an easy yet elegant weeknight meal.

More unique side dish reicpes

If you are looking for more ideas for interesting side dish recipes check out these reader favorites:

Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread Bites

Air Fryer Zucchini Chips

Individual Potato Gratins


Two slices of toasted bread topped with butter, garlic and cheese

Homemade Ciabatta Garlic Bread

This cheesy, toasty homemade garlic bread is a classic side dish that goes well with just about any pasta dish, or really just about any meal. And it’s super easy to make too!

Prep Time 10 mins

Cook Time 12 mins

Hands-off prep time 1 hr

Course Veggies & Sides

Cuisine Italian

Servings 3 servings

Calories 159 kcal

Ingredients  

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softenend
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 3 tablespoons grated parmsan cheese, divided
  • ½ teaspoon dried parsley
  • ½ load ciabatta bread, sliced

Instructions 

  • Heat oven. Preheat the oven to 400°F

  • Make the compound butter. Add the butter, salt, garlic, parsley, and 1 tablespoon of parmesan to a small bowl. Mix well.

  • Prepare the bread. Place the slices of bread on a sheet pan. Spread the butter mixture on one side of each slice, making sure to coat the entire slice.

  • Bake the bread. Place the sheet pan in the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.

Notes

  • You should be able to get six slices of bread out of half of a loaf. 
  • If you slice the loaf longways, you may need to increase the baking time slightly. 

Nutrition

Serving: 2slicesCalories: 159kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 2g





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Urban Foodies

Celebrating Our 20th Anniversary at Taco Maria (During Covid) –

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Taco Maria in Costa Mesa has always been one of our favorite Mexican restaurants in LA.

Chef Carlos Salgado is originally from Mexico but spent over ten years training in some of the best kitchens in the US, including 2-Michelin starred restaurants like Coi in San Francisco and Commis in Oakland. He opened Taco Maria in 2013.

Prior to achieving a Michelin Star, Chef Salgado was a James Beard Award semifinalist for Best Chef West consecutively for the past four years, and was named Food & Wine Best New Chef in 2015.

Dining During Covid

Notoriously challenging to book, this Michelin-starred restaurant got even harder to book during Covid. They removed all indoor dining and limited seating to parties of four. They also opened up bookings only 1-2 weeks in advance, so Bryan diligently logged onto their website (at midnight in Hong Kong!) to grab seats for us during popular, coveted weekend slots.

Taco Maria – The Food



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Urban Foodies

Visiting Family in Los Angeles During Covid

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Returning to the US



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Urban Foodies

A Weeknight Meal for Two

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This Deconstructed Skillet Lasagna gives you that great lasagna taste without all the fuss of traditional lasagne, making it an easy weeknight meal for two!  

Skillet filled with lasagne with bread, wine and cheese on the side

This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase a product via these links, I will earn a small commission which helps to keep this blog running!

There is nothing like a good hearty pasta dish on a chilly winter night! This creamy, deconstructed lasagna takes all the components of traditional lasagna and incorporates them into an easy-to-make version. No need to spend time layering anymore. 

This skillet version might just change the way you make lasagne forever!

Contents:
Deconstructed Skillet Lasagna shot from overhead on a teal blue napkin

Recipe Highlights

  • Cheese sauce! Do I really need to say more?!
  • Designed for two. Since it’s made in small skillets, this lasagna is the ideal two serving meal.
  • Easier than traditional lasagna. Traditional lasagna can be time consuing to make. By deconstructing it a bit, this recipe is ready in just about 30 minutes, making it a weeknight staple.
  • Make-ahead option. You can make everything ahead of time and refrigerate until you ar ready to cook. Then just pop the skillet in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
  • Packed with flavor. Cheese sauce, red wine, tomatoes and ground beef combine to give this dish loads of flavor.

Key ingredients

The full list of ingredients and quantities can be found in the recipe card below.

Ingredients - corkscrew pasta, tomatoes, onion, red wine, cheese, herbs and garlic

The key ingredients include…

  • Cellentani pasta: This corkscrew style pasta works well with both the meat and the cheese sauce. Cavatappi also works for this recipe.
  • Ground sirloin: I typically use at least 90% lean ground beef.
  • Beef broth: Purchased beef broth works fine for this recipe.
  • Red wine: I recommend a fruitier red wine, but your favorite varietal or whatever you happen to have open will work.
  • Diced tomatoes: Ideally, you’ll use petit diced tomaotes for the best consistency in the sauce but sometimes they seem to be hard to fine so standard diced tomatoes also work.
  • Italian blend cheese: I normally prefer to grate cheese instead of purchasing pre-bagged, grated cheese, however since you want an Italian blend it’s easiest to purchase a bag.
  • Pamesan or Asiago cheese: Freshly grated is the best option here.
  • Spices: dried basil, dried oregano, dried thyme, sea salt, ground pepper
  • Pantry staples: Garlic cloves, milk, butter, all-purpose flour

How to make this recipe

Since it’s ready in just about 30 minutes, this lasagna is ideal for any night of the week.

Cook the pasta. I always recommend following the package directions, since cooking times for pasta vary based on brand. You want to cook to al dente.

Make the meat sauce. You’ll start by browning the ground beef, then adding in the beef broth, wine and tomatoes.

Make the cheese sauce. Starting with a traditional roux (butter + flour) gives you a nice, thick cheese sauce that eventually combines with the meat sauce to give you cheesy goodness in every bite.

Assemble the lasagne. You’ll divide the pasta between the two skillets, then top with the meat sauce, and then pour the cheese sauce over the top. Next, you’ll bake the lasagna for about 15 minutes and dinner is ready!

You can cook the pasta, make both the meat and cheese sauces and assemble the lasagna ahead of time. If you will be refrigerating for more than a few hours, I don’t recommend using cast-iron skillets. Stainless steel skillets or small ceramic baking dishes will be a better choice.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I don’t have mini skillets?

If you don’t have mini skillets you can either use another small baking dish, or you can make this in a larger skillet though you will need to increase the cooking time by about 5 minutes.

How should I store leftovers?

If you used cast iron skillets, I recommend removing any leftovers from the skillets and storing them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days.

Close up of Deconstructed Skillet Lasagna with a glass of red wine

Tools you’ll want for this recipe

Small cast iron skillets – Cast iron skillets are great for cooking so many things. Something about 6″ in diameter is ideal. I like to keep two of the smaller version in my kitchen for smaller servings. You can also use a small stainless steel pan.

Serving Suggestions

To keep it simple, I like to pair pasta with a nice green salad. My quick and easy salad is greens topped with some shaved asiago, toasted pine nuts, a squeeze of lemon juice, some olive oil, and a bit of balsamic glaze.  

And of course, you can’t go wrong by adding some homemade garlic bread to soak up any extra sauce! Add a nice glass of red wine, perhaps the merlot you used in the sauce, and you have the perfect meal!

More pasta recipes

If you are looking for other easy pasta dishes check out these reader favorites:

  • Creamy Lemon Pasta. While this recipe is easy enough for a weeknight meal, the bright lemon flavor and parmesan breadcrumbs give it a touch of elegance.
  • Roasted Tomato Summer Spaghetti. This is pasta is perfect for an easy, everyday meal. Tomatoes, mozarealla, pesto and pasta combine for vegetarian dish that’s ready in just under 30 minutes.

Skillet filled with lasagne with bread, wine and cheese on the side

Deconstructed Skillet Lasagna Recipe

This Deconstructed Skillet Lasagna gives you that great lasagne taste without all the fuss of a traditional lasagne, making it an easy weeknight meal for two! 

Prep Time 15 mins

Cook Time 15 mins

Total Time 30 mins

Course Pasta & Grains

Cuisine Italian

Ingredients  

For the meat sauce:

  • 1 cup Cellentani pasta, uncooked
  • pound ground sirloin
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 2 ounces beef broth
  • 4 ounces Merlot, or other fruity red wine
  • 1 15- ounce can petite diced tomatoes

For the cheese sauce: 

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup non-fat or 1% milk
  • 1 cup shredded Italian blend cheese
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • Grated asiago or parmesan for topping

Instructions 

  • Heat the oven. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat two small cast iron skillets with olive oil. 

  • Cook the pasta. Cook the pasta according to package directions for al dente pasta. Drain when pasta is done cooking.

  • Brown the ground beef. While the pasta is cooking heat a large skillet or saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the ground sirloin and onions; cook for 4-5 minutes until the ground sirloin is browned. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute. Add the basil through pepper and cook for an additional minute until fragrant.

  • Make the meat sauce. Add the beef broth, wine and tomatoes; continue to cook until the mixture begins to boil. Reduce heat and simmer while you make the cheese sauce.

  • Make the roux. melt the butter in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk until a thick paste forms.

  • Make the cheese sauce. Slowly add the milk, a small amount at a time, stirring with a whisk after each addition until the sauce is smooth. Once all of the milk has been added cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, whisking constantly, until the sauce begins to thicken. Remove from heat and stir in the cheese; continue stirring until the sauce is smooth (sauce will be quite thick). Add the pepper and nutmeg; stir to combine.

  • Assemble and bake. Add half of the pasta to each of the prepared skillets. Top each skillet with half the meat sauce mixture then half of the cheese sauce. Bake for 15 minutes or until the cheese sauce begins to bubble around the edge of the skillet. Top with grated cheese and serve

Notes

  • If you are saving one or both of the skillets for another time, wait to put the dish in the skillet until you are ready to bake. You can refrigerate in an airtight container and then transfer to the cast iron skillet. Alternatively use a non-cast iron mini skillet or baking dish. 
  • When ready to eat, cook as directed, however, you will need to increase the cooking time by 5-10 minutes to ensure everything gets hot!

Keywords : cast iron cooking, pasta for two

This post was originally published in January 2016. It was updated in January 2022 with some new photos and information. No changes were made to the original recipe.





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