The Newbie Cook
- 16,667 forkfuls since 16.Oct.10
Making everything for the first time
This is the second time I made this recipe. But I don’t really count the first because it was Chris who was really making it according to my suggestions and instructions while I was cooking pasta with meatballs.
Our trainer, Christine, was going back to Batavia after our training period so our batch thought that it would be a great idea to surprise her with a potluck lunch and a small gift. Someone else was bringing the pasta so I volunteered to bring the garlic bread.
Just to warn health nuts who might be reading this: this is NOT a healthy recipe. I like using butter and cheese only in moderation but, in this case, moderation isn’t the way to go about making garlic bread. The bread is coated with butter and topped with copious amount of mozzarella and parmesan cheese. All in all, it’s very simple, straightforward and won’t require a long prep and cooking time.
A lot of people like to use French bread for this. I recommend using a Long Italian instead. (Don’t you just love the name?) French bread is too hard and stiff and should only be used if there is no other alternative. A Long Italian has a crisp crust but is soft in the center.
I was debating whether I should post this as a recipe since it’s really very simple. But since I use this condiment in many dishes, especially the Asian ones, I think it deserves its own post.
I don’t use particular measurements and just add as I go so the measurements listed below are merely guides for you to customize as you wish. Mom prefers an oilier mixture with the garlic crushed to near-liquid texture. Dad likes it a bit drier and crunchier. I like it in-between and use copious amounts of pepper to make it extra spicy. Fresh red chili peppers are better but if you don’t have the patience to mince teeny-tiny pieces of peppers after you just dealt with a pound of garlic, then dried crushed red peppers like this will do.
Warning: It’s extremely tasty and magically transforms any dish. But it’s very VERY hot so use sparingly.
Do you know what my favorite side dish is? No, it’s not mashed potatoes. Actually, I don’t really like mashed potatoes though I’d eat it if it was served. Just like okra.
Now where were we?
Just like the title suggests, my favorite side dish is spinach in garlic. This is a very simple, 4-ingredient side dish that my mother taught me years ago. Mashed potatoes pale under the might of the tasty spinach!
This side dish is originally made with kangkong, but here in KSA, kangkong costs 10 SR a bunch while spinach costs 1 SR. And I’m a smart shopper. Plus I figured emulating Popeye’s eating habits couldn’t hurt.
Just like me, mom prefers to slice the bunch of leaves into long, thin strips. But unlike me, she likes to smash the garlic until there is nothing left but garlic juice. Me, I like the texture. So I just chop my bulbs.