Friday, December 03, 2004

REAL Garlic Bread

I don't know about you, but I absolutely abhor what restaurants call Garlic (YUCK) Bread!! The "stuff" they call garlic bread is normally soaked, saturated and dripping with butter or margerine, and infused with an overbearing garlic salt, garlic powder, or some other super-
saturated garlic concoction that is guaranteed to give you not only bad breath, but the neatest case of heartburn you ever had.

The Sicilians, way back when, devised the ONLY true garlic bread that should be allowed on this planet. A delicate garlic bread goes with most any soup, salad, pasta, seafood or meat meal.

1 Loaf of Italian or French bread
2-4 Large freshly peeled garlic cloves, sliced in half lengthwise
Olive oil

Cut the bread in one inch thick slices. Toast to a golden brown under the broiler. Remove from broiler, rub each piece of bread with the halved garlic cloves, then spritz lighty with the best grade olive oil you can find.

You can also cut the bread in half lengthwise, then follow the same directions and slice in one inch thick pieces. A little sprinkle (very little) of oregano or dried basil can also be used. Try it! Taste the difference.


The Winter BBQ

Just when you thought BBQ season was over. AND, I bet your BBQer is all stashed away for the winter. Well, break it out!! When we lived in Colorado, we sure had some snow. I remember on Christmas Eve of 1983, my mom had come out to visit. It was her first time on a plane, and it took her a few days to calm down. Well, when we got up on Christmas Day that year, we had 36" of snow, and it was still snowing. Mom was 73 at the time, and she was outside shoveling snow from our front sidewalk and driveway. We BBQd a few days after Christmas during another storm. The neighbors thought they were hallucinating because they thought '...WHO in their right mind would be BBQing in this semi blizzard...." (My side of the family- I never claimed to be all there!) The delicate smoke wafted through the snowfall into all the homes in the area. Winter is a great time to BBQ. Everytime it snows here in Missouri, we both think the same thing... fire up the grill!!

DELUXE Chicken Sandwich

1 Boneless/skinless Chicken Breast pounded out, and cut in half widthwise
2 Slices Bacon divided in half
1 TBS Chopped scallions - white and green parts
2 Slices of Gouda cheese (The smoked version is great)
2 Whole Wheat Kaiser, Hard Rolls, or Buns
BBQ Sauce

Split and toast roll. Grill chicken. Place slices of cheese on grilled chicken during the last few seconds until the cheese melts.(Be sure the grill lid is down) .Once the cheese has melted, remove from grill and place on bun, then place cooked bacon strips over chicken. Add BBQ Sauce, and sprinkle chopped chives/scallion over BBQ sauce.
Serves 2 - BUT, read on…………………………………………………

Serve with cole slaw, baked beans, potato salad, potato chips, or whatever turns you on. A beer (Sam Adams) goes well with this. As a matter of fact, you may want to have several bottles chilling. A nice chilled Charnonnay works well here too. For added ambiance, a fire in the fireplace - that is if you have a fireplace. You may want to double the recipe, because I’ll bet that once you take your first bite, in all probability, both sandwiches will be gone and your spouse or significant other may bar you from her/his existence.


This makes a delicious appetizer when served with lightly toasted Italian bread. Great for Christmas or New Years Eve - anytime, actually.

1 medium eggplant
3/4 cup olive oil

2 TBS olive oil
2 cups onions, chopped
1 cup celery, finely chopped
1 cup tomatoes, cored, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1/2 cup pitted, halved green olives
1/4 cup capers, rinsed and drained
1 TBS pine nuts
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 TBS sugar
Freshly ground pepper

Peel and cube the eggplant. Place the cubes in a colander and salt thoroughly. Let drain for one hour. Rinse thoroughly and pat dry with paper towels. Heat half the oil in a large skillet over high heat. Saute half the eggplant until golden brown (5-8 minutes). Remove to a strainer and drain.

Add the remaining oil, saute the rest of the eggplant, and drain. Wipe the pan clean, add the additional 2 TBS oil and saute the onions and celery just until tender. Add the tomatoes, cover the pan and cook 4-5 minutes. Uncover the pan and cook an additional 5 minutes. Add the sauteed eggplant, olives, capers and pine nuts. Combine the vinegar and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Pour into the eggplant mixture and simmer, covered 5-10 minutes. Season to taste and cool. Makes 7-8 cups.