Right now everyone is sick: stomach viruses, Covid, flu, strep, cold viruses, an outburst of chickenpox and shingles, major cases of pink eye and every other sickness known to man. On top of dealing with all that we also have to deal with hurricanes and crazy weather. In a landlocked state. Hurricanes in Kentucky.
On Friday we didn't have school due to the weatherman predicting high end tornadoes across the state, along with severe thunderstorms. The weatherman literally encouraged people to get a whistle and take it to their "safe space" so they could blow the whistle if they were buried in rubble. That's always a refreshing thought.
Since we have no basement we sat in fear for 12 hours, whistleless, and full of anxiety. We never got the severe thunderstorms. In fact, it never really rained much at all. We also never got the high end tornadoes. Thank God. What we did get instead was pretty much a hurricane. I'm not kidding. The weatherman actually showed a radar where it appeared that Kentucky was in the eye of a hurricane with hurricane force winds. No rain. No lightening. No thunder. Just straight up wind. Every time I looked out the window something big was flying in the air: fences, siding, roofs, lawn furniture, trampolines, street signs, telephone poles...all causing widespread power outages. All I heard was wind and sirens. We are very lucky to be okay and not have any severe damage, but it was all very unsettling.
I don't know about you, but I am tired of living in unprecedented times. I'm not interested in making any history books and I'd just like things to return to the regularly scheduled program..
The kind of program where I can return to living my best life, eating spaghetti and this OUTRAGEOUS GARLIC BREAD and just enjoy myself.
I mean who doesn't love to sink their teeth into some hot crusty bread oozing with garlic buttery Parmesan cheese-laden herby goodness? It's like total comfort food and we all need comfort food right now.
Outrageous Garlic Bread
Adapted from Modern Comfort Food
by Ina Garten
Makes 8 servings
12 tablespoons (1-1/2 sticks) butter
1 head garlic, cloves separate and peeled*
1 cup freshly grated Italian Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest*
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
salt and black pepper
1 (20 to 24-inch long) crusty French baguette
Fleur de sel or sea salt
Preheat the oven to 450F.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Add the garlic, stir to coat with the butter, and cook, covered, for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is very tender. (*Note: I prefer my garlic roasted in lieu of being cooked down on the stovetop so I roasted my head of garlic by removing the loose garlic skin around the head, cutting the top 1/4" off the garlic, coating in a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper and wrapping in foil. I placed it in the oven at 400F for about 40 minutes - then I followed the following steps). Transfer to a small bowl and set aside until cool enough to handle. Mash the garlic in the butter with a fork. Stir in the Parmesan, parsley, lemon zest, red pepper flakes, 1-1/2 teaspoons (I would seriously cut back on the salt here) salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.
Slice the baguette in half lengthwise and place both halves, cut sides up, on a cutting board. Score each half diagonally (don't cut all the way through) in large serving-size pieces. Spoon all of the garlic mixture generously on the cut sides of the bread. Cut each half of the baguette in half crosswise along a score and place the 4 pieces on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.
Bake for 5 to 7 minutes, until the topping is bubbly and starting to brown and the bread is crisp. Transfer to a board, cut in serving pieces along the scores, sprinkle with fleur de sel, and serve warm.