Focaccia Bread

February 13th, 2008 by Jeff in Side Dishes

We have been making a lot of Focaccia bread lately. When we make spaghetti, we make Focaccia, when we just want a warm snack, we make Focaccia. If I am bored and want to make a bread, I make Focaccia. It is really one of the more flavorful types of bread out there and fortunately it is easy to make!

You can use Focaccia bread for many occasions, and lately I have been using it when I would normally make garlic bread. Its rich flavor and wonderful toppings are just what the doctor ordered some days.


3 – 3 1/2 cups of all purpose (non-rising) flour.
2 teaspoons active yeast.
1 tablespoon salt.
2 tablespoons honey.
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil.
1 cup of warm water.
2 large sprigs of fresh rosemary (about 2 tablespoons), lightly chopped.
3-4 garlic gloves, minced.
Salt, pepper.
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese.
1 small onion diced.

In a mixer you want to add a cup of warm water, around 95 – 100 degrees. Add the honey and the yeast and then stir together. Let the yeast proof while you get the other ingredients together (about 10 minutes).

Using dough hooks on your mixer, add the flour until mixed with the water. Add the salt, and the 1/4 cup of olive oil. Mix until a ball forms. On a floured surface, knead the dough for about 5 – 10 minutes. Shape into a – (More…)

Garlic And Thyme Crunchy Potatoes

September 19th, 2007 by Jeff in Side Dishes

To date, there are probably at least 3 million different ways to prepare potatoes. Around our house, it usually ends up being either mashed, scalloped, baked, or twice stuffed. With the exception of the baked potato, most take quite a bit of time to put together. Have you ever wanted just an easy potato recipe that is full of flavor but only takes a couple minutes to prepare? Well, this is the one.

Herbs and potatoes have gone together probably since they first torn out of the ground. There is something about potatoes that they just accept flavor so easily. Just cooking a potato along side of a fragrance will infuse that flavor into it. This makes cooking them very easy and rewarding.

4-5 large potatoes (any kind besides sweet), cut roughly into 1 inch pieces.
Extra virgin olive oil.
4 cloves of garlic with the skin still on.
2 bunches of fresh thyme.
Salt and fresh ground pepper.

Preheat oven to 375.

Lightly oil a large glass baking/casserole dish, and place the cut potatoes into the dish. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Drizzle olive oil all over the potatoes. Mix up with a spoon. Add the cloves of garlic to the potatoes, spacing them evenly. Sprinkle with some more salt and pepper and drizzle with a little more olive oil making sure you hit each clove of garlic with the oil.

Place the bunched thyme – (More…)

Garlic Bread With Basil & Roasted Garlic

August 3rd, 2007 by Jeff in Side Dishes

There are about as many recipes for garlic bread as there are for meatloaf. Lately I have been experimenting with a few creations of my own.

Maybe it is just me, but I cannot have any Italian dish that has a tomato based sauce without some sort of bread. Garlic bread was made just for soaking up that left over sauce if you ask me.

A lot of people buy the pre-made frozen breads and if your in a rush, it is no major crime to use it, but if you want GREAT garlic bread then try this recipe that I through together a while back:

1 loaf of Italian bread.
1 head of garlic.
Extra virgin olive oil.
1 stick of unsalted butter, softened.
About 6-7 large fresh basil leaves, chopped.
About 5-6 grinds of pepper.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Cut the top of the head of garlic off. In a lightly greased muffin pan, place the head of garlic head side up. Drizzle with olive oil. Bake at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes or until the garlic is soft. Let it cool for about 10-15 minutes.

Take the remaining ingredients except the bread and garlic and mix them together until all incorporated in the butter. Squeeze the garlic out of the casings, into the butter. Mix well.

Cut the loaf in half and spread onto the cut part of both halves. Bake at 400 degrees until the edges – (More…)


Honey Glazed Bourbon Carrots

August 2nd, 2007 by Jeff in Side Dishes

I whipped up this side dish while I was making my Roasted Rack of Pork a couple of Sundays ago and the wife and kids just loved it. I have seen many incarnations of glazed carrots so after searching around I finally pieced something together that really worked. It was one of those first try successes.

When I was making this, my wife asked me an interesting question, she asked why I did not peel the carrots. When I grew up, there were two things we rarely peeled in our house and that was carrots and potatoes. The skins are not only packed with vitamins, they are delicious! Of course, it is up to you, but my recipe does not call for the carrots to be peeled.

1 pound of carrots (7-8 medium carrots) cut into 1/4 inch slices (jullienne)
2 tablespoons honey.
2 tablespoons butter.
Pinch of salt, 3-4 turns on the pepper mill (or just a pinch of pepper).
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg.
1/4 cup Bourbon (Jack Daniels)

Cook the carrot slices in boiling water until fork tender, about 5-7 minutes and then strain.

In a medium skillet add all of the remaining ingredients except the carrots, taking care NOT to add the bourbon from the bottle (add from the cup). Always be careful when cooking with spirits as they are flammable. Mix together and then add the carrots.

Cook over medium/medium low until most of the liquid is gone and – (More…)


Grilled Garlic & Rosemary Country Bread

May 23rd, 2007 by Jeff in Side Dishes

Sometimes when you are grilling, you need a little snack to help you and your guests along while they wait for the main dish. Lately I have been making grilled bread to serve with dishes, or as orderves. This usually consists of a unsliced thick country bread or Italian bread such as Ciabatta, cut in half and oiled. You then grill it and add whatever toppings you want to it.

I try to not just use any oil, but an infused one where the flavors will enhance the bread. One of my favorites is my Garlic and Rosemary infused olive oils that I spoke of earlier this week.

Garlic & Rosemary infused olive oil (click link for recipe).
1 loaf country bread (unsliced) or Italian such as Ciabatta.
Salt and pepper.
Fresh grated Parmesan cheese.

Preheat your grill to high.

Cut the loaf in half, lengthwise. Using a sauce brush, liberally brush the oil (and any pieces of garlic and rosemary in the oil) all over the cut side of the bread. Salt and pepper to taste.

Place the crust side of the bread on the grill and cook about a minute until toasty. Flip and grill the other side about another minute until toasted. Watch for flare-ups as the olive oil drips.

Remove from grill and sprinkle with the cheese. Add a few drops of the oil over the bread for extra flavor (omit any garlic or rosemary – (More…)


Jeffs Cheesy Garlic Bread

February 20th, 2006 by Jeff in Side Dishes

I find it downright impossible to eat spaghetti or lasagna without garlic bread. Any Italian dish that uses a lot of sauce is complimented well with a good garlic bread.

Getting the right bread can be difficult, but in the end just get what you can. Sometimes Italian bread just isn’t available. French bread and sub rolls will work in a pinch if you cannot find anything else. Obviously the Italian bread tastes the best for this recipe.

I use cheese on top of my garlic bread. Any dry cheese will work, such as Parmesan, Romano, etc.. Some people use mozzarella, but I find it makes the bread soggy.


1 large roll (about 2 feet) of Italian bread.
1 stick of butter, soft (let sit for an hour or so before using to soften).
5 cloves of garlic minced as small as possible.
1 1/2 tablespoons of parsley.
Parmesan cheese (about a cup).
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or garlic salt.


Preheat oven to 350.

Mix the butter with the garlic, parsley, and garlic powder. Mix until well combined.

Split loaf in half with a knife.

Spread the butter mixture all over the bread and place the bread on a baking sheet.

Bake in the middle for 10 minutes.

Remove bread from the oven and sprinkle parmesan cheese all over the bread.

Turn the broiler on and increase the heat to 400.

Place the bread back into the oven (middle) and DO NOT go anywhere. The bread will toast – (More…)


Get My Cookbook Today!

Built by a member of