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Part one of my “Now That’s Italian!” cook was baking some bread for garlic toast. I started out by making up some dough for baguettes the night before. Here it is after proofing overnight. I scooped this out onto my well-floured pastry mat and formed it into a ball. I then cut this into thirds and formed each third into a long loaf shape. I covered them with a flour sack towel and let them proof an additional 90 minutes. I then took each loaf and placed it into my new baguette pan. I place this into my 450 degree oven and baked for 20 minutes. Here is the results. Here it is cut up and toasting on the kamado this first time before spreading on the garlic and parsley infused butter and some Parmigiano Reggiano.
I was asked to post the recipe separately from a prior cook -- Mrs. Smokehowze’s Manicotti Recipe The Dish Manicotti a la Kamado Mrs. Smokehowze Manicotti Recipe (makes one batch – this cook was a double batch) · 2 lbs ricotta · 8 oz mozzarella cheese shredded · ½ cup fresh grated parmesan cheese · ¼ - ½ tsp dried red pepper · 2 Tbs fine chopped fresh parsley · 2 eggs · 4 cups Manicotti/Lasagna Sauce (see below) · 12 package manicotti shells Thoroughly mix cheeses, herbs, seasonings, and eggs into a workable paste. Follow directions on package and cook the shells until tender. Drain well. Stuff each shell with cheese mixture. A disposal pastry bag works nicely for this task. Cover bottom of oven safe baking dish with part of the tomato sauce and arrange stuffed shells on top preferably in one layer. Cover with remaining sauce and bake in preheated oven for 30-45 minutes (depending on if ingredients are still warm or had been prepared ahead and refrigerated) Optionally, add a sprinkling of shredded mozzarella on top for about the last 15 minutes. Serve with a nice garlic bread and fresh shaved parmesan. The Stuffed Shells Building the Manicotti One Pan is Ready for the Fire Mrs. Smokehowze Manicotti/Lasagna Tomato Sauce Recipe (makes one batch – this cook was a double batch) · 2 lbs bulk Italian Sausage · 4-5 toes of garlic (minced) · 1 large onion (fine chopped) · 1 Tbs dried parsley flakes or good handful of fresh parsley finely chopped · 1 Tbs dried basil · 2 Tbs dried oregano · 1 sprig fresh rosemary · 1 ½ tsp salt · 1 tsp black pepper · 1 large can 29 oz crushed tomato (like Centos brand) · 2 cans (6 oz each) tomato paste · 1 cup water · 1 cup good red wine (or 1 add’l cup water if not using wine) Brown sausage in pan and drain fat. Separately sauté onion, garlic, herbs and seasoning in olive oil until softened. Add to sausage the tomato and liquid ingredients. Simmer at least an hour – two if possible. This is much better if made the day ahead and kept in refrigerator to allow flavors to further mature. Seasonings can be adjusted to taste and add water during the simmering as needed if sauce gets to thick. Cooking on the Kamado For cooking these on the Kamado, you may choose to use two disposable pans. With disposal pans and their all too thin bottom and sides there are at least 3 cautions to observe: Always support the pans when full on a sheet pan or equivalent as they will fold up and collapse on you. I actually used my aluminum pizza peel to put them on/off the grill and a baking sheet to transport each pan. Even though you are cooking indirect, if you do not have enough buffer air space between the pan bottom and the deflector the bottom may (will probably) burn due to the continued heating of the deflector over a long duration cook. You may wish to add a large pizza stone (or equivalent) under the pans shortly after adding the cheese about 2/3 of the way through. You can use a kitchen knife on one of the corner areas to gently lift the manicotti in the pan to inspect the underside for some guidance but that may not tell you about the middle underside. With a single pan you could cook it on the expansion rack and it should be fine because of the increased separation above the defector. With two pans, I also shifted them front to back and turned them around about every 20 minutes so opposite sides were exposed to the hot air stream coming around the deflector to eliminate overcooking on any particular side. If you observe these factors you can successfully cook this type dish in these thin aluminum pans. Set the temperature between 350 and 370 indirect. If desired add a couple of pieces of wood (such as pecan) at the beginning of the cook for the smoke element. Since the stuffed shells and the sauce were prepared the night before and stored separately, they were combined right before the cook. Thus being cold, the total baking time was about 45 minutes. When you see a nice bubbling and browning taking place (after about 30 minutes?) add the optional shredded mozzarella and cook for about 15 more minutes. If the ingredients were hot or at room temperature – adjust cooking time accordingly. The Manicotti is Done Garlic Bread Accompaniment Use a good French bread or equivalent and make a garlic butter sauce on the stove with thin sliced garlic slow cooked in a stick of butter and a splash of olive oil until it just starts to brown on the edges and is nicely softened. This would also be good with clarified butter or ghee. Garlic Butter Sauce The bread was painted with some of the garlic butter, sprinkled with Italian seasoning blend, and toasted on the Kamado after removal of the manicotti. While serving, paint the toasted bread again with the remaining still warm butter sauce and add the garlic slices.