Look! I’m finally posting about food! And it’s not controversial at all. Well, unless you really hate garlic. If so, I’m not sure we can be friends. You won’t want to be around me.
Years ago in the Seattle area, there was an Italian restaurant chain called Cucina Cucina. It was my absolute favorite and I was heartbroken when they closed down. One last one remained in Issaquah for a while and it really went downhill. How does one undercook tortellini? They did. And the first Crème Brule my husband made me was better than the one we ordered there. They didn’t put sugar on top, so they blow torched the custard itself. I should have sent it back, but I didn’t want to be one of those customers.
I managed to recreate my favorite recipes though with help! My sister used Trade Joe’s pizza dough to make Focaccia con Cambozola and I gave it a try too. So good!
WARNING!!!! DO NOT EAT WITHIN THREE DAYS OF A FIRST DATE, SECOND DATE, PROBABLY THIRD DATE, OR A JOB INTERVIEW.
I don’t know what all she put on it, but I roll it out, put it on a pizza pan that’s greased with some olive oil, brush the dough with extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle on some parsley, rosemary, and basil, then some grated parmesan cheese (from a can), and a dash of salt. Bake it in the oven at 450 (depending on your oven) for 7-9 minutes. My oven overcooks everything, but you could probably set it higher. Experiment! You might want it more doughy or close to a cracker. I like it softer. If large bubbles form, just pop them with a knife. Trader Joe’s dough is $1.19 each. You can give your kids one to play with if you want to make pizzas together too.
To Roast the Garlic
Cut off the top, exposing the cloves. Spread on a little butter, fresh ground pepper, a little salt, and drizzle with olive oil.
Put it in the oven (no, don’t preheat) and set it for 300 degrees. Cover with foil in a dish (I use a bread pan or something else that’s pretty small) and bake for 45 minutes.
This is the part where you might ruin your garlic by overcooking it, so make sure you have a timer you can hear! Baste it with olive oil and keep checking it every 8-10 minutes. I do 8. I repeat this (typically 3 times) until the cloves started to pop out on their own. When it’s cool enough, squeeze the cloves out and mash them with a fork. That makes it really easy to spread on the bread.
Cambozola cheese (a soft, spreadable cheese) can also be purchased at Trader Joe’s or any place with fine cheeses. If you’re grossed out by the blue veins, just spread everything on the bread and take a bite. When you discover how delicious it is, you’ll know longer care about its iffy appearance or maybe even the slight chance that it could kill you.
Slice the bread like pizza (No, it’s not a true focaccia bread, so all of you authentic Italian people, please don’t attack me) and spread on everything. You might even want to dip the bread in some extra virgin olive oil. I’ve seen variations at other restaurants and one uses a balsamic syrup.
Eat it. Smell like garlic for days. Don’t care. Plan on eating it again and again “for your health”. Tell yourself if everyone would just eat it, then you wouldn’t have to hide from society. I just made some. I’ll be nice and save some for my husband so he can slightly inoculate himself against me.
Any questions? I’ll answer in the comments! 😀