I love to cook. I love food in general, and I love learning new things in the kitchen. This is my favorite dish to cook for company. It’s basically a different take on bruschetta involving stuffed French bread. It’s more of an appetizer than a meal but you could add meat or more protein to it to make it a more complete meal, or I often have it on the side with spagetti and sausage and/or meatballs.
Frenchetta Stuffed Cheesy Bread
1 good sized French baguette with 1-2 inch wedges sliced out of the top down the length of the loaf, spacing them about a centimeter apart (see photo 1)
A Bunch of Chopped Basil
Lots ‘o Garlic chopped up pretty fine (I use at least 4-5 good sized cloves, but I’m a garlic fiend.)
About a half a stick of butter (Sometimes, I use more if I’m feeling hedonistic.)
3-4 Tomatoes sliced into wedges (I use Roma or plum tomatoes because they are less juicy and sometimes the juicy ones make the bread kinda soggy.)
About 1/2-3/4 of a block of fresh mozzarella cheese sliced into strips
Shredded mozzarella or pepper jack cheese
Crushed red pepper or chili powder
Fresh ground black pepper
Fresh ground sea salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Place precut baguette on a good sized baking sheet. (In addition to the cuts on top, I often have to cut the baguette in half so it will fit in the pan. See photo 1.) Melt butter with half of the chopped basil and all of the chopped garlic in a small sauce pan on low heat. Spoon the melted butter mixture evenly into the slots that you cut, previously, in the baguette. (See photo 2.) Place one sliced fresh mozzarella strip and some fresh basil into each slot. (See photo 3.) Then, stuff the tomato wedges in on top. (See photo 4.) If you have any leftover butter mixture, now is a good time to utilize it by drizzling it over the whole stuffed loaf. Cover the top with shredded mozzarella or pepper jack cheese and sprinkle with black pepper, salt, and crushed red peppers or chili powder. Put the whole thing in the oven until it is browning slightly and the cheese on top is looking amazing with melty wonder. I always check it after about 15 minutes and usually have to leave it in for a few minutes after that, but it will depend on your oven. (See photo 7.) Let it cool slightly, cut it up, serve, and enjoy! :} YAY NOMZ!