While many are focusing on starting the new year off with salads and all manner of healthy foods, here I am attempting to entice you with a carb loaded bread bomb. Why? Because it’s delicious. Simple as that. And, it’s easy to make and will imprerss your guests when you pull this out of the oven. One bite and it’s all over. You are a genius.
Jalapeno Bacon Cheddar Pull Apart Bread:
1 medium size loaf or boule of bread*
5 oz cheddar cheese, shredded
1 serrano chile, chopped fine
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2 pieces bacon, cut into small cubes
2 oz (1/2 stick) butter, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon spicy paprika
1 handful parsley, coarsely chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cook bacon in a dry saute pan over medium heat until crisp. All of the fat should have melted and the meat should be crisp but not burnt. Remove bacon bits to a small dish.
Reduce heat to low and add the garlic. Cook until garlic softens and becomes translucent, remove from heat. The garlic should not brown at all or it will taste bitter. Remove from heat if garlic is beginning to color. Set aside.
Combine bacon, garlic, bacon drippings, cheese, chile, butter, paprika, and parsley in a medium sized mixing bowl. Mix until all ingredients are combined. Set aside.
Slice the bread into ½- ¾” grid. Begin with parallel cuts ½- ¾” thick across the surface of the boule/loaf. Slice almost to the bottom, but not all the way through. About 1” should be intact at the bottom. Turn loaf/boule 90 degrees and repeat slices perpendicular. You should have a grid when done.
Using a rubber spatula, in the center of the cut boule/loaf, begin to fill each row with the cheese mixture. Once the parallel slices are filled, continue on to fill perpendicular slices until all rows are filled. Make sure to push the cheese mixture down to the bottom as you fill. Go back and fill any other rows with leftover cheese mixture until it is all used up.
Place on a parchment lined sheet pan and bake for 10- 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the bread is golden brown. Serve immediately.
*We baked the bread from scratch, but a store bought boule/loaf will serve the same purpose just fine.