Garlic butter is a compound butter, basically a 'flavoured' butter. These butters are endlessly versatile. A flavored butter acts as a sauce, in essence and any flavoring can be added. Chopped herbs with lemon zest will go great with fish or red wine and shallots with steak for example.
Now, I have never met a cheese I did not like, but Talegio is one (from a very long list) of the cheeses that I love. A compound butter made with Talegio is a glorious thing. It is quite a strong smelling cheese, but its flavour is comparatively mild with a sweet tang to it. When heated, it loses most of its strong smell and is just sweet and salty and delicious. If you can't find any then Fontina is a reasonable substitution and a ripe Brie would do if you were stuck.
Roasting the garlic first gives you loads of garlic flavor without the harshness of raw garlic, and it is delicious on toast as well. You could just add some sliced parma ham, dressed rocket, a nice bottle of red wine and you'd have a one of my favorite easy suppers for two.
I always make plenty of this butter as it freezes very well, and I do it in small batches. Then whenever you have limited time to make a meal, take some chicken breasts or a pork chop, add this on top and simply bake in the oven for a quick meal with some salad or steamed veg. Or cook some wide ribbon pasta like tagliatelli and toss through a spoon or two in the hot pan pan, finish with some basil and you have a mac and cheese for grown-ups.
1 head of garlic
300g Talegio cheese – softened
200g butter – softened
1 bunch chives – chopped
Sea salt and cracked clack pepper
1 sourdough loaf - a day or two old.
Roast the garlic first. Preheat the oven to 170ºC. Cut a garlic head in half around the middle and wrap in aluminum foil and put it into the preheated oven. Cook for an hour or so. When done, you'll find the garlic cloves have turned into a soft, fragrant and caramelized mass, that will practically jump out of its papery case. Just squeeze the garlic flesh out or remove with a fork.
Remove the rind from the Talegio, cut into chunks and mix with the butter and chives. Season liberally with pepper and sparingly with salt. Empty all the garlic flesh into the cheese and butter mix, then mash it around with a fork a little. C'est tout.
Cut slices vertically into the bread and stuff full to bursting with the butter mix. Wrap tightly in aluminum foil and bake in a hot oven (about 200ºC) for 20 minutes. Remove, unwrap and serve immediately.