Garlicky Skillet Greens


INGREDIENTS

  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup sorghum
  • 2 tbsp. Sriracha hot sauce
  • 1 small yellow onion (½ roughly chopped, ½ minced)
  • ¼ cup rendered bacon fat
  • 1½ lb. each collard and turnip greens, stems discarded, leaves thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 12 cloves garlic confit, sliced, plus 2 tbsp. garlic oil

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Boil vinegar, sorghum, and Sriracha in a 1-qt. saucepan; let gastrique cool.2. Melt bacon fat in a 12″ cast-iron skillet over medium-high. Stir in minced onion; cook until soft, 4–6 minutes. Increase heat to high, add both greens, and season with salt; cook, stirring constantly, until greens are wilted, 1–2 minutes. Stir in reserved gastrique, the garlic confit, and oil.

Torshi Seer… Pickled Garlic Persian style


Fermenting whole heads of garlic in a vinegar and wine solution with honey and dried barberries gives the garlic a mellow, complex sweetness and pungency in this Persian pickle.

MAKES ABOUT 4 CUPS

Ingredients

  • 4 heads garlic
  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup red wine vinegar
  • ⅓ cup dried barberries
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 sprigs thyme

Instructions

Place garlic in a sterilized 1-qt. glass jar; set aside. Bring balsamic and red wine vinegars, barberries, honey, salt, and thyme to a boil in a 2-qt. saucepan; pour over garlic, place lid on jar, and let cool to room temperature. Store in a cool, dark place for at least 6 weeks before serving.

Simple Garlic Confit


Garlic confit, a silky, spreadable condiment, relies on a French technique for gently poaching peeled whole cloves in oil or fat. The process caramelizes the cloves and concentrates their sweetness while infusing them with the oil or fat that renders them rich and creamy.

MAKES ABOUT 2½ CUPS

INGREDIENTS
2 cups canola oil, lard, or rendered chicken or duck fat
1 cup garlic cloves, peeled

INSTRUCTIONS
Simmer oil, lard, or fat with garlic cloves in a 1-qt. saucepan over medium-low; cook until garlic is tender, 35–40 minutes. Let cool. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks.

Anything can be made into a confit, even carrots. The process is the same as outlined in this simple recipe, just replace the garlic with whatever you think sounds good.

Broccoli with Garlic


This is a quick 15 min recipe that I picked up while in Culinary School. The broccoli and garlic are slowly caramelized to bring out the sweetness, then enlivened with a squeeze of lemon and a pinch of crushed red pepper

Ingredients…
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 heads of broccoli (1 1/4 pounds total), stems peeled and heads halved lengthwise
1/2 cup water
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
Pinch of crushed red pepper
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Directions ..

In a large, deep skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the broccoli, cut side down, cover and cook over moderate heat until richly browned on the bottom, about 8 minutes. Add the water, cover and cook until the broccoli is just tender and the water has evaporated, about 7 minutes. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil along with the garlic and the crushed red pepper and cook uncovered until the garlic is golden brown, about 3 minutes. Season the broccoli with salt and black pepper, drizzle with the lemon juice and serve.

A not so boring Brussel Sprout recipe


Ingredients

Brussel sprouts
olive oil
unsalted butter
bacon, finely sliced
2 sprigs of sage, leaves picked
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 cloves of garlic

Directions…

Use the fine slicing attachment of a food processor, slice the sprouts. (If you dont have one, cut them thinly) then soak in water and leave to one side.

Add a splash of olive oil and the butter to a large pan over a medium heat. Add the bacon, sage leaves and a pinch of salt and pepper and cook for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the bacon is crispy. Quickly drain the sprouts and add them straight to the pan and turn the heat up – it doesn’t matter if they’re still a bit wet, this will help them steam. Saute for around 10 minutes, or until soft, adding a splash of water as you go, if needed.

Add the Worcestershire sauce, toss everything together then turn the heat off. Finally stir in the garlic – you really want that hum of raw garlic – and serve straight away.

Black Garlic


IMG_0189.JPG

Black Garlic is the latest ingredient making a buzz in culinary circles. Whole heads of natural garlic are aged for 1 month in a special high-heat fermentation process. The aged garlic turns a rich black color with a soft, chewy texture and a mild, sweet-savory taste that might be classified as “umami” (the fifth taste – mostly present in savory and meaty foods). Some describe it as having a balsamic or molasses-like taste, others compare black garlic to beef bouillon

Black Garlic was first used and produced in South Korea were it was renowned for it’s health benefits and used as a health food. Offering nearly twice the amount of antioxidants as its regular counterpart, Black Garlic is low in fat, rich in natural sugars and amino acids and contains absolutely no additives, as well as promising to leave no trace of bad breath or smell. (Antioxidants are essential in the body for proper function of the immune system, as well as preventing and repairing damage to our body cells.)

Research also suggests that Black Garlic’s properties can help lower blood pressure, prevent heart disease and reduce the risk of cancer. A study recently published by the BMC in October 2013 also established a link between Black Garlic and reducing the effects of age-related neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Here is the recipe that introduced me to Black Garlic:

For the DIp:
Ingredients:
1 x black garlic bulb (the entire head)
4 Tbsp. sour cream
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. shallots, minced
8 oz. cream cheese
1/2 cup walnuts, (Optional)

In a small blender, combine half the cloves of black garlic, sour cream, and olive oil until smooth. With a knife, mince remaining black garlic cloves. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients and mix until smooth. Fold in walnuts. Chill in refrigerator, covered, for 24 hours to let flavors meld.

Serving Suggestions:
Serve with vegetables or crackers.

Yields: 1 1/2 cups

Garlic Soup


According to Czech lore, Garlic Soup will cure just about anything, even the common cold. So if you’re feeling a bit under the weather, make a big pot of this simple soup of broth, potatoes, garlic and cheese to help you feel better. It may not be a cure but it certainly tastes rich and comforting (and keeps the vampires away!) I haven’t made this soup with Black Garlic yet, but its in the works 😀

IMG_0191-0.JPG

INGREDIENTS

3 thick slices rye bread, cut into large chunks (for croutons)
1 T olive oil
2 T butter
1 C yellow onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
8 C chicken or beef broth or vegetable broth
2 lg potatoes, peeled and chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper to taste
4 oz Swiss cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 T dill, chopped
2 T flat leaf parsley, chopped

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C). Place bread pieces on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, tossing to combine. Bake until deep golden brown, about 9 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. Place butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent and softened, about 3 minutes. Add broth and bring to a boil over high heat. Add potatoes, salt and pepper. Reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Place croutons and cheese cubes in soup bowls. Ladle soup on top. Sprinkle with dill and parsley and serve.

A word of advice… If you buy the broth, check the flavor before adding the salt.

Makes 4 servings.

Garlic


IMG_0190.JPG

My favorite vegetable… allium sativum (Garlic). I use it in literally ever dish, good thing I’m not a Vampyre.

Garlic is an individual form of onion, characterized by its distinctive smell and flavor. It is thought to originated in Central Asia, but it can no longer be found in the wild. Even in cultivation it has ceased to set seed, and existing cultivars are thought to be old.

The main differences in the vast variety of garlic are taste and pungency. The skins are usually white, but can be tinged with purple. The only other differences are the size and number of cloves, hardiness and storage qualities. Garden grown garlic is often bigger and more pungent than purchased bulbs.

Most seed merchants sell one or two varieties, sometimes listed as “garlic bulbs.” It is possible to plant bulbs, but sometimes they have been “treated” and fail to grow.

Nutritional highlights:

Calorie for calorie, garlic is incredibly nutritious.

A 1 ounce (28 grams) serving of garlic contains (3):

Manganese: 23% of the RDA.
Vitamin B6: 17% of the RDA.
Vitamin C: 15% of the RDA.
Selenium: 6% of the RDA.
Fiber: 1 gram.
Decent amounts of Calcium, Copper, Potassium, Phosphorus, Iron and Vitamin B1.
Garlic also contains trace amounts of various other nutrients. In fact, it contains a little bit of almost everything we need (1.8 grams of protein and 9 grams of carbs).

Medicinal uses for garlic

Garlic has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects that fight a variety of ailments. It has antibacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral properties. It is also an antioxidant and an immune stimulant.

Garlic has been used to help combat cardiovascular disease. It may decrease and prevent atherosclerosis by inhibiting the stickiness of platelets and blood clot formation, and by lowering cholesterol. Garlic decreases cholesterol and thins the blood flowing through already narrowed vessels. It’s this action that may lower the incidence of strokes or heart attacks in people who eat garlic daily. A word of caution to those taking daily aspirin or anti-coagulants: Because garlic can increase clotting times, do not add too much garlic to your diet.

Garlic may also decrease triglyceride levels while raising good cholesterol levels known as HDL. Again, there are both positive and negative studies regarding garlic’s influence on the levels of cholesterol, triglycerides, and HDL.

There are conflicting studies regarding the issue of garlic’s effects on blood sugar levels.

Garlic is known to be antibacterial, and was even studied by Louis Pasteur in 1858. In an experiment he placed cloves of garlic in a petri dish of bacteria and later noted that the bacteria were killed in the areas surrounding the garlic. Garlic is a broad-spectrum antibiotic alternative for many bacterial infections and will not lead to “super bugs” like MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus). Before antibiotics were readily available, wound care for victims during both World Wars included the use of garlic application. Garlic is still effective for the treatment of lacerations and cuts, and infected wounds.

The effect of garlic on fungal infections is possibly even stronger than against bacteria. Extracts of garlic have a strong suppressive effect on fungi in the soil. Yeast infections in humans, such as Monilia, are also eliminated or greatly reduced. This makes garlic especially useful to the healer since there are fewer antifungal alternatives than antibacterial. There is also a lack of significant side effects.

Unlike most herbs, studies have shown garlic to have a direct effectiveness against viruses. There are no known antibiotics that will destroy a viral infection. Colds and influenzas can cause miserable symptoms, and some flu cases can be fatal. Garlic probably works in a two-pronged attack on viruses, both directly and by stimulating your own immune defenses to fight harder. Ingesting fresh garlic may decrease the duration of a viral illness. It is thought that taking garlic before exposure to a virus will lessen your chance of getting the infection in the first place. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.