The Many Faces of Garlic

The Many Faces of Garlic

garlic cloves
Cloves of garlic wrapped in their
papery sheaths and broken away from
the bulb represent untold depths of flavor...

The Many Faces of Garlic

Garlic is one of my favorite seasonings. I use fresh garlic most of the time, but I always have garlic powder on hand to add to bread stick and pizza dough. I know many people are afraid of the smell and the strong taste, but there are so many variations to using garlic that can make it work for everyone. The longer garlic is cooked, the more mellow it becomes. James Beard's famous Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic proves this point well. Garlic is especially mellow in taste when roasted for long periods of time. The following recipes are easy and will get you started in experimenting with garlic.

Garlic Chicken

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1/8 cup vegetable oil
4 garlic cloves, finely minced
Sprigs of fresh thyme, oregano and chives, chopped
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp. lemon zest

Add chicken to all ingredients that have been mixed in a sealable plastic bag. Marinate overnight. Grill until chicken is done inside.

Garlicky Beans with Dill

1 pound fresh beans
1 1/2 Tbs. butter
6 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
1 Tbs. chopped fresh dill
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes, optional

Trim, string and rinse beans. Cut into 1 inch. lengths, and steam until tender, 10 or 15 min. Drain. Melt butter in a skillet, add garlic, and cook over a very low heat about 5 minutes until soft. Mash or remove garlic, which ever you prefer. Add the dill and stir. Add your beans and pepper flakes, cover and cook over low heat about 5 minutes. Salt to taste and serve.

Chickpea Soup

4 cloves of garlic
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 tsp. dried rosemary or 1 tsp. fresh
5 ounce can plum tomatoes
1 pound can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 cups chicken stock
salt and pepper to taste

Peel and crush the garlic. If using fresh rosemary, chop it finely. Heat the oil and sauté the garlic until it begins to brown. Add the rosemary and the tomatoes, roughly chopped and lower the heat to a simmer when the ingredients come to a boil. Cook for 25 minutes or so. When the tomatoes are cooked, add the chickpeas and cook 5 minutes more. Stir in the chicken stock. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serves 4-5.

Green Beans With Lemon and Garlic

1/2 pound fresh green beans, trimmed
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cumin
Freshly ground black pepper

Blanch green beans in a pot of boiling water 2 minutes and drain. Add oil to a skillet and heat. Saute garlic for 2 minutes. Add beans, lemon juice, paprika and cumin to pan with garlic. Add pepper. Heat through and serve.

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

1 whole head garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 potatoes, peeled, cut in 1/2 inch cubes
1 tablespoon butter
1/2-3/4 cup hot milk
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon chives for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice tops off of garlic, toss with olive oil, then put heads, tip side up, in a baking dish. Cover with foil. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until garlic is soft and tender. Cool and squeeze out pulp. Mash well with fork. Boil potatoes until tender. Drain well, and mix in butter. Beat in hot milk gradually until smooth, but do not over beat.. Stir in roasted garlic. Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with chives. Serves 4.

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