Wednesday, December 19, 2007

fancy tricks with garlic in the layperson's cuisine

To be fair, it will be useful in all this garlic evangelising, to provide some handy recipe tips. Never fear, for I am here.

It just so happens I have a special source in terms of all things nutritional on a cullinary level: my friend F. She used to own a vegetarian healthy food restaurant, and after many a healing meal at her house (somehow I always end up there when I am ill or starting to become so) I can attest to it, the woman knows what she is talking about. I trust she will not mind if I divulge this little kernel of her Knowledge as it is for such a good cause: how to avoid the smelly garlic breath after eating lots of it.

Here's how it goes: when making your vegetable soup, chop up a red onion, and toss it in the pan, not in olive oil of a first, virgin pressing, but of a second or third pressing. According to her, the virgin oil goes funny when taken to temperatures which are too high. Toss in the onions, and then take a whole head of garlic (yes, you read it correctly) and put the peeled cloves, all of them, whole in the pan. Let it simmer with the lid on and then slowly add more vegetables, as is your wont, and add a little water and all that, and then you have your wholly delicious meal soup!

Apparently cooking the garlic in this way takes the smell away whilst keeping all the valuable nutrients. Corect me if I'm wrong, F.

Secondly, a mish mash recipe I tried out on some friends on Monday as a starter. Cherry tomatoes, chopped in 8 pieces, chopped fresh basil, crushed garlic, virgin olive oil and balsamico. Mish mash together in a dish. Allow to stand. Take a ciabatta loaf, slice it into small pieces, brown on one side in the oven, then place with the un-brown side up in an oven dish and SCOOP the mixture onto the bread; salt and pepper, but everything in good measure. Place in the oven under the grill and take out when it seems ready. You'll know when. In more classical terms this is known as plain BRUSCHETTA (and my roommate pointed out the correct pronunciation, it is indeed Brusketta, not brushetta which can make her cringe)

This one doesn't take away the smell of garlic but it's frighteningly delicious!
merci for you attention, sistas! Anyone else out there got any secrets about garlic they want to share?

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