Thursday, February 23, 2006

Fowl garlic breath

In honour of Garlicster, A Food Year has this beautiful post about garlic:

"Garlic is one of the most inexpensive, healthiest and tastiest things you could put into your mouth. There are many tools dedicated solely for garlic (the garlic press, garlic roaster etc.) and many more ways to use it beyond cooking (ointments, medicine etc.) It can be found in cuisines throughout the world; from Italy to Thailand, and is used in many different ways. The more garlic you eat, the more it becomes a part of your life. It even permeates your body so that you breathe and sweat it! Yes, garlic helps you repel unwanted company while simultaneously encouraging you to brush your teeth and bathe. Garlic doesn't pretty much whatever your heart desires (and it's good for your heart, too!)
I tried to use garlic in as many ways that I could think of without needing a steep cup of ginger tea to soothe my stomach after dinner. Not surprisingly, ginger also pairs with garlic quite nicely. We had it raw, roasted, fried and steeped; which covers a wide variety of garlic's culinary uses. If you wish to continue the garlic adventure, check out Garlicster, the blog dedicated entirely to garlic related content.
It wasn't hard to determine what dishes I was going to make once I decided I was going to do a garlic themed dinner. My first dish was Chicken with Roasted Garlic. The skin is quickly crisped and then the heat is reduced to allow for beautiful caramelization. The natural sugars from the onion and garlic are brought out from the process taking away from the bitterness and leaving behind a delicious flavor.
I placed the chicken on Garlic Risotto with Peas and allowed the drippings to seep into the rice. This was the only dish that was below perfect in tonight's dinner. I had rushed the making of the garlic broth and the flavor was not as pronounced as I had expected. My risotto was also not very creamy, which is the first time I've ever had a bad experience making risotto before. I'm not entirely sure what happened.
On the side were a Whole Roasted Potatoes with Garlic and some Braised Garlic Broccoli. The potatoes are first boiled to soften and then allowed to bake until crisp, giving them a great texture. They are then rolled in raw garlic to give them a nice bite. If you minced your garlic and leave it on the counter while the potatoes are baking the flavor is enhanced. If you wish to diminish the bite of the raw garlic, chop instead of mince it or simply cook it. I think that broccoli and garlic are wonderful together, like garlic and pretty much anything is. The braising allowed the broccoli to soften and absorb the flavor of the garlic.
To help with cleaning up after this meal, a little lemon juice can help to take the smell away. Just rub a cut lemon on your cutting board and on your hands and you're good to go. Of course, garlic is wonderful with lemon as a sauce or dressing instead of a cleanser, so feel free to squeeze some of that juice on your plate before you take it to the counters."

Go visit A Food Year for more delicious recipes, one different recipe each day.

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