Sunday, April 21, 2013

National Garlic Day

garlic martini by Maria in Toronto

garlic martini, a photo by Maria in Toronto on Flickr.
April 19 is National Garlic Day. Los Angeles Times found the above picture and recipe of Garlic Martini and contacted me. They posted it in an awesome feature that loves all things garlic it's titled 17 outlandish garlic dishes, and it's highly recommended.
And now, I guess it's time to celebrate a late National Garlic Day, or better yet, celebrate Garlic Weekend!!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Garlic Fettuccine Alfredo

Robert from the Ricketville Garlic Farm (awesome website, with lots of info about garlic) just sent this recipe. It's been posted on their Garlic Blog and sounds so delicious. Enjoy!

Garnish with fresh parsley and grated Parmesan cheese.
Recipe Yield: 8 servings
  • 1 1/2 cups nonfat evaporated milk
  • 1 medium size bulb of garlic, or 12 cloves
  • 2 tablespoons lowfat cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup nonfat milk
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 pound dry fettuccine pasta

1. Combine 1 1/2 cup evaporated milk and garlic cloves in a pan, heat and simmer until garlic is soft (about 15-20 minutes). Milk will reduce a little.
2. In a blender, puree milk and garlic mixture with cream cheese until smooth.
3. Return mixture to pan and add 1/2 cup nonfat milk and cornstarch. Heat to simmer. Sauce will thicken slightly. Add 1/4 cup parmesan cheese.
4. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain. Toss sauce with cooked pasta. Season with salt and pepper and serve with parsley sprinkled on top. Serve remaining parmesan cheese separately.
If anyone can get a picture of this send it my way, I'd love to publish it!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Ajoblanco gazpacho soup

I just discovered a new TV shows that seems amazing. It's called Diary of a Foodie on PBS right after Rick Bayless's show on Saturdays.Today they were traveling around Spain and showed a dished that I had never heard of, it's called ajoblanco, basically a cold almond and garlic soup.
I looked up the recipe and it seems to be very easy, just almonds, garlic and olive oil all in the blender. Here is a link to a recipe that sounds awesome.
I will be making it soon, taking pictures and blogging the recipe. For now, let me know if you've had it and what you thik of it.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Green Garlic and Garlic Scape

My favourite show, Mexico One Plate at a Time with Rick Bayless finally premiered its Season 8 in Buffalo and Toronto. I really don't know why it took so long, since in other PBS stations it's been playing since September!

Anyway, today's episode featured Green Garlic Mojo, which is basically "green garlic stalks" (pictured below) (lots of pictures of green garlic in this link).

Picture courtesy of Sophisticated Peasant

I had never seen green garlic stalks! They basically look like green onions, but apparently they are pure garlic. I was very intrigued by them.

I had heard of ramps before and I know we have them here in Toronto at the beginning of the summer. They are all the rage around here.

Not sure if we were talking of the same thing, I put a question to twitter. I now think that ramps and green garlic stalks are not the same because they have separate Wikipedia entries. Then again, someone mentioned that they are also called Garlic Scapes. According to Wikipedia: "Immature scapes are tender and edible. They are also known as "garlic spears", "stems", or "tops". Scapes generally have a milder taste than the cloves. They are often used in stir frying or braised like asparagus".

Looking for more information about green garlic and garlic scape I ran into 2 Sisters Garlic. Their Garlic and Garlic Scape recipes are highly recommended. They have recipes for Garlic Monkey Bread, Veggie and Chicken Pizza with Scapes, Summertime Herbed Chicken Pasta, Garlic Scape Carbonara, Garlic Scape Pesto, White Bean and Garlic Scape Dip, Simple Garlic Vinaigrette, Emeril's Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette, Sauteed Garlic Scapes, and Grilled Garlic Scapes. All the recipes feature garlic and green garlic (garlic scapes) prominently and look delicious!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Seven Years!

Yesterday was Garlicster's 7th bloggiversary. We've been bringing garlic happiness since October 27, 2004.
Happy Bloggiversary, Garlicster!

Vegan cauliflower and leek soup

I bought a cauliflower and as always didn't know how to cook it, I also had leftover leeks and celery. I made a cauliflower and leek soup, with a bit of celery. Of course there was garlic involved, as well as a can of white kidney beans. After boiling everything in vegetable broth for about 40 minutes (I added the beans at the end since they were already cooked), I blended everything with the hand blender. The texture was that of a veloute, and it was just delicious. Highly recommended.
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp vegan margarine
1 head of cauliflower
1 leek
2 stalks of celery
1 clove of garlic
1/2 sweet onion
1 carton of vegetable broth
1 can of white kidney beans
Salt and pepper to taste

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Taking the bite off raw garlic

Staci sent the following email:

I came across your website while searching for a recipe. You may have the answer to my question in your blog, but I'm so tired tonight, I thought I'd just email you first. :)

So, my question is this (and you may not even have an answer!): do you know how to take the "bite" out of raw garlic? We took our kids to Legoland last year and stopped at a farmer's market, where we came across Majestic Garlic. THE best garlic dip ever! It's raw, vegan, gluten free....I tried to duplicate it after my supply ran out, but it was SO spicy!

Here are the ingredients:
fresh raw garlic
safflower oil
organic flax seed oil/omega 3
lemon juice
sea salt
(there are different varieties which include such things as sun dried tomato/jalepeno, cilantro, etc...)

It has a mayonnaise consistency.

The last time I tried, I just used my cheap food processor. I have since purchased a Blendtec. Do you think using a high quality blender would help emulsify and take the bite out?

Any hints? I am completely addicted to this stuff, but it's pretty pricey.

Thanks in advance for any tips you have!

I know how to do it with onion (rinse onion slices with hot water, then dip in ice water), but actually have never tried it with garlic.

Does anyone have any idea?
Please leave your comments and I'll publish them later on.


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Moroccan lentil and chickpea soup from 1000 Vegan Recipes

It is -30 outside, time for a nice warm soup. I looked at 1000 Vegan Recipes looking for something that looked warm, rich and delicious. I found the Moroccan lentil and chickpea soup as a good option. I went to Metro to get all the ingredients, they are pictured below.
Posted by Picasa

Unfortunately none of the ingredients for the Harissa sauce was available. We decided to substitute with A Taste of Thai Garlic Chili Pepper Sauce, which has a good taste but is a bit sweet and not too vinegary.
The soup turned out delicious.

This is not a very good picture, but as you can see it is very tomatoe-ey, with a taste of garlic and ginger and some cumin. Delicious and totally recommended.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Escargot With Rosemary

This recipe was sent by Anastasia Koutalianos, author of From the Olive Grove: Mediterranean Cooking with Olive Oil.

In Greece, escargot are known as saligaria, and they can be found in dry shrubbery throughout the countryside. After picking our saligaria, we leave them in a covered basket with some flour and a few branches to start the cleansing process. But you can buy them in a can—don’t eat the ones from your garden!
Serve this appetizer with crusty bread and a glass of good red wine.

3 tbsp olive oil
2 cups sliced button mushrooms
3 tbsp olive oil
4 garlic cloves
1 can of 24–36 escargot (without shell), rinsed well
3 tbsp dried rosemary (or 3 sprigs fresh rosemary)
½ tsp sea salt
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 tbsp wine vinegar
¼ cup red (or white) wine
¼ tsp dried marjoram
½ tsp dried thyme
1 tsp flour

Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan on medium to high. Add sliced mushrooms and sauté for 5–10 minutes, or until softened. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a new saucepan, heat olive oil on medium heat, add garlic and sauté on low until fragrant. Stir in escargot, rosemary, salt, pepper, and the cooked mushrooms.
Reduce heat to low, and add wine vinegar, wine, marjoram, thyme, and flour.
Simmer for 10–15 minutes.

Makes 4 servings.

Excerpt from From the Olive Grove cookbook. Printed with permission and published by Arsenal Pulp Press.

It sounds delicious and sooo garlicky!

She also has a few other recipes in her book, such as Faki (lentil soup,vegetarian), Fasolada (romano bean soup, vegetarian), Psarosoupa (fish chowder), Oxtail barley soup, Stifatho (Venison & Pearl Onion) Stew, Roasted leg of lamb (super-garlicky), Mousaka (Eggplant Lasagna), Pastitsio (Beef & Noodle Casserole), Shrimp with Feta (also super-garlicky), Gigandes (Giant Baked Lima Beans, vegetarian and garlicky!), and lots of other Greek style dishes.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Chilaquiles for new year's breakfast

This morning, I made chilaquiles accompanied by a side of sunny side up fried eggs and some refried beans. I covered the whole thing with sliced red onion and it was all delicious and vegetarian.
I admit this is not a very garlicky recipe, but I did use garlic when making the salsa for the chilaquiles. I used cilantro, white onion, fresh tomatoes, jalapenos and garlic, all liquified in the blender and then cooked in a bit of olive oil for about 15 minutes. I used Que Pasa unsalted organic tortilla chips for the chilaquiles, really good and non-greasy.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Black Garlic Olive Tapenade

This recipe was sent by Lilly, and can also be found at Black Garlic Olive.

1 Can (6 oz) of Olives of your choice
2 Anchovy Filets
4 cloves Black Garlic
2 Roasted Red Peppers
2 tbs Capers
2-3 Leaves Basil
1 tbs Lemon Juice
2 tbs Olive Oil

Wash and strain olives. Put all ingredients into a food processor and blend until mixture becomes coarse and pulpy.
Serve on slices of French bread.

It definitely looks delicious!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Black Ink Squid Linguini in lemon black garlic and anchovy sauce

Chef Oscar Lippe was nice enough to send this recipe. The original link is here.

By Lorraine Cyr

  • ¼ pound freshly made black squid linguini

  • 4 cloves garlic

  • 4 cloves black garlic

  • 1 flat anchovy fillet

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest

  • A pinch of dried hot red pepper flakes

  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan with more served with meal


Fill 6 quart pan ¾ full of water bring to boil for pasta. Thinly slice garlic and finely chop anchovy. Cook pasta until almost al dente (with fresh pasta a minute or less). Drain pasta and save 1½ cup of water. In a 12 inch heavy skillet cook garlic in oil over moderate heat stirring until golden. Remove skillet from heat stir in anchovy, zest, red pepper flake, black garlic and add ½ cup pasta water.

Add pasta to garlic mixture and cook over moderately high heat, tossing and if necessary add more pasta water to keep pasta moist, about 2 minutes or until pasta is al dente. Add minced parsley and grated cheese toss and serve with additional parmesan on the side.


Friday, January 22, 2010

Garlic Peel, Garlic Chop and Garlic Keep

Last night I got a package with some cool garlic-related kitchen gadgets from Koopeh Designs.

Here is the Garlic Keep, I put the two garlic heads that I currently have at home, but it fits about six or eight. It's made of ceramic and airs the garlic through small holes in the bottom half.

Here is the Garlic Chop, to chop the garlic you put the garlic clove inside and rotate it left and right. The little stubs it has push the clove and make the chopping way faster and easier.

And the Garlic Peel. It's made of plastic and you put the unpeeled garlic clove inside and roll it around. I found it a bit difficult to get the clove peeled but at the end it worked.

I'll have more detailed usage info soon, but meanwhile I can say that I recommend these gadgets for any garlic lover out there.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Green garlic

I made garlic bread last week, and the garlic turned out green! I made it with olive oil, not butter, because of my allergies, but apparently it does it sometimes also with butter. Ah well, I guess we know it really does happened, as stated in this post: Green Garlic.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Vegan creamy leek and potato soup

How to make a creamy soup when no milk or cream is to be added? I found a few recipes but they all said to mix everything with the blender, but then the leeks would not be visible. I wanted the soup to be creamy but the leeks to be recognizable within the soup. To make this recipes you need to prepare the leeks and the potatoes in separate pots, this will allow to puree the potatoes and leave the chopped leeks to add chunky texture to the soup.

Peeled potatoes

I used:
4 cups potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 large leeks, chopped (there are 3 in the picture but I only used 2)
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cups vegetable broth or water (or more depending on how thick it is and/or how liquid you like it
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon chopped ginger
salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot brown the garlic in the olive oil, add the potatoes and sautee until lightly browned. Add the broth to the potatoes and boil until softened.
Chopped potatoes

In a separate pot, sautee the leeks in the olive oil for 2 minutes.
Chopped leeks

When the potatoes are cooked in the broth, puree with the hand blender, the texture will be that of a vichyssoise. Add the leeks and simmer for 2 minutes for flavour.

Leek and potato soup

Add the chopped ginger and the curry powder to the soup. This will make the soup look a bit yellow, not the usual white, but will give it a distinctive flavour of deliciousness. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Curry in soup

Serve and enjoy!
Creamy leek and potato soup

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Grilled lettuce

Yesterday I tried this delicious recipe and a totally new thing for me, I knew that the dish existed because I saw it once on the Food Network, but I had never thought of trying it. I was trying to come up with original veggie ideas for grilling and that's when I remembered the lettuce. I did not follow the recipe on the Food Network, but I followed the technique and main idea.

2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon minced ginger
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
3 heads of romaine lettuce

To make dressing, combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.

Slice each head of lettuce in two, lengthwise.
Slide romaine lettuce in two, lengthwise

Brush the lettuce with the dressing.

Cover lettuce with the delicious dressing

Grill the lettuce on both sides for 5 minutes total. Brush with the dressing when turning around. You don't want to grill it for too long or it will wilt. You want it to be warm and grilled, but not soggy and wilted.
Grill the lettuce on the barbecue for 5 minutes

Here is the grilled lettuce. The picture is not very good, but I can assure you it was crunchy and soft at the same time, and it had nicely absorbed the delicious Asian-inspired dressing. Each person ate a whole half of lettuce and other veggies as well.
Grilled Lettuce

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Garlic By Thibert

Garlic By Thibert
Originally uploaded by ravenswift
This garlic was seen at the Saturday Farmers' Market in Windsor, Ontario.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Smoked garlic on pizza

David Zimand sent us another recipe with a delicious-looking picture.

Smoked garlic on pizza

Smoked and slow grilled garlic atop smoked and grilled tomato, sun dried tomato, and home smoked mozzarella on top of pizza.
a little olive oil drizzle, thick ground black pepper and black sea salt.
Garlic top chopped off, slow grilled with hickory and cedar chips to accentuate taste and slow cook. Result: a sweet and yet smokey pungent garlic taste.

He also had this comment about it:

I find every preparation garlic develops a different taste - this one being complex and yet retaining the best qualities of garlic.

I didn't know how to smoke garlic, so I asked him, here is his reply:

Every way of cooking and preparing garlic will yield different results, different flavors, whether pungent, sweet, etc. Grilling, baking, smoking, etc. will bring out more of a sweet taste and less of a strong pungent garlic taste like with fresh garlic.

To smoke - chop up finely and put into a rolling paper. Light. Just kidding.

Chop top off of entire clove - so that the individual cloves are exposed. Put onto wood plank so that garlic is not exposed directly to flames or grate of the grill - unless you want to dramatically reduce cooking time and lessen smokey flavor.
For even greater smokey flavor put wood chips, pine cones, etc. under grate, wood plank on top of grate and then place garlic on top of wood plank.
I prepare the smoked tomatoes and artichoke the same way.
Since garlic will have shrunk from cooking, just peel off outer layers to expose garlic, then place on pizza and cook - as in photo - or spread on bread or mash and combine with olive oil.

Haha, funny and delicious.
Enjoy everyone!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Caramelized Garlic

David Zimand from Creagency sent us this delicious recipe for caramelized garlic. He says he's a garlic fanatic so welcome to the club!
Caramelized Garlic

Peel, crush lightly til falls apart. Saute with demerara sugar, a tiny bit of salt and voila, caramelized garlic.

Can be eaten alone or put on other dishes as I often do (says David).

He also has a whole page on Flickr dedicated to food, the pictures are amazing: Food Book.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Pasta with vegan pesto and mushrooms

This recipe is super garlicky and not for the faint of heart. To make it a bit friendlier decrease the amount of garlic in the pesto.
2 cups tightly pressed fresh basil
2 heads of garlic
1 pint cherry tomatoes
Olive oil
3 cups assorted mushrooms (I used shitake and cremini, but you can use portobello, white, oyster, etc.)
Fresh long pasta (I used fetuccine from St. Lawrence Market)
Salt and pepper to taste
Dehydrated garlic to taste
1 oz cooking sherry

There are 2 parts to this recipe, the pesto, which is raw, and the pasta with mushrooms.

To make the pesto:
Finely chop the tomatoes or chop them in the food processor. Add some salt and leave them in a strainer to get rid of the excess water.
After about 10 minutes, the tomatoes will be rid of their excess water. Put them back in the food processor along with the basil and the peeled cloves of one head of garlic. You can also add about one teaspoon of dehydrated garlic if you want. Chop finely.
Pesto ingredients
When all the ingredients are finely chopped in the food processor, add about 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. This will give the pesto its saucy consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

To make the pasta and mushrooms:
Chop the mushrooms and the cloves of 1 head of garlic.
Stir fry the chopped garlic in about 2 tablespoons of olive oil, when the garlic is softened, add the mushrooms and keep stir frying. Add salt and pepper to taste. When mushrooms are cooked (about 4 minutes) add one shot of sherry. Cover and let boil for about 1 minute.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta in lots of salted water according to instructions. The fresh pasta from St. Lawrence Market takes about 4 minutes to be al dente.
When pasta is ready, toss it into the warm soupy mushrooms (my pasta looks red because I got tomato pasta).
Pasta tossed with mushrooms
Let the pasta absorb the mushroom juices for about 1 minute.
Serve in a big spaghetti bowl. Add the pesto on top.
Pasta with vegan pesto and mushrooms
Enjoy, and be careful with all that garlic. No, seriously, I was kind of crying at the end of my dinner. But it was goood!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Roasted Garlic Express

Tina sent me an email asking for help. She wants to know if the Roasted Garlic Express can be found anywhere in the West Coast in Canada. Here is a picture of the garlic roaster.

It seems like a great gadget for any garlic-lover to have. It is made and marketed in the USA.
Tina found a place in Canada that sells it, it is called, but they only ship to Central Canada, so she cannot get it in British Columbia.
Does anyone know any other place in Canada, preferably British Columbia, where this amazing garlic roaster can be found? Any help will be appreciated.

Bonus, there are garlic recipes in the Roasted Garlic Express website, yum!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Tomato Garlic Starter paired with Bharat Mary

Mike from Sub Rosa Spirits sent us 2 recipes, here's the first one, paired with cocktails he makes at the distillery:

2 medium sliced Tomato
1 medium Onion [yellow, white or sweet Walla Walla is best] chopped coarsely
3-4 jalapeno. Seeded and chopped
2 cloves Garlic, crushed and sliced or diced or run through a garlic press
1/4 teaspoons - Cayenne pepper powder
2 Cardamom pods [seeds removed if you like]
4-5 Cloves
Salt as per taste
2 Tbs. Butter
2-3 Mint leaves, coarsely chopped. Chiffinod if you want to get fancy.

Here's what you do:

1) CRUSH Cardamom and cloves with a mortar and pestle. Grind to a coarse powder. I often remove the seeds from the pod, but it's not essential.

2) HEAT butter in a pan and add vegetables [tomato, onion, peppers] and fry for 5 minutes on medium flame, stirring occasionally. Take care not to break or excessively mash tomato slices.

3) ADD garlic. Let it warm and mix with the heated vegetables. Do not overcook the garlic, lest it turn bitter. Maybe 3 minutes additional time for the combined mixture.

4) ADD spices and salt and adjust the taste. Remove from flame, top with mint leaves

5) SERVE hot with roti [traditional Indian flat bread] or with a side of rice.

For a cocktail, serve with this variant on Blood Mary using Sub Rosa Saffron vodka. This Saffron vodka contains a bit of toasted cumin, coriander, ginger, galangal, cayenne pepper, black pepper and of course saffron. Very aromatic and heady. Makes a killer Bloody Marry.

Bharat Mary
2 oz. Sub Rosa Saffron vodka
3 dashes Worcestershire
1 dash Peychauds bitters [or orange bitters]
3 dashes hot sauce (or more)
Tomato juice (to fill)
Celery salt (to taste)

Stir in mixing tin with ice. Strain into a Rocks or Old Fashion glass over ice. Garnish with Indian pickled carrots and peppers. This is basically a Bloody Mary without the horseradish.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A new take on "The Real Pasta Primavera"

Earlier this year I blogged about The Real Pasta Primavera. I have heard many good things about the recipe and it was even reproduced on a site called
So I decided to experiment with that same recipe adding more vegetable variety.
This recipe is vegan.

Ingredients for 2 persons:
Fresh fettuccine, enough for 2 persons (I got mine at St. Lawrence Market, I bought the red pepper flavoured one, I would have preferred the basil flavoured but they were out).
One bunch of basil, chopped.
1 bunch rapini.
1 pound fresh small tomatoes, very finely chopped (I did not use grape or cherry tomatoes, the ones I used were slightly bigger than cherry tomatoes, like the size of a golf ball).
Baby spinach (I used about 2 cups, but note that it wilts and reduces its size).
6 cloves of super finely chopped garlic.
1/2 cup kalamata olives, sliced.
About 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil.
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (or you can substitute salt+garlic powder for garlic salt, but I didn't have any).
Salt and pepper to taste.

Boil salted water and prepare it for the pasta, I added a little bit of cooking oil to the boiling water.
Slice rapini diagonally, use the whole thing, including both stems and flower. Pieces will be thin since they have been sliced diagonally. In a smaller pot, boil salted water. When boiling, "blanche" the rapini for 3 minutes.
Discard any tomato "juice" after chopping them, you want them on the "dry" side (non-juicy).

The following step involves "semi-heating" the sauce but not cooking it. I just didn't want the sauce to cool the pasta (as it usually happens with the pasta primavera). At low heat, combine the tomatoes, garlic, rapini, olives, spinach, basil and olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste and garlic powder. Heat it up for approximately 4 minutes, you don't want it to "cook" any of the ingredients, just to warm them up.

Now it's time to boil the pasta. Cook it al dente, take it out immediately, drain it and put it back in the pot (without the water). Pour the sauce on top and keep it at low heat for 2 minutes. This will distribute the heat.
Serve immediately.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Pescado al mojo de ajo (fish in toasted garlic)

Bill Moran sent me the following recipe from his book Cocina Ranchera, a book on Mexican ranch cooking. In fact, he has 4 different cookbooks, and they all sound super delicious. Click on this link for more information.

Loyal readers may remember a post from almost 4 years ago now, "Mojo de ajo prawns (crayfish)". This is a similar recipe except with fish, but the basics are the same, you can use mojo de ajo for shrimp or other seafood as well.

Here is what he wrote about the recipe:

I enjoyed this dish very much at Restaurante René in Nuevo Progreso, Mexico in the state of Tamaulipas. When I went back to get the recipe, on another visit, it wasn’t on the menu, so here is my version. At Restaurante René the menu read Trucha al Mojo de Ajo, however, perch, catfish, red snapper, or other similar fish may be used. “Trucha” means trout.

And here it is:

6 to 8 Large Cloves Garlic, coarsely chopped
4 Catfish Fillets, 4 to 6 oz. each, sliced thin
3 to 4 TBS. Oil 1 TBS. Butter or Margarine
1 - 2 TBS. Cilantro, chopped 2 - 3 TBS. Fresh Lime Juice
Salt to Taste 1/2 C. Flour
1/2 C. Corn Flour

Rub fish fillets with lime juice coating thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Remove fish from refrigerator, dry with a paper towel, and dredge with the flour/corn flour mixture. Heat oil and butter in medium hot skillet. Add garlic and saute 30 or 40 seconds then add fish and fry until brown on both sides. Place cooked fish on platter and keep warm. Remove garlic from oil, add lime juice and cilantro and cook until cilantro is wilted. Pour lime juice, cilantro, and oil over fish fillets and serve.
Good with a tomatillo salsa on the side.

Delicious, I say!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Joy of Cooking and The Joy Kitchen

Last week I got an email notifying me about the Joy of Cooking and its new website, The Joy Kitchen. My mother used to have The Joy of Cooking and I used to consult it a lot in my early days of learning how to cook.

The Joy of Cooking is celebrating is 75th anniversary (in 2006, actually) and it is credited to Irma S. Rombauer (the original author), Marion Rombauer Becker (her daughter), and Ethan Becker (their grandson and son, respectively).
It is Ethan Becker who took care of this latest edition includes a note from Julia Child dated 2004, who was consulted as an authority for this revision and helped with the revisions. A letter from Ethan Becker dated 2006 explains all this and also tells about the sampling of the recipes, the work it took to bring this 75th anniversary edition to print, etc.
I do not have my mom's edition with me to compare, and I don't remember exactly what it included, but this edition has a lot of helpful information and ideas, including A History of the Joy of Cooking by Anne Mendelson. Apparently the first instruction that the original Joy included was to stand facing the stove and that's how Anne Mendelson named her book published in 2003. It is an appropriate addition to this edition of Joy.

The book also includes information about nutrition, and an explanation of the Nutrition Facts sticker and how to read food labels. I'm pretty sure this is something recent in the book, since the inclusion of food labels and nutrition facts is quite recent (definitely less than 75 years).
It also includes a heading about vegetarian diets. Too bad it says "in the United States, some vegetarians happily eat chicken, fish, eggs, and dairy products", ah well, people who eat chicken and fish are definitely not vegetarian, they may not eat red meat but they should not label themselves vegetarian. Too bad a misconception like this is included in such an important book.

There is a section about entertaining, including details that go beyond the menu, such as table decor, table setting, seating, etc. It also includes suggested menus for holidays, special occasions, 30 minute recipes, etc. All with recipes that can be found in the book. A suggested menu for a vegetarian event includes:
  • White bean dip with rosemary and garlic

  • Tuscan bread and tomato soup

  • Gazpacho

  • Mushroom barley soup

  • Wonton soup

There are, of course, lots of other recipes for vegetarian dishes throughout the book.

The beverages menu has section has a great explanation about coffee and different types of coffee pots, including recipes for different types of coffee beverages. The section also includes explanations for juices, punches, and other soft drinks. But, and this is what is super exciting, there is a section for wine and beer, and a section for cocktails and party drinks. No more fiddling around to find the perfect margarita or martini recipe, everything is clearly explained with measurements and everything.

This is the most complete cooking book you'll ever find, and what better than getting this new updated edition instead of going back to your mom's recipe books. It is published by Simon & Schuster and retails for $35 in the US and $39.99 in Canada. Definitely an investment worth making.

On a further note, I am proud to say that they spell "portobello" for the mushrooms, which is how I've been spelling it all along. And if such an authority in cooking spells it like that, I very well take it that such is the correct spelling.

Monday, October 20, 2008

How to Make Garlic Infused Olive Oil

The following instructions for garlic infused olive oil were written by Jamie Sward. I think it is really important to have it here on Garlicster, since I've been asked a few times how to prepare the garlic olive oil.

With the weather getting colder, and guests on the way, I wanted to make some delicious garlic dipping sauce for some homemade bread sticks. I'm a big fan of dipping bread in olive oil, with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese. So tasty! I thought this would also be the perfect time to use some brand new stainless steel kitchenware that I purchased last weekend. While I was researching recipes, I learned something very important about the process of making garlic-infused olive oil. One might think it's as simple as dropping a few cloves of garlic into a bottle of oil. WRONG! Do it this way and you risk botulism poisoning which can be deadly!

Clostridium Botulinum is a bacterium found in most soil and since garlic, being a root vegetable, is ripped from the ground, traces of this deadly bacteria are still left clinging to it. Since Botulism is an anaerobic bacteria (meaning that it thrives in an environment lacking oxygen), it dies in the presence of oxygen. Olive oil essentially seals out oxygen and when you mix food in with the oil, you have an ideal breeding ground for these potentially deadly bacteria. It is absolutely essential that you sterilize any food you plan on mixing with oil, including garlic. It's recommended that you heat the oil to around 200F, sauté your garlic in the oil. The creator of Emerilware kitchenware and cookware, Emeril Lagasse actually recommends sautéing the garlic over medium heat for between 3 and 5 minutes. Do not...I repeat do not soak your garlic in the oil prior to cooking it. While there's something to be said for planning ahead, when it comes to safely making garlic-infused olive oil, it pays to wait till the last minute.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

End of summer pesto

Ann sent me this recipe:
I have been diligently awaiting this moment all summer long. While I have been up to my elbows in pears, and shortly apples, there it was. Chastely waving in the breeze, tempting my senses. So today I rewarded my summer of hard efforts with PESTO!
Is there anything more heady than that aroma of warm basil, freshly picked, filling the whole house with that lovely green scent? I have been fiercely guarding this patch against marauding snails~~~ who wanted it as much as I did. The leaves were as big as my fist. Pesto turns even humble macaroni into something extra ordinary! If you don't remember pesto, you should reacquaint yourself with the emerald delight. If you haven't tried it yet, here's the recipe:
Pesto Sauce
2 Cups firmly packed fresh basil leaves
3/4 Cup grated parmesan cheese (the real stuff, not that powdered junk!)
3/4 Cup good olive oil
2 Tablespoons pine nuts (or walnuts)
4 cloves garlic
Put all ingredients into the blender, and blend on medium speed, stopping blender occasionally to scrape the sides, until sauce is smooth, about 3 minutes. Serve over your favorite hot cooked pasta.

Now I would probably remove the parmesan cheese, but for sure I want to make this deliciously herby garlicky pesto.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Los Tules Chicken Sandwich

Don sent me this recipe of the chicken sandwich they had in Puerto Vallarta. It looks super delicious, the combination of sweet pineapple and cheesy mozzarella, mmh mmh (damn milk allergies). OK, for everyone's enjoyment here it is.


Two chicken breasts (boneless)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1-8-oz. can of crushed pineapple with juice
½ cup slivered almonds
6 sandwich rolls or hamburger buns
Tomato slices
Tabasco, hot pepper or buffalo sauce of your choice

Bake two boneless chicken breasts wrapped in foil to keep moist. Approx. 30 minutes at 350 degrees (F) until tender. Shred the breasts into a layer in a twelve inch frying pan.

Mix in the slivered almonds and set the heat to medium. Pour the crushed pineapple and juice into a bowl and blend in the hot sauce to taste. Note: you will probably add more sauce the next time. Pour the mixture into the chicken and stir together.

When the mixture is warm add one cup of mozzarella cheese and fold together until mixed and the cheese is melted. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly so the cheese holds the mixture together.

Butter the buns and season with garlic salt and place in the oven to toast. Serve with a slice of tomato and a little Miracle Whip or mayo. Makes six servings. Leftover chicken is excellent in a tossed salad.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Vegan caprese-inspired salad

This is an unconventional caprese salad, since it is vegan so it does not contain any cheese, it also includes non-traditional ingredients like onion. I titled it caprese-inspired salad. It is super-garlicky and delicious!

1 package firm tofu
1 bunch of basil
2 beefsteak tomatoes
4 cloves of garlic
1/2 red onion
2 TBS sliced kalamata olives
1 TBS imitation bacon bits
1 TSP honey
1 TSP mustard
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 TS Maggi seasoning (if desired for the dressing)
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Use the garlic press or chop one clove of garlic very finely, mix it in 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar. Add salt and pepper to the mix.
Chop the tofu in half an inch cubes and put them in a container covered with the garlic-balsamic vinegar. Set aside.

Chop the tomatoes in 1/2 inch squares and basil. Set aside.
Slice the red onion really thin. Set aside.
This is how I prepare the dressing:
Chop very finely or use the garlic press with 2 or 3 cloves of garlic. Mix in the olive oil with approximately 1/2 tsp of salt. Add the mustard and mix until it emulsifies a bit. Then add the honey and keep mixing (I use a fork but if you prefer you can use a whisk). Add the Maggi seasoning, if you want, and finally the balsamic vinegar. Try it for taste and add more oil or vinegar according to your preferences.
Now, the trick to make delicious onion for the salad, onion that is not too strong for eating raw: Add the fine slices to the dressing and cover it all with it. Let stand about 45 minutes to an hour (you can do 15 minutes, but it is less effective). The onion will "cook" with the vinegar. It will leave a delicious flavour in the vinaigrette and it will not be too strong for eating raw.
When it's time to serve, just mix all the ingredients together. Delicious, nutritious, low calorie and vegan. And most importantly... plenty of garlic!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Been very busy

Sorry guys for the lack of posting. I've been really busy doing stuff... summer and all. But I have been cooking and will post recipes soon.

Meanwhile I got an advance copy of The Complete Book of Garlic, by Ted Jordan Meredith. It is, according to their tagline, "a guide for gardeners, growers and serious cooks". I've taken a look and it looks great. It is indeed more a guide for gardeners and growers. And it has no recipes, but some tips on how to use it when cooking. I'll have a more complete review in a few days. All you need to know now is that it is coming out in August and will be available at Amazon and other retailers. And yes, sadly, we Canadians will end up paying more for the same product, it retails for $39.95 in the US and for $45.95 in Canada. That's 15% more in Canada, when at today's rate it should retail at $40.83 in Canada. Shame on publishers, shame!
OK, rant over. Happy garlicking!