The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #165215   Message #3961743
Posted By: Steve Shaw
15-Nov-18 - 04:37 AM
Thread Name: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
In fast-cooked pasta sauces I just slice the garlic finely with a small knife. It's better than chopping, which can leave a few unpleasant little nibs. For slow-cooked things such as stews or ragus I just thump the unpeeled cloves with my fist, take off the skin and throw in the broken cloves. You can fish them out at the end but I never do. If I'm baking something such as skin-on chicken pieces (with cubed unpeeled potatoes, thick wedges of onion, strips of pancetta and extra virgin olive oil) in the oven, I separate out the unpeeled cloves and throw them into the baking tray about 20 minutes before the end (they burn otherwise). You can then suck the beautiful, sweet creamy middles out. Another good thing to do with garlic is to wrap the unpeeled, separated cloves of a whole head of garlic in foil with some extra virgin olive oil and bake them in the oven for about half an hour. Squeeze out the lovely middles and blend them with cooked peas, Parmesan cheese and a knob of butter. Makes a fabulous emerald-green crostini topping (thanks for that one, Nigella, you genius). Crushing garlic releases the bitter, acrid elements of the cloves far too rapidly into the dish. Gentle cooking of the cloves sweetens them and adds flavour subtly. I rarely want a pronounced garlicky taste to be the point of the thing. If you're making a pasta sauce, slice the garlic thinly into your pan of cold extra virgin olive oil and leave it to infuse for as long as you like (if the dish calls for chilli flakes, put them in there as well).