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Back to the Kitchen: The Surprise of Cooking with Garlic

Posted By Karen Young On April 15, 2013 @ 10:36 pm In Appetizers,Desserts,Eat,Entrees,Food,My Daily Find,Recipes,Recipes,Salads,Side Dishes | No Comments



I was interviewed by The Food Network a few years ago and asked what food most resembles my personality. I had to say garlic — peel the many layers to reveal the heat. It has many flavors —  from spicy when raw and sweet to subtle when roasted. Simply, I just love garlic and use it in almost everything.

Following are some of my favorite recipes. I encourage you to push your limits even if it seems like the recipe calls for a lot of garlic.  However, if some seem a bit heavy handed on the garlic feel free to use a little less. You will sleep better knowing that vampires will stay far away!

 30 Clove French Garlic Soup

30 garlic cloves, peeled

8 fresh sage leaves

3 thyme branches

6 cups chicken or vegetable stock

Pinch of saffron

4 slices day old or toasted bread

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup Gruyere cheese, grated

Place 26 of the garlic cloves and the sage leaves and thyme branches in a large saucepan with chicken or veggie stock. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove garlic and sage and thyme. Finally chop the sage and thyme for garnish. Mash the garlic with a mortar and pestle or a fork. Return garlic to the cooking liquid, along with the saffron. Keep the soup at a gentle simmer, with the lid on, until ready to serve.

Preheat broiler to high. Cut the remaining garlic cloves in half and rub each slice of bread with it. Then, sprinkle each slice with olive oil and some grated cheese, reserving some. Broil bread until cheese topping bubbles.

To serve, place a slice of bread in the bottom of each serving bowl. Pour soup over the bread and sprinkle on remaining cheese. Place back in the broiler until top cheese is bubbly. Remove and serve immediately on liner plate. Garnish with sage and thyme. Serves 4.

Garlic and Mussel Stew

5 pounds fresh mussels, brushed and cleaned from all the sand

1 tablespoon butter

1 shallot, chopped finely

1 celery branch, diced

6 garlic cloves, peeled and minced

1 bay leaf

1 thyme twig

1/2 cup white wine

Fresh parsley

1 cup unsweetened coconut milk

1/4 tsp ground turmeric

Pinch saffron

Salt and pepper

In a large soup pot, heat butter on medium heat. Cook the shallot and celery without browning for 1 to 2 minutes, then add the garlic with thyme and bay leaf, and continue to cook for 1 minute. Add the mussels and white wine, with a bunch of parsley. Season with salt and pepper and cook on high heat, covered until all the mussels are open about 5 minutes. Discard all mussels that are not open. Remove the mussels from the pot and set aside. Filter the juice. Shell the mussels (keep 1/3 with the shells). In the stockpot, pour the juice again and add the coconut milk, saffron and turmeric and heat to reach a simmer. Add the mussels and keep warm. Serve with fresh parsley in bowls, and accompany with a tasty loaf of rustic bread! Serves 6.

Roasted Clams with Garlic Butter

6 pounds clams in shell

1 pound butter

12 cloves garlic, sliced

Melt butter and add garlic. Stir and keep warm over low heat. 

Wash clams thoroughly in running water. Arrange clams on baking sheet and bake at 450 for 15 minutes till they open. 

Serve the clams warm with the garlic butter. Serves 6.

Roasted Garlic

6 whole heads garlic

1/2-cup olive oil

Salt/ freshly ground pepper

Preheat the oven to 350.Trim the points of the heads of garlic exposing the tops of the cloves. Place the heads together in a shallow baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast the garlic for 30 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 250 and roast 1 hour more. Serve the garlic with crusty bread and assorted cheeses. One of life’s most simple pleasures!

Noni’s Olive Tapenade

6 large garlic cloves

2 cups pitted Kalamata olives or other brine-cured olives

4 anchovy fillets

2 tablespoons drained capers

1teaspoon each fresh chopped rosemary, thyme

3 tablespoons lemon juice

5 tablespoons olive oil.

Rinse the olives in cold water. (This makes the tapenade less salty) Finely chop garlic cloves in food processor. Add 1/2 the olives, anchovies, capers, thyme and rosemary. Process until almost smooth. Add the lemon juice. With machine running gradually add olive oil. Blend mixture until smooth. Then coarsely chop the remaining cup of olives and mix in. Season tapenade to taste with pepper. Transfer to small bowl. Serve with toasted French bread. Makes about 2 cups.


6 seeded ripe plum tomatoes, diced (when in season I love to use heirloom)

1 red onion, diced

5 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

1/2-cup olive oil

Gently combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Season with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. Let stand at room temp for 1 hour before serving. Makes about 4 cups.

Baked Spinach and Garlic Cakes

16 ounces fresh spinach (1 bag or 1 large bunch), washed well and chopped fine OR 16 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and well squeezed, drained of as much liquid as possible

1-cup part-skim ricotta cheese

1/2 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish

2 large eggs, beaten

6 cloves garlic, minced

½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400. In a medium bowl add spinach, ricotta, Parmesan, eggs, garlic, nutmeg, salt and pepper; stir to combine. Coat a 12-cup standard size muffin pan with cooking spray. Divide the spinach mixture among the 12 cups they will be very full and very dense. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake the spinach cakes until set, about 30 minutes. Let stand in the pan for 5 minutes. Loosen the edges with a knife and place on a large serving platter. Serve warm or at room temperature with a dollop of sour cream or almond yogurt! Serves 6.

Garlic Shrimp with Black Beans

1/4-cup cider vinegar

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon minced chipotle pepper

1-teaspoon ground cumin

1/4-teaspoon salt

1 pound peeled and deveined cooked shrimp

1 pound green beans, blanched

1 15-ounce can black beans

1-cup cherry tomatoes

8 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup chopped scallions

1/4-cup basil

Whisk vinegar, oil, chipotle, cumin and salt in a large bowl. Add shrimp, green beans, black beans, tomatoes, garlic, scallions and cilantro; toss to coat. Serve room temperature or cold. Serves 2-4

Grilled Garlic Tuna Steaks

6 cloves garlic, chopped

6 scallions with tops, minced

1/3-cup parsley, chopped

2 teaspoons dry vermouth  (or white wine)

1-teaspoon soy sauce

3 splashes green tabasco (or to taste)

4 tuna steaks, 1/2 to 3/4 inches thick.

Prepare the grill to medium heat. Mix the garlic, scallions, parsley, vermouth, soy sauce and Tabasco. Add the tuna steaks and marinade in the refrigerator for one hour. Grill the tuna steaks 5 inches over the heat for about 8 minutes per side until they are firm to the touch. Remove from grill and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Shrimp Scampi

2 pounds large prawns

8 tablespoons butter

1/2-cup olive oil

8 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1/4 cup basil, finely chopped

1/4 cup oregano, finely chopped

Juice from 3 lemons

Zest from 1 lemon

Splash triple sec

Salt and pepper to taste

Shell and devein prawns; rinse and drain. In a medium skillet melt butter. Add olive oil, garlic, basil, oregano and lemon juice and zest. Sautee for one minute. Add prawns and cook until pink. Add salt and pepper and triple second cook on high untilluquid is reduced to 3/4. Serve over pasta.

Garlic Focaccia

1 package active dry yeast

1/4-tablespoon sugar

1-cup lukewarm water

3 1/2 cups flour

1/2-teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons olive oil

Minced fresh rosemary

24 cloves garlic, sliced

½ cup parmesan cheese

In small bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in water. Set aside for 5 minutes. Mound flour on work surface. Make a well in center and pour yeast mixture, salt and 1-tablespoon oil into it. With your fingers, gradually incorporate flour into liquid until dough forms. If mixture is too dry to hold together, sprinkle a little additional water over dough and mix well. Knead dough until smooth, about 5 minutes. Place dough in oiled large bowl, turning to coat. Cover with kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. Spray cookie sheet with Bakers Joy. Punch dough down. Place dough in center of prepared pan and spread out evenly to cover pan, using your fingers to “dimple” surface. Brush remaining 3 tablespoons oil over dough. Sprinkle with garlic, rosemary and cheese. Let rise in a warm place, uncovered, 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 400°F. Bake until top is a light golden brown, about 15 minutes. Cut into 18 squares. Serves 6-8

Garlic and Pineapple Upside Down Cake

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups sugar

1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 cups whole milk

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 20-ounce can sliced pineapple,

2 tablespoons juice reserved

1 1/3 cups packed light brown sugar

5 cloves garlic, sliced

Preheat the oven to 350. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, 1/2 stick butter, milk, eggs, vanilla and 2 tablespoons pineapple juice in a large bowl. Beat with a mixer on medium speed until well combined. (There will still be a few small lumps in the batter.) Set aside.

Melt the remaining 1/2 stick butter in a skillet over medium heat once melted add the brown sugar. Spray a 10 to 12 inch cake pan with bakers joy. As soon as the sugar dissolves, remove from the heat and pour evenly over the bottom of the cake pan. Layer the pineapple slices over the top. Add the garlic slices randomly in between the pineapple slices.

Pour the batter evenly over the pineapple and garlic slices and gently spread to even out the top. Bake the cake 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Immediately run a knife around the edge of the cake, and then put a plate upside down on top of the cake pan. Carefully invert the skillet so the cake is turned onto the plate. Let cool slightly before cutting into wedges. It’s best served warm. Serves 6-8

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