HOW TO ROAST GARLIC
Roasted garlic makes a delicious appetizer; squeeze the pulp out of the clove and spread on the bread of your liking or serve with bruschetta and/or tapenade. Roasted garlic is also excellent used in baking. It is milder than raw garlic.
2 whole garlic heads (bulbs)
2 to 3 tsp. virgin olive oil
Heat oven to 375°F. Put the garlic in a small ovenproof dish, garlic cooker or pan. Pour ½ tsp. olive oil over the top of each bulb and let it sink between the cloves. Wait two minutes and then repeat with another ½ tsp. olive oil all over each garlic bulb. You can also cook in a garlic cooker or place on a baking sheet and cover with aluminum foil. (This is great for cooking large amounts of garlic.) Cover and bake approximately 45-60 minutes or until cloves are browned at the exposed end and soft throughout. Remove from oven. Allow roasted garlic to cool enough so you can touch it without burning yourself. Using a small knife, cut the skin slightly around each clove. Use a cocktail fork or fingers to pull or squeeze the roasted garlic cloves out of the skins. Garlic may be stored in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator for several days. To puree, crush garlic cloves with the flat of a knife.
ROASTING GARLIC FOR COOKING PURPOSES
Preheat oven to 350°F. Separate a head of garlic into individual cloves, don’t peel the cloves, but do rub off any flakey or papery skin. Use a paring knife to cut off the stem end of each clove. You basically want the peel to stay on, but it is fine if a little does come off. Put the cloves in the center of a square piece of aluminum foil. Drizzle with a little olive oil and using your fingers to rub the oil evenly on the cloves. Gather the aluminum foil into a pouch and set it directly on the rack of your oven. Roast until garlic becomes very soft, approximately 1 hour. When done, open the pouch and let the cloves sit until they are cool enough to handle. When cool, squeeze each clove gently at the untrimmed end and the roasted garlic flesh should slide out in one piece.
BAKED SHRIMP AND SCAMPI
1/3 c. melted butter, plus 1 Tbs. for greasing baking dish
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. shrimp, cleaned and deveined
1 c. fresh small cubed bread crumbs
1 tsp. dried oregano, crushed
Preheat oven to 350°F. Using a casserole that will hold the shrimp in one layer, grease with 1 Tbs. butter. Melt remaining butter in a saucepan over low heart. Add the garlic and gently sauté until it is soft, but not browned. Do not overcook the garlic or it will become bitter. Set aside to cool. Place half of the bread crumbs in an even layer in bottom of casserole. Sprinkle with oregano. Place shrimp in single layer on top of bread crumbs. Squeeze lemon juice over shrimp, then top with remaining bread crumbs. Sprinkle cooled garlic butter evenly over the top. Bake for 25 minutes or until top is golden brown. Makes 4 servings.
BAKED CHICKEN WITH GARLIC CLOVES
1 Tbs. olive oil
4 lb. bone-in chicken pieces, skinned
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
40 large garlic cloves, unpeeled (about 4 heads)
13/4 c. dry white wine
4 sprigs thyme or ¼ tsp. dried
1 sprig rosemary or ¼ tsp. dried
2 Tbs. cognac
Chopped fresh parsley
12 slices coarse bread (1/2 -inch thick)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Heat oil over medium heat in a heavy bottom, flame proof casserole large enough to single layer the chicken. Add chicken and season with salt and pepper. Sauté five minutes, turn over and sauté another five minutes. If casserole scorches the bottom a little, it’s ok as it will not affect the flavor. Remove chicken and add garlic cloves, reserving one clove and sauté, stirring, 4-5 minutes or until beginning to brown. Spread cloves into a single layer and return chicken pieces to the casserole. Add wine, thyme and rosemary; cover tightly. Place casserole in oven and bake 45 minutes, then check the chicken. It should be tender and fragrant. If not where you want it, bake another 15 minutes. When done remove from oven, heat cognac in a small saucepan and ignite. Pour flaming cognac over chicken and shake the casserole until the flames die down. Taste and adjust seasonings. Sprinkle with parsley. Toast bread slices in the preheated 350°F. oven until they begin to color, about 10 minutes, then rub both sides with the cut side of the reserved garlic clove. To serve, place a couple slices of garlic toast on each plate and top with one or two pieces of chicken, some of the sauce in the casserole and several garlic cloves, which should be squeezed on the toast.
BAKED ITALIAN STYLE FISH
2 Tbs. virgin olive oil
2 Tbs. butter
½ lb. mushrooms, sliced or 1 c. canned
2 clove garlic, finely minced
2 Tbs. sliced green onions
2 Tbs. minced fresh parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
4 trout fillets or fish of choice
4 Tbs. dry Italian bread crumbs
Oil or spray a shallow baking dish with olive oil non-stick spray. Add sliced mushrooms, onions, 1 Tbs. parsley and garlic. Arrange fish in dish. Season lightly with salt and pepper; brush with olive oil and dot with 1 Tbs. of butter. Melt remaining butter and toss with bread crumbs. Sprinkle over fish. Bake at 375°F. for 20-25 minutes or until fish is tender, opaque and flaky and crumbs are lightly golden. Sprinkle with remaining parsley. Garnish with lemon wedges. Serves 4.
BREAKFAST SAUSAGE AND EGG BAKE
1 lb. bulk sausage
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbs. olive oil
2 slices dry day-old bread, cut into ½-inch cubes
1 c. (4-oz.) shredded cheddar cheese
½ tsp. ground sage
2 c. milk
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. dry mustard
In medium skillet, crumble sausage and sauté over medium heat with the onions and garlic until browned, stirring often to brown evenly. In a buttered 12x8x2-inch casserole, spread bread crumbs evenly over bottom and top with sausage mixture and then the cheese. Combine eggs, milk, salt and mustard. Beat well and pour over sausage and cheese in casserole. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. The next morning, bake in a preheated 350°F. oven for 30-40 minutes or until set. Makes 8 servings.