Tuesday, October 26, 2010
I am definitely trying to be better about attacking the bread basket when I am out but the one time I simply cannot resist is when there is a garlic confit accompanying it. There is nothing like garlic cooked until it is sweet and mellow and the combination of garlic and olive oil cannot be beat.
I purchased Michael Psilakis' How to Roast a Lamb: New Greek Classic Cooking a while ago and enjoyed flipping through it. There are a number of interesting recipes to try but it's the garlic confit that jumped out as the first to try. It's incredibly simple and keeps in the refrigerator for at least three weeks. It's a fun project and a nice gift idea with a crusty bread or a jar of interesting olives to add with it. I cheated and bought pre-peeled garlic (why not?). The cooking item is about an hour, all of it unattended, so you can just let it do its thing and then enjoy the fruits of (barely any) labor pretty soon thereafter. Enjoy (and just don't worry about the bread basket).
Garlic confit (adapted from How to Roast a Lamb: New Greek Classic Cooking)
(makes 3 cups)
3 cups garlic cloves, peeled
1 fresh bay leaf or 3 dried leaves
8 to 10 sprigs fresh thyme
Kosher salt and whole black peppercorns
Optional: add 1 tsp dried crushed red pepper (or to taste)
About 2 cups blended oil (half/half canola and extra virgin)
Combine cloves and seasonings in a heavy braising pan or Dutch oven. Barely cover with the oil. Cover pan and braise at 300 degrees F for 1 - 1 hour 15 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
Store in sterilized jars with oil to cover. Stored properly, the confit will last for at least 3 weeks.