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Caramelized Roasted Garlic--New!

Recipe: Caramelized Roasted Garlic--New! NEW

Remarks:

    The recipe this week is about as easy as they get; with one trick. You will want to roast the garlic until it is lightly golden on the edges and the timing depends on your oven, the size of the garlic and the amount of oil you use.

Servings:
Serves 4 with crackers as an appetizer

Ingredients:

    1 head of garlic peeled and divided into individual cloves. (You can also use a few cloves of elephant garlic. Just cut them into ½-1” chunks.)

    Olive oil

Instructions:

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

    This is an amazingly versatile recipe. My husband could not believe I had not yet written it up for you. Do not be afraid of this garlic. When you roast garlic this way it become mellow; not harsh. It becomes soft as creamy cheese and can be spread.

    The first thing you need is a small, oven-proof container to roast the garlic in. Some people just wrap the garlic in aluminum foil. I do not agree with this technique. I want the garlic immersed in the oil but with just enough of the garlic tops sticking out (exposed to the oven temp) so they start to brown. Any garlic will brown in aluminum foil if you leave it in long enough but this way you can keep an eye on it and know exactly when it is done. I use a large ramekin to roast my garlic. You can use a little oven-proof pot or a piece of bakeware too. If you have to use a 9 X 9 pan (which I had to do on vacation once), I built a little wall of aluminum foil to block off most of the pan surface. That worked. but a smaller vessel is ideal.

    When I separate the garlic cloves I only use the larger chunks. Save the bitty ones for another use. Place the garlic chunks in the small, oven-proof container. Pour garlic oil over the top until it reaches almost to the top of the garlic. ½” or maybe more. Roast at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Check then to see if your garlic is beginning to brown. If it is, remove it from the oven to cool. If it is not browning yet, add 10 minute increments until it is browning; just a bit and then remove it to cool.

    Leave in the olive oil until it is cooled down. Then you can take it out and mash it in a container with a fork to make a paste. It is not a pretty concoction but you can spread this on bread or serve it with crackers for an exotic appetizer.

    You also have the option of using the recipe to make roasted garlic mashed potatoes. When you are ready to mash the potatoes you can add the caramelized garlic and oil into the pot along with salt and begin mashing. You can then judge if you want to add cream or milk to get the consistency you like. If you use Yukon gold potatoes you are not even likely to need milk. The oil and garlic whipped into the potatoes make a smooth side dish.

Serving Suggestions:

    Let your imagination run wild. I have used the caramelized, roasted garlic as a spread on toasted Italian or French bread and then topped it with all kinds of things to make different kinds of bruschetta. I have also used it as a paste to roast meat or inserted it inside the meat. You can also include it as a portion of an antipasti platter. This might be the one “homemade” item on the platter and get the rest from a deli. Or add it to roasted asparagus at the end of roasting time and you will have garlic-roasted asparagus. Or green beans. Or peas.

    You can roast the garlic along side any other item you have in the oven (except maybe baked goods). That way the oven is working on more than one thing at a time. You can even do the roasting at 350 degrees or 400 degrees. Just adjust your roasting time accordingly. Lest I confuse you by giving too many options, I will quit now.

Enjoy. Cheers! Zola

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