Category Archives: garlic sauce

Happy Batman Day!

Batman vs. Dracula

WHAM! THWACK! POW! It’s been 75 years since The Caped Crusader started saving Gotham City from the Joker, the Penguin, and … Dracula? In the 2005 straight-to-video animated movie, The Batman vs. Dracula, Bruce Wayne invites Dr. Alucard to a party. He shows him one of Wayne Industries’ latest advances, the SL-5 which collects and stores solar energy as true sunlight. Alucard grimaces as garlic shrimp hors d’oeuvres are served but scarfs down steak tartare.

When Wayne and Alucard meet as their alter-egos, Batman and Dracula, Batman saves Vicky Vale from being turned into a vampire with garlic bombs and just as Dracula realizes that Batman is Bruce Wayne, Batman turns on the SL-5 filling the bat cave with sunlight. He quips, “and you are dust” as the sunlight causes Dracula to disintegrate.

Here’s a recipe for garlic shrimp from my upcoming book, Garlic: An Edible Biography. (The awesome recipe was developed by Mary Deir Donovan.)

If you want a Garlic Bomb, got to Jake’s Sandwich Board in Philadelphia where they serve a Philly Steak Sandwich topped with garlic spread, sautéed garlic, provolone cheese, and crunchy, deep-friend garlic cloves. (If you want to try your own, I also included Mary’s recipe for Beer-Battered Deep-Fried Garlic Cloves which can be served on their own as an appetizer accompanied with your favorite marinara sauce for dipping, or as a garnish in salads, soups, or stews.

Garlic Shrimp (Gambas al Ajillo)
Makes 4 appetizer serving or 2 main course servings

4 oz olive oil
4 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 cup cognac
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp paprika
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

1. Heat the oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté, stirring frequently, until garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute.

2. Increase the heat to high and immediately add the shrimp, cognac, lemon juice, and paprika. Sauté, stirring frequently, until the shrimp turn pink and the edges curl, about 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

3. Serve the shrimp on heated appetizer plates topped with the pan juices spooned over the shrimp and sprinkled with parsley.

Beer-Battered Deep-Fried Garlic Cloves
Serve these crispy, nutty garlic cloves on their own as an appetizer accompanied with your favorite marinara sauce for dipping, or use them as a garnish in salads, soups, or stews.

Makes 1 pound

1 cup self-rising flour
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 cup beer, room temperature
1 lb garlic cloves, peeled

1. To make the batter: Whisk the flour, salt and pepper together in a medium bowl. Add the beer and whisk until smooth. The batter can be prepared up to 8 hours in advance. Place in a container, cover tightly, and keep in the refrigerator. Stir to recombine before using the batter to coat the garlic.

2. Preheat a deep-fryer to 350 degrees or heat about 3 inches of oil in a deep, heavy-gauge pot over medium heat. Use a deep-fry thermometer to check the temperature; another temperature check is to add a 1 inch cube of bread to the oil. It should brown within 30 seconds when the oil is at 350°F.

3. Add about one-fourth of the garlic cloves to the batter and stir to coat them evenly. Lift the garlic out of the batter with a spider or a fork, allowing the excess batter to drain back into the bowl. Lower into the hot oil. Cook until the batter is puffed and golden brown, about 2 minutes. Lift the fried garlic out of the oil and drain briefly on paper towel. Keep warm while frying the remaining garlic.

4. Serve the garlic at once.

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A Greek Mythology Lesson

Asklepios

I just learned about this story and thought I’d share. Asklepios was the son of the god Apollo. He was taught about healing herbs by the wise centaur, Chiron. Asklepios became so skilled in healing that he was even able to raise the dead which did not sit well with the God of the underworld who complained to Zeus. Since he was tampering with the natural order of things, Zeus killed Asklepios with a thunderbolt while he was writing down the formula for immortality. Seeing that he was writing something, Zeus sent down pouring rain. The formula dissolved into the earth and when the sun came out, a plant sprang up where the formula dissolved. That plant was, of course, garlic!

Today’s a good day for this Greek dip which is wonderful with fresh vegetables from your local farmer’s market (and pita bread from your local grocery store).

Skordalia
(Greek Potato and Garlic Dip)
2 large russet potatoes, peeled, cut into small cubes, boiled until tender, and mashed
6 garlic cloves
1/2 t. coarse sea salt
1 large egg yolk
3/4 c. olive oil, plus more if needed
1/4 c. fresh lemon juice
3 T. white wine vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper

Pound garlic and salt in a large wooden bowl and pound with a pestle until thoroughly mashed. Gradually add potatoes and pound them into the garlic. If mixture is still hot, let cool 15 minutes, then add egg yolk and beat it in with a wooden spoon. Alternating olive oil with lemon juice and vinegar, gradually add both to potato mixture. Stir in pepper and mix briskly with a fork until very smooth. Mix in more olive oil, or some water, a little at a time, if sauce is too thick to use as a dip.

Καλή όρεξη! (Bon Appetit!)

Craving Garlic Shrimp

lasooni-jhingaThe only tie-in today is that it’s rainy and miserable out and I feeling like making Indian food for dinner. This dish is from Rajasthan. Lasooni means garlic-flavored; Jhinga means shrimp, and Kadai means wok. Your Indian words of the day! The recipe below (and the picture above) are both from Porte des Indes (Gateway to India) in London.

Lasooni Jhinga
(Stir-fried Garlic Shrimp)
16 large shrimp
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. turmeric
1/2 t. chili powder
2 T. oil
5-6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 green chili, julienned
1 red chili, julienned
7 T. Kadai sauce (recipe below)
1 scallion, julienned
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Salt, to taste

Rub the shrimp with salt, turmeric and chili powder and set aside for at least 30 minutes. When ready to prepare, heat the oil in the pan, add garlic. The second you smell the garlic, add the chilies and cook for about 30 seconds. Then add the shrimp and sear for one minute. Then add the Kadhai sauce followed by the scallion. Stir fry over high heat for one minute. Add the lemon juice and salt to taste. Serve hot.

Kadai Sauce
1/3 c. ghee (clarified butter) or corn oil
1 T. garlic, finely chopped
1 T. coriander seeds, coarsely pounded
8 red chillies, coarsely pounded in a mortar
2 red onions, finely chopped
2-inch piece fresh ginger root
3 green chiles
1 lb. fresh ripe tomatoes, finely chopped
2 t. salt
1 t. ground garam masala
1 1/2 t. dried fenugreek leaves
1 t. sugar (optional)

To make the sauce, heat the ghee in a pan, add the garlic and let it color. Stir, then add the coriander seeds and red chilies. When they release their aromas, add the onions and cook until they start turning a light golden yelow color. Stir in the ginger, green chilies and tomatoes. Reduce the heat to low and cook until all the excess moisture has evaporated and the fat starts to separate out. Add the salt, garam masala, and fenugreek leaves and stir. Taste and add some sugar if needed.

Mittens, Baloney, and Peanut Butter


According to a 60 MInutes/Vanity Fair poll, when asked Mitt Romney’s real first name, 2% of people surveyed thought it was Mittens. That’s one of the funniest things I’ve ever heard. (Thanks Linnea).

Following the latest Republican debates, I was tempted to give a baloney recipe. (I never thought I’d say this, but shout out to Newt Gingrich for calling out Romney on his pious baloney.)

Ann Romney says her husband likes peanut butter on everything so here’s a spicy Singaporean recipe for Garlic-Peanut Sauce from Steve Raichlen’s cool book, Planet Barbecue!: 309 Recipes, 60 Countries. Obama 2012!

Fried Garlic Peanut Sauce
2 T. vegetable oil
5 cloves garlic, 3 cloves thinly sliced crosswise and 2 cloves minced
1 shallot, minced
1 stalk lemongrass, trimmed and minced, or 2 strips (each 1/2 by 2 inches) lemon zest
1 to 3 small hot chiles, such as Thai chiles or serrano or jalapeño peppers, stemmed, seeded, and minced (for a hotter peanut sauce, leave the seeds in)
1 T. dried shrimp, minced, or 1 teaspoon fish sauce (optional)
3/4 c. peanut butter
1 c. unsweetened coconut milk, or as needed
2 T. sugar, or more to taste
2 T. soy sauce
1 t. fresh lime juice, or more to taste
1 T. finely chopped cilantro
Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground pepper

Heat the oil in a wok or saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the sliced garlic and cook, stirring, until golden, 2 minutes. Remove the garlic with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. Add the 2 cloves of minced garlic, the shallot, lemongrass, chile(s), and dried shrimp, if using, to the wok and cook over medium-high heat until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 minutes.

Stir in the peanut butter, coconut milk, sugar, soy sauce, fish sauce, if using (instead of the dried shrimp), lime juice, and 3/4 cup water. Reduce the heat and gently simmer the sauce until it is thick but pourable, 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in the cilantro during the last 2 minutes of cooking.

Just before serving, stir in the fried garlic slices. If the sauce has gotten too thick and pasty, add a tablespoon or so of water. Taste and correct the seasoning, adding salt and pepper, and more sugar and lime juice if needed. The sauce should be richly flavored.

>Mamaliga with Mujdei

>Okay, that’s Polenta with Garlic Sauce for you non-Moldovan speakers. I’m back home and finishing an article on Corn Meal for The Valley Table, a local food magazine. I decided to make some Moldovan Mamliga with garlic sauce to test the cornmeal from Wild Hive Farm. Its good but, as it was in Kishinev, a bit rich for my blood

Mujdei (Moldovan Garlic Sauce)

1 head garlic (peeled and separated into cloves)
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup sour cream
black pepper

Put the cloves of garlic in a mortar with the salt and crush into a paste. Put the garlic in a small bowl and add the oil. Beat with a fork until it is well mixed. This should take about 3 minutes. Add the sour cream and plenty of black pepper. Mix well. Set aside.

Mamaliga (Polenta)

3 1/2 c. water
1 1/2 t. salt
2 T. butter
1 c. coarse yellow cornmeal
Sour cream (optional)
Telemea or feta cheese (optional)
Fresh herbs of choice (optional)

Bring the water to a rolling boil. Add the salt and butter, stirring to melt. Using a wooden spoon, add the cornmeal very gradually, while stirring constantly in the same direction. 


Simmer over low heat, stirring frequently, until it thickens and starts to pull away from the sides of the pot, about 35-40 minutes. Serve hot with garlic sauce on the side or poured over the top.

I don’t remember how to say bon appetit in Moldovan so here it is in Klingon: yISop! (sg) peSop! (pl)

>Grilled Pike Perch with Garlic Sauce in Moldova

>Las Taifas in downtown Kishinev is a very pretty restaurant — it’s designed to resemble a Moldovan farm house. When you enter, they give you a small shot of some paint thinner which you’re expected to down at one time. I demurred. For dinner, I had grilled pike perch with a light garlic sauce and a green salad topped with tomatoes and white cheese.

According to the Food and Agriculture Ogranizations of the UN, the pike-perch (Sander lucioperca) is used as a biological improver in the aquaculture systems of Moldova, reproduction of which (up to 50 million pieces) is managed in the fish-breeding enterprise of the joint-stock company “Victoria” in the city of Edinets. The use of pike-perch increases pond productivity up to 100 kg/ha; however the size of the catches of pike-perch itself is not taken into account in the statistical data. I don’t know what that means, but it tasted very good.

Here’s my recipe for grilled pike perch with garlic butter sauce.

Since its raining, I grilled the fish in the George Foreman grill until it flakes with a fork (about 7 minutes).

For the garlic butter sauce, cook 6 T. butter and 1/2 cup of finely minced garlic over low heat for 15 minutes. This makes enough for two pounds of fish. Drizzle over fish and serve.