Confit garlic 790 xxx
photos by gluttonforlife

6.14.11 Condimental: Garlic Confit

I’ve been working on a suggested list of pantry staples for you. Everything you need to have on hand so you don’t have to run to the store every time you want to cook something. It’s challenging. Because I cook a lot of ethnic foods, what I consider to be a staple can run to things like coconut milk and Mexican oregano. Stocking your pantry is really about knowing how you like to eat. In fact, it’s a great way to control your diet. If what you have on hand is boxed macaroni and cheese and canned soup, most likely that’s what you’ll be eating. If you're tired and the cupboard is bare, that leads to take-out. No judgment here. I get it. But let me help you figure out how to eat just a little better, how to tempt yourself with healthy treats that can sing the siren song from your fridge. Something like garlic confit is great to have around. It’s simple to prepare—just slow-cook cloves of garlic in fat—and lasts quite a while. Its mild and sweet garlic flavor is perfect on toast or whisked into sauce, salad dressing and pasta. And it's très sophisticated.
Tagged — garlic
Mayo 790 xxx
photo by george billard

2.4.10 Condimental: Whip It

Yet another reason why I want you to own a mortar and pestle: It's so much fun to make your own garlicky mayonnaise. The one above is flecked with saffron, but you can have fun creating exactly the flavors you like—lemony, salty, herbal, garlicky... Hellmann's certainly has its place but there's nothing like the wonderful, satiny texture and rich taste of real homemade.

What to do with it once you've got a cup of the glorious stuff? Make it the dipping sauce for a beautiful platter of fresh and lightly blanched seasonal vegetables. Stir it into boiled or roasted and chopped new potatoes. Dip your steamed artichoke leaves into it. Add chopped pickles, capers, parsley and a pinch of cayenne for a delicious adult tartar sauce. Pound some watercress or basil with it to make a green mayonnaise, great with cold roasted chicken or fish. Add mustard or horseradish and some pan juices and serve with a roast beef. Stir in a little anchovy paste and serve with cold roast veal. Add half a teaspoon of ground cumin and slather on your lamb burger. Beginning to get the idea? You don't really need a mortar and pestle to make this—it's great for pounding the garlic, but not everyone wants their mayonnaise garlicky, and a bowl and whisk or fork also work fine.
Tagged — garlic