Black Garlic has been around for quite awhile and is an ingredient that chefs have been using across the country. Think of it as “sweet meets savory.” Black garlic is made when heads of garlic are aged under very specialized conditions until the cloves turn black and have a sticky date-like texture. The taste is delicious and unique with a sweet and earthy umami flavor that intensifies nearly any dish you’re creating.
Garlic bulbs are kept for weeks at low temperatures in a humid environment. The enzymes that give fresh garlic its sharpness break down. These conditions also facilitate the Maillard reaction, the chemical process that produces wild new flavor compounds responsible for the deep taste of seared meat and fried onions.
Black garlic’s flavor is described as tasting like aged balsamic, prunes, licorice, molasses, caramel, and tamarind. Use the cloves as you would roasted garlic. Purée with olive oil for a dense and sweet flavor all its own that compliments steaks, chicken, fish and seafood. Smear the paste on crostini or incorporate it into dressings. Use in a braise to intensify the umami-rich flavor of spare ribs. Add to soups, risotto, noodle and rice dishes, and cheese dips. Black garlic also pairs well with blue cheese.
Black garlic also comes in a dehydrated powder that is considered an umami pixie dust. Just sprinkle a bit of it on anything that begs for depth and earthiness.
Most likely you won’t find black garlic at your local neighborhood market, but some Whole Foods will carry it. I’m lucky enough to get mine at Kalustyan’s in New York City. You can certainly get it online at Amazon or other specialty online food sources.
“Work With What You Got!”
© Victoria Hart Glavin Tiny New York Kitchen © 2016 All Rights Reserved
July 4th is right around the corner and you’ll feel even more patriotic with this sturdy American made Star Spangled Spatula. This awesome spatula was designed by Jacob Riley-Wasserman and hand crafted right here in America by Lamson and Goodnow. The Star Spangled Spatula is made from stainless steel and American Walnut and sells for (gulp) $65. Because it is made by the oldest and most-respected cutlery company it should last a lifetime. The Star Spangled Spatula is also available in plastic for $12 and comes in red, white, blue and black. Perfect for any barbecue!
Where to buy?
A pre-baked pie crust (sometimes called a blind baked pastry case) is one that has been partially baked without a filling so it can still cook and crisp thoroughly if the filling needs a shorter time to bake than the pastry. Pre-baking a pie crust also stops the pastry from getting soggy by a moist filling.
- Prick the base of the pie crust all over with a fork to stop the pastry from bubbling up and getting out of shape.
- Chill the pie crust in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes before baking. This will stop it from shrinking during baking. Preheat your oven to 350º F.
- Place a large piece of parchment paper inside the pie crust, then fill with baking beans or uncooked rice. Ceramic beans or pie weights are available from most cooking stores or Amazon. Make sure that the paper is touching the pastry, eve at the edges.
- Bake for 10 to 15 minutes for a large pie crust or 8 to 10 minutes for a small one until the pastry is cooked and opaque.
- Carefully remove the parchment paper and the beans/rice/weights and then return the empty pie crust back in the oven for 10 minutes for a large pie crust or 4 to 5 minutes for a small one. When it is ready the base will be a sandy color, dry and crisp. The top edges of the pie crust should be golden. Leave in the pie tin or pie plate and continue with your chosen recipe.
I recently discovered this awesome product. If you are storing home-made ice cream or transporting your favorite store bought brand, this insulated ice cream keeper is a must. I cannot tell you how many times I have brought ice cream home from the store only to find ice cream soup. The Zak ice cream Tubbie fits a pint of ice cream from the store so that you can keep it cold on your way home. It is also great for packing cold salads to either take for lunch to your office or a party as well as holding homemade ice cream. This ice cream keeper (made by Zak) is fully insulated with a freezable gel lid to keep contents cold for up to 90 minutes. The 1 pint container measures 5x5x5 ½ inches. These ice cream keepers come in a variety of fun colors and are freezer and dishwasher safe, but NOT microwavable. The seal on the top seems to get quite tight and can be difficult to get off (which can be annoying) right after the container leaves the freezer, but within a few minutes it thaws enough to remove easily or you can run it under warm water for a moment. The cost is from $16 to $25 per Tubbie and can be purchased at either Amazon or the Zak Designs website.