Alabama Recipes: Garlic
Get to know garlic
If you have a tongue, and that tongue is dotted with working taste buds, you should get to know garlic. If you already have a relationship with this bulbous, potent plant, I urge you to get even closer and delve into all it offers in the way of taste. Really, unless you’re a vampire, there’s no reason to shy away from garlic. Forget “garlic breath.” There are quick, easy remedies (see below). And if you think you don’t like it — “It’s so strong!”— I’m betting you’ve never had it roasted or pickled, where high heat or vinegar mellows and softens its sharpness.
Because of its strength, garlic often remains in the background, becoming the foundation to support a dish’s layers of other complex flavors. A few of this month’s recipes use it this way. But when it’s allowed to stand on it’s own, it truly shines. The recipe from our cook of the month and my personal rendition of a classic both put the spotlight on garlic.
– Jennifer Kornegay
Cook of the Month
Mary Donaldson, Covington EC
Mary has been making her Speedy Mushrooms with Garlic Butter for so long, she can’t remember exactly what inspired it, other than a love of garlic and mushrooms and an appreciation for easy ways to combine two of her favorites. “The recipe is so good and so simple; that’s why I make it so much, and I’ve just made it for forever,” she said. She offered this tip: “You can use any leftover garlic butter in many other ways.” Spreading some on a baguette and broiling it to create garlic bread is one idea. Or use it as the base for a sautéed onion and mushroom steak sauce.
Speedy Mushrooms in Garlic Butter
- ½ cup butter
- 1 tablespoon green onion tops, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
- Dash of seasoned pepper
- 1 pound fresh mushrooms
Blend butter, onion, garlic, parsley and pepper. Cover and chill. (Unused garlic butter can be kept in refrigerator.) Rinse, clean and dry mushrooms; remove stems. Fill each cap with ½ teaspoon garlic butter and arrange in the serving dish. Cook 1 or 2 dozen mushrooms, uncovered, on HIGH 2 to 4 minutes. (I use a glass, microwave-approved pie plate to cook and serve.)
Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic
- 1 chicken, broken down to eight pieces (could also
- use eight, bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs)
- 40 cloves of garlic, peeled
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 ½ tablespoons butter
- ¼ cup white wine
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
- ½ cup chicken stock
- Salt and pepper
Heat the oil and butter over medium-high heat in a large Dutch oven. Salt and pepper the chicken pieces, and working in batches, cook them, starting with the skin side down, about five minutes on each side. Once the last of the pieces have been browned, remove them from the pot and add the garlic. Cook the garlic, stirring often, about 10 minutes. It should get browned a bit. Add the wine and stir to remove any bits on the bottom of the pot. Add the chicken back to the pot and pour in any juices. Sprinkle the rosemary on top and cover. Turn the heat back to medium. You want the liquid in the pot simmering, but not at a full boil. Cook for 35-45 minutes or until chicken is done. Check often to make sure you don’t burn the garlic. Once the chicken is done, remove it and most of the garlic to a plate and set aside. Add the chicken stock to the pot and bring to a boil. Mash the garlic left in the pot (about 6 to 8 cloves) into the sauce. Cook, stirring often, for about 2 to 3 minutes and remove from heat. Add salt if needed. Drizzle over the chicken right before serving.
(Chipotle Peach Glazed Chicken)
- 1 whole chicken
- Olive oil
- Poultry seasoning
- 1 apple
- 2 cloves garlic
- ½ cup white wine
- Glaze sauce:
- ½ cup peach preserves
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 3 chopped canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, seeds removed
- ½ cup of white wine
- ¼ tablespoon of minced garlic
- ¼ tablespoon of nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon of kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon of ground black pepper
In a saucepan on medium heat, melt t gether and stir glaze sauce ingredients and set aside. Coat chicken with olive oil and sprinkle with poultry seasoning. Chop apple and place inside cavity along with 2 whole cloves of garlic. Fold neck skin over and pin to trap flavor while cooking. Grill indirect at 200 degrees for 1 ½ hours, basting every 30 minutes with white wine. Coat chicken with glaze sauce and grill for 10 more minutes until chicken reaches 165 -170 degrees. Let chicken rest for 5 minutes before serving so juices can flow back throughout the meat.
Kirk Vantrease, Cullman EC
- 1 pound Italian sausage, browned
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic, sauteed
- 5 cups chicken broth
- One large can spinach
- 2 large cans petite chopped stewed tomatoes
- 1 large package cheese or spinach/cheese tortellini
- Small carton cream
Simmer first five ingredients for 20-30 minutes. Add in tortellini and cook until tender. Stir in cream just before serving.
Jennifer Dansby, Covington EC
All-Purpose Garlic Sauce
- 12 cloves of garlic, peeled
- Juice from 1 lemon
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 ½ cups of high-quality extra virgin olive oil
In small food processor or blender combine all ingredients. Process until you reach desired consistency and thickness. Store in a tightly lidded jar in the refrigerator. Improves with keeping in the refrigerator. Yields 2 cups.
Cook’s Note: This is one way I use up the excess garlic I grow in my garden. I use this sauce to flavor soups, stews, vegetables, as a spread for garlic bread or toss with pasta and add olives and cherry tomatoes. Endless possibilities.
Shari Lowery, Pioneer EC
Football Fan Spinach Dip
- 1 pound frozen spinach
- 2 cups sour cream
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- ½ teaspoon Cavender’s all-purpose Greek seasoning
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed and then diced
- Fritos corn chips
Pour frozen spinach in a pan and cover with water. Boil for 3-5 minutes. Drain well (squeezing may be required to prevent the dip from being soupy.) Combine all ingredients in a large bowl; mix well. Chill 6-8 hours before serving with corn chips.
Elaina Gordon, Southern Pine EC
Garlic Red Potatoes
- 2 pounds red potatoes, quartered
- ¼ cup butter, melted
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1-2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- Real bacon bits (optional topping)
- Chopped green onions (optional topping)
Wash and quarter the potatoes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place potatoes in an 8-inch by 8-inch baking dish coated with non-stick cooking spray. In a small bowl combine melted butter, garlic, salt and lemon juice. Pour over the potatoes and stir to coat. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over potatoes. Bake covered for 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork-tender. Uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes or until potatoes are golden in color. Optional: Sprinkle top with bacon bits and green onions before serving and additional Parmesan cheese, if desired.
Kim Robertson, Baldwin EMC
Upcoming recipe themes and deadlines:
- May Chicken Salad March 8
- June Picnic Dishes April 8
- July Peaches May 8
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Roasting garlic is the best way to take its astringency down a few notches; the heat burnishes each clove bronze and softens both its texture and taste, making it a little sweet and mild enough to be spread on some crusty bread and enjoyed as is. But it’s also delish in salad dressings, sauces and soups. And the intoxicating scent is one you won’t be scrambling to get rid of. Here’s how you do it.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Remove any outer layers of skin that are loose, but leave the head intact. Slice very top off of it, exposing the tops of the cloves.
Drizzle a tablespoon or so of olive oil over it and wrap it up in foil. Place in a shallow baking dish or on a cookie sheet.
Roasting time will vary based on the size of the head and its cloves. Check it at about 45 minutes. It’s done when all of the cloves are very soft.
Once cool, squeeze the now caramelized cloves free of the head. If you’re not using it right away or have leftovers, store in the fridge for up to two weeks.