13 July 2015

Black Garlic ~ "The latest 'it' ingredient in chefs' kitchens"

Look what I’ve got ...

balsajo-black-garlic-paste

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a bugger for the black garlic, which makes me cool because I recently read that black garlic is 

“the latest ‘it’ ingredient in chef's kitchens.” 


I love the stuff and now here it is in a seriously handy new form – paste. Yippee!

Balsajo make this gorgeous ingredient and also sell whole black garlic bulbs and peeled cloves which certainly have their place in the kitchen too.

Bonus!


Here’s a lovely thing; at the moment when you buy any product from Balsajo's website they will send one of their eco boxes to a friend of your choice (me?).

black-garlic-paste
I have already experimented with black garlic in loads of dishes and often had to mash the cloves to get the desired result but no need for that any more – this smooth unctuous paste (which smells divine when you open the jar) is so flippin’ useful.

Black garlic hardly tastes of garlic at all, maybe vaguely reminiscent, that’s all. It has a deep, rich, sweet molasses/balsamic flavour which goes well with both sweet and savoury ingredients, in fact I feel the possibilities are almost endless so watch this space!

Here are my ideas – so far ...

Black Garlic Oil


Whisk a little of the paste into olive oil, it won’t emulsify but it still works, and use thus ...

~   brush around the naked edge of pizza before baking.
~   or onto hot fresh out the oven focaccia.
~   toss with bits of bread to make croutons. (Please, please do make you own croutons – it’s ridiculously easy and absolutely pointless buying them!) 
~   roast potatoes.
~   drizzle on salads, soups, meat, fish, cheese or whatever you fancy.


Black Garlic Butter


Cream together soft butter and black garlic paste to taste (crumbled blue cheese and/or coarsely ground black pepper are both good additions to this) and you might as well make plenty and store it, here's a good way ...

~   Spread a square of clingfilm or baking parchment onto the counter.
~   Scrape the soft and tasty butter into sausage about 30mm from and parallel to one edge.
~   Lift that edge and use the film or parchment to roll and shape the butter into a cylinder.
~   When satisfied roll the butter in the rest of the clingfilm and twist the ends to secure.
~   Chill or freeze until needed.
~   Use a hot knife to slice cold or frozen butters.



Use Black Garlic Butter to ...


~   make fabulous garlic bread.
~   add to mashed potatoes – particularly good with steak
~   swirl a little on top of a bowl of mushroom (or other) soup
~   dollop into baked potato
~   sauté mushrooms
~   top a steak with a slice or two of the chilled butter, or, even better ...
~   after pan frying steak set the meat aside somewhere warm to relax, add a splash of red wine, beef stock or even water to the pan and boil, scraping the pan to dissolve any meaty juices, and when there is just a tablespoon of sauce left quickly stir in a knob of the butter till emulsified and pour it over the steak.
~   enrich scrambled eggs. You know when you are scrambling eggs and they are just about perfect? Immediately they reach this point stir in some cold butter (in this case black garlic butter) which will not only enrich the eggs but will stop them cooking any further and keep them perfect.
~   the taste of black garlic goes surprisingly well with eggs so try spreading it on toast for poached eggs or perhaps onto your soldiers!
~   etc.


Other Ideas for Black Garlic ...


~  Stir into mayonnaise  makes for a great potato salad.~  Mix with mixture of cheese scraps for an interesting potted cheese – scroll to the end of this post for details.~  Shake into vinaigrette - this is a good marinade for beef or duck.~  Add to hummus and other bean dips.~ Toss into freshly cooked tagliatelle or similar not too substantial pasta, together with crumbled blue cheese, lots of freshly ground black pepper and just a splash of the pasta cooking water to make it saucy.~ Add to Alfredo Sauce – lovely easy Alfredo recipe here. Mushrooms (sautéed in black garlic butter if you have some) are a good addition to this and it is equally delicious on pasta or as a sauce for chicken, for instance, or just with bread or toast for a gorgeous lunch.

mushroom-and-black-garlic-alfredo-recipe-suzy-bowler

~  Stir a little through mushroom risotto.

Black garlic is sweet and molasses-ish so a while ago I experimented with Black Garlic Ice Cream (using my genius no-churn ice cream recipe) and it was excellent. At the time I had to purée the garlic cloves with the cream but now this won’t be necessary.

black-garlic-no-churn-ice-cream


More Good News about Black Garlic!

There is, however, even more to black garlic than its gorgeous flavour ...

~   It doesn’t taint the breath.
~   Unlike many delicious things it is good for you, apparently it is low fat and high in antioxidants which, as we all know, kill free radicals.
~   It has a good long shelf life – my jar is dated the end of November 2016 and the whole garlics last just as long.

black-garlic-cloves




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4 comments:

Choclette Blogger said...

Well I'm obviously not at all cool, because I still haven't tried black garlic. AND now I've been leap frogged by black garlic paste in a jar!

Legaleagle said...

I'm not cool yet, but I soon will be, just placed an order!

Sue said...

I'm another who hasn't even tried black garlic yet and I love garlic. I will have to give it a go, this looks like a wonderful thing to have on standby.

Suzy Bowler said...

I hope you love it as much as I do!