Saturday, June 8, 2013

Confit d'ail


The French name for this two-ingredient but flavor-packed recipe translates simply as preserved garlic, but what it is in the literal sense is garlic that has been slowly simmered in olive oil. And this has many great outcomes. The most obvious is that it removes the garlic's sharpness (but I like that, too). It also makes the cloves as soft as butter (literally). Once cooked in this fashion the garlic can simply be spread on toast points (if you're not planning any close tête-à-têtes). But where this really shines is an ingredient in other recipes. Mash it into the pan when making pasta recipes, puree it with sauces or dips, and use it in soups or stews (I use this garlic method when making Lebanese lentil and lamb soup/stew). And while I keep mentioning on what to do with the garlic, a bi-product of this recipe is the oil. Initially this recipe was likely meant as a confit (a way of preserving the garlic) by packing it in oil. Today, of course--with modern refrigeration--this is no longer necessary. But the oil itself is delicious. Use this garlic-infused oil to saute vegetables, chicken, or fish for added flavor, or simply dip bread in it. I could go on about this simple recipe but I'll stop here with just one more simple comment...this is good stuff; try this, you won't be sorry.


Confit d'ail
peeled garlic cloves
olive oil

Lay fresh peeled garlic cloves in a single layer in a small skillet. Add enough olive oil to the pan that the garlic cloves are sufficiently covered. Set the skillet over medium-high heat and cook it until the garlic begins to simmer in the oil. Lower the heat so the garlic is very slowly simmering. Cook the garlic for about 10 minutes, or until it is golden brown and very soft. Allow the garlic to cool in the oil. It is ready to use as is or it can be stored in the oil in refrigeration. 

Urban Simplicity.

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