Please welcome guest author Joanna, with a run-down of the methods that we used to prepare garlic for our recent on-farm tasting event, along with a few notes about how we might tweak the recipes in future.
I basically used this recipe for roasted garlic. Roasting in muffin tins worked well, because I could label the aluminum foil that covered each variety of garlic to keep the varieties straight. I ended up cooking longer than 35 minutes. Based on a trial run a few days ago, head size matters; larger heads need more cooking time. I didn’t add any salt, but a sprinkling probably would have been a good idea. Two teaspoons of oil was slightly more than needed, but the leftover oil was good on bread.
It actually took a couple of tries to get this right, but the approach that I finally came up with was well received. I knew I needed enough garlic butter to serve 12 people, and I initially tried cooking the garlic in the full amount of butter. That was too much butter, and the flavor didn’t come though well. Tried the same thing with oil, and, again, too much oil, not enough garlic flavor coming through. That’s when I realized that most garlic butter recipes online call for raw garlic mixed with softened butter, but the whole point of this tasting was to use sauteed garlic. So, I finally found this recipe from Fine Cooking that served as the basis for my actual approach. Here’s what I did:
~4 tsp finely minced garlic (anywhere from 2 to ~8 cloves)
2 Tbl olive oil
1/4 tsp salt (I used “Real Salt”, which is moderately coarse.)
1/4 cup butter
I heated a small skillet on low to medium low heat and added 2 Tbl olive oil & 1/4 tsp salt. I monitored the oil temperature with a thermometer (for consistency’s sake), adding the garlic when the temperature was ~180-190ºF. I sauteed for ~2 minutes, stirring & crushing the garlic in the process, and lifting the pan off of the heat as needed to prevent burning. After allowing the sizzling to subside, I poured the oil mix over the butter & mixed thoroughly. This went into the refrigerator, and I pulled it out a couple of hours before the tasting to allow the butter to soften, mixing it just before serving so that the garlic chunks were dispersed.
Though it was a bit on the salty side for my taste buds, the overall response was very positive.
This is pretty simple. I guessed on the quantities, aiming to make it pretty garlicky:
1/2 cup chevre
~1 Tbl garlic (2 or 3 largish cloves)
1 tsp olive oil
I made the cheese a few days before, though certainly any chevre would work. I coarsely minced the garlic, then pulverized in a large mortar and pestle, adding ~1 tsp of olive oil for lubrication. Then I added the pulverized garlic into the cheese and mixed well. I did this a few days in advance of the tasting to let the flavors blend.