Guest Author - Jason Hodge
Sometimes when you look at an ingredient it's hard to figure out just what you can do with it to spice up, not only, a meal, but your life. Here are 10 ways garlic can be that jumpstart you'll need.
1. Garlic Fries
It's no wonder that this is at the top of my list. I don't always indulge, but when I do, I treat them like the famous potato chip slogan... I can't eat just one! I love to see the mini chunks of garlic, cheese, herbs and spices hugging a basket of fries. One of the things I like most about them is their versatility. They can be eaten with sweet and tangy tomato ketchup, barbecue sauce, or a creamy ranch-style sauce or one of my favorites... a satisfying and spicy horseradish dip.
2. Garlic Cream Sauce
Pasta all the way with this! Try it next time you make linguini. Instead of the traditional Alfredo sauce, go with a full-bodied, garlic cream sauce. It's tasty, pairs well with a great vinaigrette dressed fresh herb and baby greens salad and an exotic sweet beverage.
3. Garlic Honey Glaze
This can be the topper, or bottom'er' of a spicy salad with bitter notes, a protein based food like mushrooms, tempeh, tofu, lamb, seafood, poultry, or dairy. It can be thinned out to make a spritzer for kabobs on the barbecue... The applications can go as far as your imagination will take them.
4. Garlic Cheese Logs
Try taking your favorite soft or semi-hard cheese and incorporating minced or roasted garlic into it. You can do this one of many ways: Roll it on the outside of your cheese selection; mix it together in a food processor and form into a log; melt your cheese in a double boiler, incorporate garlic, pour into a log mold, chill and serve.
5. Garlic Infused Pasta
This is one of my favorites [as are the others in this list]. ;~D Mince your garlic, lots of it, toss it in the skillet with some extra virgin olive oil, to infuse with the garlic essence and add your other favorite items along with the pasta. SCRUMPTIOUS!
6. Garlic Bread
There's nothing like homemade garlic bread to round out a saucy meal. I like my garlic bread to complement both tomato and cream based sauces. My favorite is adding some variations to the flavor profile. I'll add mint, sage, dill, cumin, chives, rosemary, oregano and many others either as stand alones or in combinations. It works and there's nothing like it in the world.
7. Garlic Stuffed Olives
These not only look pretty, they taste great with the right supporting cast. Great for garnishes, appetizers, spicy meals... they have a lot to offer. Try frying them in garlic infused oil. They're great that way!
8. Garlic Spread
It's a more bold way to approach bruschetta. Instead of simply rubbing the cut clove of garlic across the grill mark adorned, bias cut, baguette, try roasting off a fist of garlic and spreading some of that on. It pairs well with some of your more pronounced toppings without over-powering and without falling too far in the background. The statement it makes is... "I'm here, holding my own, making my statement, but I don't need to show off."
9. Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Need I say more? If you're blessed to be garlic loving foodie and you happen to have a potato or two on hand... I don't think there's anything stopping you from indulging in a rich and creamy serving [or two] of garlic mashed potatoes. For a stick to your ribs meal they pair well with a good meatloaf, veggies, seafood, or if you're like me, you can devour them by themselves.
10. Roasted Garlic
This isn't #10 because it's my least favorite way. It's #10 because I think simple deserves a memorable place in the lineup. Roasting brings out its buttery nuttiness and makes it ready to eat 'as is' or in things. It's a great addition to breads, dressings, soups and my newest creation [as seen in my garlic competition], a sauce for your ice cream.
All in all you can't go wrong when you've got garlic on the mind. For more on the garlic topic visit my Facebook page: Personal Chef Marketing TV and share your garlic top 10 list!