Thursday, October 16, 2014

Roasted Garlic Infused Olive Oil

I love garlic! Yes, I am Italian, so of course I love garlic, but it is just such a magical and fragrant ingredient that adds flavor to your dishes! However, for those of you who may not be as much of a fan of garlic, you must try it roasted!


Roasting garlic does something magical - it turns the raw and bold flavors to a more subtly sweet ingredient.  Roasted garlic is great to mash up and spread on bread for bruschetta, combined with mayonnaise or butter as a spread, and can even be used to infuse olive oil!


There are two ways in which you can roast garlic, so let me break it down for you and you will be roasting in no time!

Roasted Garlic Method 1



Ingredients:
-1 to 2 bulbs of garlic
-Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. 

Leaving the garlic bulbs whole, slice off the top pointy end of the bulb to expose the heads of the cloves. Place the garlic bulbs on a pan or heat proof bowl and fill about half way with olive oil (if you are just roasting garlic and do not want to make olive oil, then only drizzle a little oil).  Make sure you pour the oil over the exposed heads of garlic so that the oil gets in between the wedges too.


Roast in the oven for about 35-40 minutes, or until the cloves are browned and a pairing knife easily sticks through the center clove.

Strain the oil into a jar and seal and save.  The plus side of using this method is that you not only get a nicely flavored olive oil, but you can also use the roasted garlic cloves for other spreads or dips.



Roasted Garlic Method 2 (just for oil)

Ingredients:
-Several peeled cloves of garlic (approx. 30 - 40 cloves)
-Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Spread the cloves of garlic out on a baking sheet.  Pour the oil over all of the cloves and fill the pan with oil too.  Roast in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until the cloves are nice and browned.  I really like to brown my cloves, so you can pull them out about 10 minutes earlier if you do not want the cloves to be as browned.

Before 

After

Pour the cloves and oil in a jar and use when cooking or for dipping bread.  This oil will last for a few days, so only make a little at a time. 

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Monday, October 13, 2014

Corn and Black Bean Salsa

With football season well under way, it is time for a new chip dip recipe! If you need a quick and easy recipe that is different from your standard salsa or guacamole, then this salsa is for you!


Also known as Mexican Caviar, this salsa goes great with any chip, is light, tasty, and will certainly impress! So set aside 10 to 15 minutes and you'll be in business!

 Corn and Black Bean Salsa (Mexican Caviar)

Ingredients:
-Corn kernels from 4 ears of corn (or two 15 ounce cans of yellow corn)
-1 15 ounce can of black beans, rinsed and drained
-One bunch of scallions chopped
-Half of a red onion, chopped
-2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped (optional)
-2 tablespoons chopped cilantro 
-1/4 cup olive oil
-2 tablespoons white vinegar 
-Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
In a bowl, mix together the corn, beans, onions, peppers (if using), and cilantro.  Mix in the olive oil and vinegar, and season with salt and pepper to taste. 

You can serve right away, but it is also great if you can let the salsa rest for a little while in the fridge so that the flavors really meld together. Enjoy!




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