Sunday, February 19, 2023

Ruth Reichl's Confit Garlic Cloves


Last weekend I went to Costco with a friend and felt compelled to buy 2 pounds of fresh garlic, which is exactly 22 heads of garlic in my case. Sometimes I just like to give myself a challenge and I guess my current challenge is to use up 2 pounds of garlic.  

In my mind garlic equals love, so for Valentine's Day, I roasted six heads of garlic and made a roasted garlic butter that I used in every part of my dinner. I mixed the roasted garlic butter into my broccoli and mashed potatoes and used it as a topping to finish off my strip steaks. It sounds like it would be overwhelmingly garlicky, but it wasn't. Instead it gave everything a rather mellow yet succulent garlic flavor. 

Garlic Countdown: Down 6 with 16 to go

Today I'm using three heads of garlic to make Ruth Reichl's Confit Garlic Cloves, which is something I've always wanted to make. I won't lie to you, it really is a pain to peel all those garlic cloves, keeping them intact, but the results are worth it because you get the the softest, smoothest, creamiest garlic that spreads like butter. It's heavenly.

Garlic Countdown: Down 3 with 13 to go

In short, garlic is a very delicious and economical way to give your food a flavor boost! Whether you roast garlic or confit it, you are adding layers of flavor that will really elevate your dish. Ruth says to serve the garlic confit smeared onto pizza crust, country bread, mashed potatoes, or blended with mayonnaise for roast beef or pork sandwiches. I think it would be amazing served with hummus! The sky's the limit!

Garlic Countdown: 13 heads to go...wonder what you'll see next week!

Confit Garlic Cloves

Adapted from The Gourmet Cookbook

by Ruth Reichl

Makes about 1/2 cup

1/2 cup peeled garlic cloves (about 24)

about 1/2 cup olive oil

Put the garlic in a small heavy saucepan and add enough oil to cover garlic. Bring just to a simmer, reduce heat, and cook at a bare simmer until garlic is tender, about 25 minutes. Let garlic cool in oil. 

*The confit garlic keeps, in the oil, for up to 2 weeks, covered and refrigerated. 

Love Is In The Air @ I Heart Cooking Clubs

Sunday, February 12, 2023

My Top Five Game Day Favorites!


Ina Garten's Hot Dogs in Puff Pastry 

I will never shut up about these hot dogs. Literally never. The puff pastry is flaky and delicious and the hot dogs are hot and juicy and I don't care what anyone says about this recipe, it's a total winner. A major crowd pleaser!

    Ina Garten's Parmesan Chipotle Popcorn 

I made this popcorn before Christmas and little did I know that it would be THE ONLY WAY I eat popcorn now. This is so much better than is sounds or looks. The cheesy buttery popcorn with the hint of's like the perfect combination and just so addicting. Plus, it is easy as can be to make!

 Ellie Krieger's Healthy Five Layer Dip 

This is a healthy, vegetarian, five layer dip perfect for any snacking or gaming event. The first layer is a creamy layer of black beans seasoned with chipotle pepper, followed by a layer of corn mixed with a little onion, garlic, and cilantro. On top of the corn sits a layer of mashed avocado with lime juice, followed by a fresh salsa made from tomatoes, jalapeno, and scallions. The fifth, and final layer, is all about the cheese. You can use cheddar cheese or whatever cheese you like. I like to change it up using sharp white cheddar because it delivers so much flavor or Monterey Jack. Either way this dip is beyond delicious and you can feel good about eating it!

Okay, I've included these baked olives in several favorites roundups and I will keep doing it because they are utterly delicious! I love the cheesy crackery coating on the outside of the olives. It almost tastes like a goldfish cracker or a cheese it and it pairs perfectly with the salty olive hiding inside. These are just so dang good!
I thought I had my favorite chicken wing recipes, until I tried Mark Bittman's broiled version. I believe I said his recipe had a trifecta going on: broiled crispy chicken, incredibly balanced sauce with loads of buttery garlic flavor, and really juicy chicken. My family descends on these like a pack of wolves.

Sunday, February 5, 2023

A Duo of Winter White Vegetables: Ina Garten's Roasted Cauliflower Snowflakes and Parsnip Puree

This week it's a WHITE OUT in the Stirring the Pot kitchen. I am absolutely tired of the warm weather  and in desperate need of a SNOW DAY! Bring on the snow, I say! 

First up, Ina's Roasted Cauliflower Snowflakes. Cauliflower simply doesn't get enough love, and I can't think of a better way to celebrate an under-appreciated vegetable like cauliflower, than by making Roasted Cauliflower Snowflakes. It's like throwing cauliflower a party...all of it's own. 

Simply slice the cauliflower into 1/2" thick slices and watch it fall into cauliflower snowflakes that get roasted in the oven and topped with panko and Parmesan. 

The panko goes crisp and golden, providing a crunch, and the Parmesan adds a salty, nutty flavor. I really loved it and found that I was eating it straight off the pan. If you're a cauliflower fan, this is a good recipe!

Roasted Cauliflower Snowflakes

Adapted from Make It Ahead

by Ina Garten

Serves 4-6

1 head cauliflower (about 2-1/2 pounds)

olive oil

salt and black pepper

1/2 cup panko 

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 425F. Remove the leaves and trim the stem of the cauliflower but leave the core intact. With a sharp slicing knife, cut the whole cauliflower in large (1/2" thick) slices. Don't worry if the slices fall apart; they'll look like snowflakes. Place the cauliflower on a sheet pan, drizzle with 3 tablespoons of olive oil, and sprinkle with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Roast the cauliflower for 15 minutes.

Toss the panko with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, sprinkle on the cauliflower, and roast for another 10 to 15 minutes, until tender and browned. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and roast for another minute or two. Immediately, scrape the pan with a metal spatula and toss the cauliflower and Parmesan. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Now for the parsnips. I've had pieces of them mixed with other veggies, but I've never really had them on their own, as the star of the dish, until now. This recipe has a handful of really simple ingredients: parsnips, butter, salt and pepper. That's it, yet somehow they combine to make the most complex and uniquely delicious puree. 

The texture is lighter than that of mashed potatoes, but the flavor is sweet, earthy, almost floral. I found this recipe to be wonderfully delightful and I can tell you that I've found a new favorite. I am going to be making this Parsnip Puree with fervor! 

I also have to mention that Parsnip Puree is much less finicky than making mashed potatoes and is leagues healthier so this recipe is a total win all around!

Parsnip Puree

Adapted from Go-To Dinners

by Ina Garten

Serves 4

1-1/2 pounds parsnips, scrubbed and sliced 3/4" thick

salt and black pepper

2 tablespoons butter, diced

Place the parsnips in a medium pot, add 1 tablespoon salt, and add enough water to cover the parsnips. Cover the pot, bring to a boil, then uncover, lower the heat, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until the parsnips are very soft and when tested with a small knife. Don't drain the pot!

With a slotted spoon or small strainer, transfer the parsnips to the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade and pulse to chop the parsnips. Pour the cooking liquid into a glass measuring cup and pour 1/2 cup down the feeding tube. Puree the parsnips, adding more cooking liquid (about 1 cup total) through the feed tube until the parsnips are creamy and almost smooth but still have some texture. Add the butter and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and puree until combined. Taste for seasonings and serve hot.