• E1c7169724eddfd2a38718d0bde39e7b

5 Ways Garlic & Olive Oil Can Dramatically Improve Your Life

Almost every delicious, garlicky dish you’ve had at an Italian or Chinese or other ethnic restaurant can be made with the simple base you have constructed. What will your move be?

Serves 4people
fresh garlic cloves
plenty of kosher salt
plenty of extra virgin olive oil
almost anything else
Step one: Make garlic paste. Crush the garlic cloves with the side of a knife and remove the skin. Pour salt over the garlic until it is partially covered. (People who insist on measuring: use about one tablespoon). Continue to crush the garlic with the side of the knife or the back of a spoon, grinding the salt into the garlic, until it is almost a rough, salty paste. Be sure not to chop or slice. You want to crush the garlic's fibers to release more flavor that the salt can absorb. Trust me.
Step two: Cook garlic paste in oil. Scrape the garlic and salt into a large cold sauté pan. (The pan needs to be large because you're going to add food to it.) Really scrape the cutting board to make sure all the garlic flavor gets into the pan. Cover the garlic with olive oil—this may take a half cup or so of oil, but if you are getting a measuring cup dirty you are doing it wrong. Using a fork, mix the garlic paste into the oil so the salt starts dissolving. Turn the heat up to high and continue to stir just until the garlic salt paste starts to brown.
A nice pasta Drop the seeds from a few dried chile peppers into the oil as the garlic browns. For added color and flavor add a handful of red, yellow, and orange cherry tomatoes when the garlic is halfway browned. Just as the tomatoes are getting molten and starting to burst, pour al dente pasta into the pan and toss with the garlic oil and a little pasta water over light heat. Add Pecorino cheese and some unfiltered olive oil for extra flavor.
A nice piece of fish Just as the garlic is first starting to brown, place a large piece of skinless wild salmon or cod in the pan. Sear on both sides over high heat. Then add white wine and a little non-fat chicken stock, and squeeze a little orange juice or grapefruit juice into the pan. Cover the pan and let the fish poach a little bit. Don’t overcook! Serve by spooning sauce from the pan over the fish for extra flavor.
Tasty greens Just as your garlic is browning, drop in a bunch of greens. Broccoli works great, so do bok choy, Chinese watercress, or hollow spinach. Keep the heat on high. Toss the greens with two wooden spoons so they are continually moving in the pan, mixing in the garlic and oil, and not burning. Just as the greens begin to get tender, remove them from the stove and serve nice and hot.
Yummy scallops Let’s say the fish selection isn’t great that day but the scallops look good—they are wild, never been frozen, dry packed, and plump. Make scallops instead! Double wash them, and the first time submerge them in a bowl of water, just to make sure you get all the sand out. Then dry the scallops as much as possible to make sure you get a nice sear! As the garlic is staring to brown, dump in the scallops and toss them in the oil until they start to brown. Then take them off the heat and pop them in your mouth, one after the other.
Look in your fridge. Any leftovers in there? Half-used produce? How about your kitchen cabinet? Is there a can of stewed tomatoes? It really doesn’t matter. Just as the garlic is starting to brown, throw it in the pan! A can of tomatoes will turn into an amazing pasta sauce. Some celery, scallions, and mushrooms will make a great sauce—and if you add a few cups of chicken stock to that, you got yourself a soup! Got some leftover rice from Chinese takeout and a couple eggs? In a few minutes you got yourself a garlic fried rice. The possibilities are freakin’ endless.

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