It has taken all week, but we are finally finishing up with the appetizers from the Friday the 13th Dinner Party.
Next week – Dinner and Dessert recipes.
The Lucky ingredient in this recipe is garlic. There are too many superstitions surrounding garlic to list, here are but a few:
Dreaming that there is “garlic in the house” is supposedly lucky; to dream about eating garlic means you will discover hidden secrets.
European folklore gives garlic the ability to ward off the “evil eye”. Central European folks believe garlic is a powerful ward against devils, werewolves, and vampires.
It became custom for Greek midwives to hang garlic cloves in birthing rooms to keep the evil spirits away. As the centuries passed, this ancient custom became commonplace in most European homes.
Putting a garlic clove under a child’s pillow while he/she sleeps is believed to protect him/her from evil.
And the list goes on…
Garlic Confit & Chèvre on Toasts
- 3 large or 5 small heads of garlic
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons high-quality balsamic vinegar
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crush in the palm of your hand before using
- 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed in the palm of your hand
- 1 sourdough baguette, cut into 1/2-inch slices
- Olive oil
5 to 6-ounce log Chèvre (goat cheese), room temperature
Garlic Confit in a Balsamic Reduction: Lightly tap each head of garlic with the side of a chef’s knife or a meat-pounder to separate the cloves.
Remove the peels by using one of these two methods:
Place cloves in a small saucepan. Cover completely with boiling water, place over medium-high heat and simmer for 3 minutes.
Drain and then immediately place in a bowl of ice-cold water for 2 minutes. Drain and then peel the cloves, the peels should slide right off.
Place the cloves in a metal bowl.
Place another metal bowl of the same size over the top and shake the “bowl ball” you have created like crazy. When you think you have shaken enough, shake some more. This is a good workout, so keep shaking! Do you feel your muscles building and burning? Keep shaking, it will be worth it!
Take a peek and see if you need to keep going or not. Pick out the peeled garlic cloves and discard the loose skins.
Now that you have the peeled cloves, heat the oil in a large skillet, add the garlic cloves and sauté, turning and tossing for 1 or 2 minutes, taking care that they do not turn brown and burn.
Add 1/4 cup cold water, the balsamic vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper, thyme and rosemary. Reduce heat to low and simmer slowly for up to 30 minutes, adding more water, 2 to 3 tablespoons at a time, as the liquid reduces. Stay close by and keep an eye on it, you do not want all the liquid to disappear and the garlic to burn. Burned garlic is horrific!!!
Once the garlic is tender, test with the tip of a paring knife, let the liquid reduce to a thick and syrupy consistency. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Toasts: While the garlic is cooking, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Brush each slice of baguette with olive oil on both sides and toast for about 5 minutes on one side, turn the bread and toast for about 4 minutes more on the second side, or until golden brown. Let cool.
To Serve: Place the garlic confit in a small bowl and the goat cheese in another bowl. Place the bowls on either end of a long platter and the pieces of toast in the center and let guests serve themselves.
Add a little sign with instructions – and yes, I know it looks like it says “spreed” but it really does say “spread.” The thickness of the chalk sorta messed with me “a” and made it look like an “e.” Even so, I think everyone got the drift.
Serves a crowd
We are off to Universal Studios in LA to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter for Connor’s birthday. Wishing you all a terrific weekend.