Celebrating Garlic

Garlic.
Celebrating Garlic–Allium sativum, a species of the onion genre.
Dating back to ancient civilizations, garlic has long been a gastronomic and medicinal herb. Ancients revered garlic as an amulet warding off evil. Modern day definition finds that garlic is steeped in antioxidants beneficial in destroying free radicals that can otherwise destroy cell membranes, or contribute to the aging process.
Also reputed as benefitting good cardiac health.
Garlic is also simply culinary enhancement.
Enjoy the Menu Shoppe “finds”.  Classic basics.
Garlic Confit
6 heads of garlic, cloves peeled (2 cups)
6 thyme sprigs
3 small bay leaves
3 dried red chiles, such as chiles de arbol
2 cups pure olive oil
Combine all of the ingredients in a medium saucepan and simmer over low heat until the garlic is tender but not browned, about 30 minutes. Let cool. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the garlic, herbs and chiles to three
1/2-pint canning jars. Pour the cooking oil on top, seal and refrigerate for up to 4 months.
Provincial. Rustic, yet delicately light and a seasonal delight.
Twice-Baked Garlic Souffles
by Orlando Murrin
For the Souffles
1 head of fresh garlic, trimmed and chopped roughly, or 5 cloves dried garlic–chopped
5 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp vinegar
1 cup milk
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 cup grated Comté or Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
4 large eggs, separated
leaves from a couple of sprigs of thyme
For Serving
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
 nutmeg, Parmesan, a few bread crumbs
Melt 1 tbsp of the butter and add the garlic, 1/4 tsp salt, pepper to taste, 3/4 cup water and the vinegar. Simmer covered for 10 minutes, then uncover and boil till the water has evaporated. Add the milk, bring to the boil, then process in a blender. Measure 1 cup garlic-milk mixture. Heat the remaining butter and stir in the flour and thyme. Cook for a minute, then make a white sauce by gradually stirring in the garlic milk till thick. Transfer to a big bowl, add the grated cheese, three-quarters of the Parmesan, then the egg yolks. Set aside. Heat the oven to 350°F (325°F convection). Butter the individual soufflé dishes and dust the sides with the remaining Parmesan; if you have any left over, stir into the sauce. Set in a roasting pan and put a kettle on to boil. Beat egg whites till firm but not dry. Fold half into the soufflé base, then add the rest. Spoon into the dishes (fill them almost to the top), pour boiling water into the pan to one-third of the depth of the dishes and bake for 20-25 minutes, till puffed and cooked through. Remove from oven and leave to cool—they will sink. When cool, run a knife round the edge to loosen each soufflé, gently upend on to your hand, then put the right way up on one big dish or 6 gratin dishes. To serve, set your oven to 400°F (375°F convection). Mix the cream with salt and pepper, grated nutmeg and Parmesan or other cheese. Pour over the soufflés to cover completely, then if you wish sprinkle with bread crumbs.
Bake for 10-15 minutes, till golden and the sauce bubbling. The souffle will gently re-puff.
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