Monday, September 23, 2013

A Unique Twist on a Classic Dish!

Everyone remembers those days when you were young and constantly craved Mac 'n Cheese. I sure do. Some of us never grow up and to this day, I still crave that old classic dish. One beauty around this dish is the ability to customize and basically do whatever you want with it. Throw some bacon or lobster into this dish and it completely transforms it. Change it from a side dish to a main entree easily.

Craft Macaroni and Cheese | Mac 'n Cheese
The Gourmet Stuff !
Today, I share with you ROASTED GARLIC MACARONI AND CHEESE!!! Does it not sound delicious. The debut of this iconic dish merited more than a classic preparation. Someone cue the whole head of roasted garlic. Yes, a whole gargantuan head of garlic that’s roasted, mashed and then whisked into the easiest, cheesiest cheddar sauce.

Roasted Garlic


yield: 12 SERVINGS
prep time: 30 MIN
cook time: 1 1/4 HRS


For crumb topping:
4 Tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
2 cups Panko Japanese bread crumbs
3 Tablespoons chopped fresh chives
For pasta and sauce:
1 head garlic
Olive oil
1 pound uncooked pasta (such as cavatappi, shells or rigatoni)
1 stick (8 Tablespoons) unsalted butter
6 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
5 cups whole milk
5 1/2 cups coarsely shredded cheddar cheese (white, yellow or a mix of both)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper


Make the crumb topping:

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the breadcrumbs and chives, stirring to combine. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes until toasted slightly. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.
Toasted CrumbsBechamel
Make the pasta and sauce:
Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
Slice the top one-third off the head of garlic. Place the bottom portion on a piece of foil, drizzle it with olive oil, and season it with salt and pepper. Place the top portion back on the head of garlic and crumple the foil to create a sealed packet. Roast the garlic for 30 minutes.
Remove the roasted garlic from the oven and squeeze the cloves into a bowl. Using a fork, mashing the cloves into a paste. Set aside.
Roasted Garlic
Cook the pasta in a large pot of well-salted water until al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Butter a 13x9-inch shallow baking dish.
In a large, heavy saucepot (such as a Dutch oven), melt 1 stick butter over medium-low heat. Stir in the flour and reserved garlic paste. Cook the roux, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes until golden. Whisk in the milk. Bring the sauce to a boil, whisking constantly, then reduce it to a simmer and let it cook for 3 minutes. Stir in the shredded cheddar cheese, Parmesan cheese, mustard powder, salt and pepper until well combined.
Add the pasta and the reserved 1/2 cup of pasta water to the pot, stirring to combine. (It will be soupy. See Picture) Transfer the macaroni and cheese to the buttered baking dish. Sprinkle it with the reserved crumb topping and place it on a sheet tray (in the event it bubbles over while baking). Bake the macaroni and cheese for 20 to 25 minutes until it's golden brown and bubbling.
Roasted Garlic Macaroni and Cheese
It will be soupy looking before cooking!
Extra Notes:
The garlic head can be roasted, and the garlic gloves mashed, 1 day in advance. Store the garlic paste, covered, in the fridge.
The macaroni and cheese can be baked in a large baking dish or several smaller ramekins for individual servings.

Roasted Garlic Macaroni and Cheese
Hopefully, your final dish should look something like this (if done right!). Enjoy

Monday, September 16, 2013

Try Cooking With Real Garlic!

Fresh Garlic Braid | Gilroy Garlic

Fresh Off The Braid!

When it comes to cooking with garlic, I do not like to mess around. When you go to your local grocery stores, it is hard to find some real, fresh garlic that is right off the braid. Most of the time, they do not even offer whole cloves for sale; you have to buy them out of a jar. When it comes to garlic, you want it fresh and not processed because it will remove a lot of the nutrients that benefit your health. Also, I enjoy having that fresh taste and the freedom to use my garlic cloves in any way I want!

I have been searching the entire web for the best garlic braids because once you try them fresh off the braid, you will instantly realize the differences in taste and even the smell. A lot of the time, I will buy a braid and let it sit in the kitchen as a decoration while I consume the braid slowly! You will be surprised with the amount of comments you receive for having a fresh garlic braid hanging in your kitchen. People actually think I am a gourmet chef just because of it haha! They are pretty amazing to look at and even better to consume. I highly recommend any garlic lover to try it fresh if they haven't already. Also a little tip from a true garlic fanatic, garlic from Gilroy, California is the best (well it is the garlic capital of the world).

I have found some high quality garlic braids that are seasonally harvested from Gilroy off of this website and at a great price too. They also come with a ribbon and card that look good when placed in your kitchen.

Friday, September 13, 2013

The Health Benefits of Garlic

Garlic is truly an amazing vegetable. Very few individuals actually know the health benefits that come from garlic. Not only is it delicious and easy to add to anything, there are too many benefits to list.  So lets start with the benefits:
  • Garlic is great for the immune system and helps control the growth of bacteria.
  • Garlic helps treat skin infections
  • The anti-clotting properties of ajoene found in garlic help in preventing the formation of blood clots in the body. Hence, it may also increase the risk of bleeding after surgery.
  • It helps reduce blood pressure
  • Garlic has the ability to moderately lower our blood triglycerides and total cholesterol and reduce arterial plaque formation
  • Garlic is known to have anti-inflammatory property. It can help the body fight against allergies.Garlic has been show to improve allergic airway inflammation
  • Garlic increases insulin release which helps regulate blood sugar levels.
  • Daily intake of garlic has been found to lower risk of most types of cancer. This anti-cancer property is due to allyl sulphides found in garlic.
  • Improves iron metabolism
  • Garlic has aphrodisiac properties ;)
  • Direct application of garlic to an achy tooth will help soothe the pain due to its analgesic and antibacterial properties.
  • According to recent research, garlic may help to regulate the formation of fat cells in our body.
 For more garlic health benefits and nutritional information, be sure to check out the wikipedia page and here

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Hey Everybody!

Garlic Braid | Garlic Paradise
It is my goal to create a blog for all of the garlic lovers out there, such as myself, that only contains the best, most unique recipes and ideas. There are many health benefits from garlic and it is also delicious. That is why I have such a passion for this unique vegetable. Some of the health benefits include lowered blood pressure, cardiovascular health improvements, reduced cholesterol, combat allergies, regulates blood sugar levels, aids in weight reduction, and much more. Also, it is so easy to add it to numerous dishes and make it part of any healthy, daily diet.

I love to experiment with garlic and add it to anything and everything. I would add garlic to salads, breads, sandwiches, soups, pastas, breakfasts, anything-you name it! You have to be a little daring and adventurous to find those cool, new recipes that could take the cooking world by storm.  That is why I need your help to introduce myself and others to some unique and funky recipes you use for garlic! Feel free to leave any feedback or comments and lets get this ball rolling. Garlic should be a part of everyone's diet due to the benefits and ease of adding it to virtually any dish.

Enjoy this brief video on the health benefits on garlic!