Posts Tagged 'garlic'

Le Gratin de Pommes de Terre Estival de Mireille (Mireille’s Summer Potato Gratin)

Summer Potato Gratin

I’m constantly looking for new ways to cook potatoes.  We eat a lot of potatoes (in reality, we just eat a lot of starch; we’re on an inverse Atkins diet).  My standbys are mashed potatoes or Gratin Dauphinois but I’m always on the look out for something to complement them.

Or, more simply, there are times when I don’t want something as heavy as either of those; where it’s too hot out for something that rich or just too heavy.

The only similarity this gratin shares with other gratins is that it’s cooked in a gratin dish.  It has no milk or cream.  It has no cheese.

Bacon, Onions, and Garlic Cooking for Summer Potato Gratin

It does have onions, garlic, and bacon which happen to be three of my favorite things (I won’t channel Julie Andrews for everyone’s sake).  To an extent, it vaguely reminds me of an Alsatian Tarte Flambée but with garlic and without cream.

While it’s not particular hot here in Southern California, my kitchen manages to get that way.  As does our whole apartment in the afternoon (I blame our west facing windows).  So heavy and creamy are out and light and garlicky are in.

We had this with Poulet Mistral Le Preiuré (Mistral’s Chicken with Garlic) which, ignoring the statement on that page, goes perfectly with this gratin. The garlic in both dishes compliments each other quite well.

Just make sure your date eats as much of it as you do.

Summer Potato Gratin Before Baking

Le Gratin de Pommes de Terre Estival de Mireille (Mireille’s Summer Potato Gratin)
Adapted from The Provence Cookbook

2 large onions, peeled and thinly sliced
2 tbsp olive oil
4 oz. of bacon, cut into lardons
20 cloves of garlic, peeled and cut in half
salt
2 lbs. potatoes, preferably Yukon Gold, peeled and thinly sliced
1 cup chicken stock reduced to a syrup
black pepper

  1. Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
  2. Combine the onions, olive oil, bacon, and garlic in a large skillet over medium heat.  Season to taste with salt.  Cook until the bacon and onions are lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
  3. Layer the potatoes in a gratin dish, seasoning each layer with salt.  Top with the onion and bacon mixture.  Drizzle the reduced stock over the gratin.  Season with black pepper.
  4. Bake in the oven for 1 hour to 11/2 hours, or until the potatoes are cooked through.  Regulate the heat so the onions don’t burn.
  5. Serve immediately.

Serves 6.

Poulet Mistral Le Preiuré (Mistral’s Chicken with Garlic)

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Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic seems like a good idea until you need to peel the garlic. And, of course, I won’t cheat by using pre-peeled garlic. It doesn’t help that I’m somewhat allergic to garlic (it makes my fingers dry-out and crack; I have to wear gloves when I work with it).

But, really, garlic is good enough to be worth it. I could launch into a diatribe worthy of Cook’s Illustrated about how every other recipe for Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic was bad until I perfected it (or, in my case, found this recipe). It’d be somewhat be true. I have tried several other recipes in the past (with the requisite garlic peeling) and have found them wanting. The chicken never appropriated the garlic flavor. They were simply not worth the effort.

This recipe sort of snuck in under the radar. For one, it’s not called Chicken with Cloves of Garlic. It does, however, sneak those 40 cloves of garlic into the ingredients list. I got suckered in by the idea of chicken with garlic (how could that not sound good?) without realizing exactly what it was. By the time I realized exactly what it was, I had already committed.

I hate having to peel that much garlic

And that was a good thing because this is good. The chicken picks up a mild garlic flavor while still being juicy. The sauce is also quite tasty. It’s almost as good to dip bread in it as the sauce from Poulet Sauté aux Herbes (Sautéed Chicken with Herbs) (but not quite).

This is particularly good served with Gratin Dauphinois Madame Cartet (Madame Cartet’s Potato Gratin).

Yet another random picture of chicken cooking

Poulet Mistral Le Preiuré (Mistral’s Chicken with Garlic)
Adapted from Bistro Cooking

1 chicken, cut into pieces
salt and pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
about 40 cloves of garlic, crushed and peeled
1/2 cup white vermouth
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 tbsp butter, softened

  1. Season the chicken with salt up to a day in advance.
  2. In a large skillet, melt the butter with the olive oil over medium-high heat. Season the chicken with the pepper. Brown both sides of the chicken, working in batches if necessary, about 5 minutes per side. Set the chicken aside when done.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium and add the garlic cloves. Place the chicken on top of the garlic. Sauté, shaking the pan occasionally, 10 minutes to lightly brown the garlic.
  4. Deglaze the pan with the vermouth and the chicken stock. Simmer, covered, for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.
  5. Remove the chicken from the pan and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Bring the sauce to the boil to reduce until slightly thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the softened butter.
  6. Serve the chicken covered with the sauce and garlic.

Serves 4.

Tomato and Roasted Garlic Soup

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I work in a building that is, at times, fairly well air conditioned (read: cold). It’s also significantly closer to the beach then where I live (which means it’s cooler). So, on Monday, I was feeling a cold at work (I swear I walked between buildings and also was cold but it could’ve been that it’s heavily in shadows) and was trying to figure out what to make for dinner (the refrigerator is mostly bare and we had some tomatoes left over from last week). In early afternoon, I called Angela and said that it was a bit cooler and would she mind having tomato bisque for dinner.

Turns out, when I got home that there were two complications: it was most definitely not cold (it wasn’t quite hot but it was definitely not on the cold side of the scale) and Angela thought I meant this soup (not that I really had any particular recipe in mind). Well, when she-who-must-be-obeyed tells me that she expects one thing for dinner, if I’m smart (like that’ll happen regularly), I make what she wants. And so I did.

This recipe actually comes from one of my favorite cookbooks from one of my favorite restaurants. I went to college (er, technically I went to “institute”) in Rochester, NY and the area right around the school was a chain-restaurant wasteland. Every once in awhile, we’d consider it special enough (or when parents visited and were willing to pay), we’d venture downtown and go to Dinosaur BBQ. Now, not being from the south (Maryland never seceded y’all), I have no idea how this compares to the “real thing” (Angela, while being from Florida, is really from “Southern Long Island”). I consider it to be very good and that’s good enough for me (I’m getting hungry just thinking about the pulled pork; I may make my bastardized crock pot version this weekend).

Right before I graduated from college, I realized there were several things I would miss from Rochester (outside of the people). Towards the top of the list was Dinosaur BBQ, so while shopping at a bookstore I noticed they had a cookbook and I bought it. Now, I don’t have a backyard and, hence, no grill or other way to smoke meat but surprisingly, there are plenty of recipes for indoors (or that can be adapted for indoors use, such as the above mentioned pulled pork). Also, uniquely among barbeque restaurants (or so I’ve heard), they gave away their recipe for their sauce (of course, I’ve not made it from scratch; some grocery stores sell it and it’s indistinguishable from the original).

The thing that’s amazed me about the cookbook is that the recipes work. They’re clearly written and they work well. Outside of Julia Child, there are very few recipes that have worked as well for me as the ones in this cookbook. So I highly recommend you buy it if assuming (and this is a pretty easy assumption to make) you don’t own it.

And there are no pictures of the soup because they were pretty unattractive.

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Tomato and Roasted Garlic Soup
Adapted from Dinosaur Bar-B-Que: An American Roadhouse

1/4 cup butter
3 tbsp olive oil
1 1/4 cup chopped onion
salt and black pepper
1 1/2 tbsp minced garlic
2 tbsp flour
4 cups chicken stock
1 large garlic bulb or 2 small garlic bulbs
2 lbs. fresh tomatoes or 1 28 oz. can of tomatoes
1 bay leaf
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
Tabasco sauce
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp thyme, chopped

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Cut the tops off the bulbs of garlic, exposing the tops of the individual garlic cloves. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Wrap the garlic bulbs in aluminum foil and roast in the oven for 45 to 60 minutes or until they are softened. When the garlic bulbs are finished cooking, squeeze out the garlic into a bowl and then, using a fork, make a paste of the garlic.
  2. Prepare the tomatoes by either running them through a food mill fitted with a disk with large wholes or, skin them, dice them, and crush them with a potato masher.
  3. In a soup pot, melt 2 tbsp of butter and 2 tbsp of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and add a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook until softened. Add the minced garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
  4. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Then, whisk in the chicken stock.
  5. Add the roasted garlic, the tomatoes, and the bay leaf. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 15 minutes.
  6. Uncover and add the heavy cream, the parmesan cheese, thyme, and lemon juice. Season generously with Tabasco sauce.
  7. Remove from heat. Puree the soup either with an immersion blender or, in batches, in a food processor or blender. If you’d rather have a chunky soup, skip this step (I like it mostly pureed with some chunks in there).
  8. Return soup to medium-high heat and cook until thickened to your desired consistency (how thick do you like your soup?). Taste for seasoning.

Serves 6 to 8.


Flickr Photos