Oh, Garlic
4:07pmRoasted garlic infused olive oil: why am I just now discovering you? Does everyone else know about you? Am I late on your bandwagon?
A few months ago I was watching (via television) the fun Rick Bayless show Mexico: One Plate at a Time and the whole epsiode was about Mojo de Ajo and how awesome and handy it is. Two weeks ago I attempted to make my own. It was a rainy afternoon and I had bought four garlic bulbs and four limes and some moderately priced olive oil (so as to not use up all the overpriced Frankie’s olive oil we have). Peeling and splitting open four bulbs worth of garlic is not for the weak of pungency. I started to get that same watery-eyes feeling like you do with onion, but more intense. Also, my hands were crazy garlic-y oily when it was all done.
(vampires begone!)

As a side note, did I ever tell you about the time that guy’s first wife made dinner for a bunch of friends and instead of using one clove of garlic, she used one bulb of garlic in the sauce? Crazy.

The process is easy. Take your 8x8 brownie pan that you never use to make brownies in and put all your peeled and slightly squashed garlic cloves in. Then pour two cups of olive oil in and make sure all the cloves are under the oil. Stick it in an oven (325) for 45 minutes. Then juice your four limes and pour that in and let it cook for a little while longer. See the proper recipe for the, er, proper details.


Stupid Oven
Our oven (aged 100 years) doesn’t like to be exact with temperature so it took me a while to get it to 325 degrees. Actually, it never got there. It sat at 250 for a while and then I twiddled the knob (I was home alone) and it jumped to 400 and then I twiddled again and it was 300. I assumed 300 would work fine, but I may have twiddled by accident before I put the garlic in and somehow the temp jumped back to 400. About thirty minutes into, I began to smell roasted garlic, but it didn’t smell right. Basically, I had burned the garlic because my oven was now at 425.
This was a fun pan to clean.

Attempt #2
My second attempt this past Friday went a lot better as I concentrated on smart knob twiddling and checked the temp during the process via the thermometer we keep in the oven. The temp was between 300 and 325. The garlic came out gorgeously golden.

Squash! Chill!
After it cools down a bit, you take ye olde potato masher and mash up the garlic. After it cools a bit more, you can pour it (tricky) into some sort of jar and then refrigerate it.

What the recipe doesn’t mention (nor did they show) was that olive oil congeals when cold (I know this because my mom keeps everything in the refrigerator) so you get this soft buttery like substance (that smells like crazy garlic).
Last night we scooped out some and used it to cook some shrimp. The night before it was used to cook a hanger steak. Basically, we plan on using it anytime we’d use olive oil.

The results are delicious.
Go make some.

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