Vacation is getting closer and therefore dinner at the Red Brick Ranchero has become more of what needs to be used before we leave instead of what do you think about having such and such. And then going to the store to get such and such.
So creativity is at a high point around here. It’s truly a time of standing in front of the fridge and keeping fingers crossed that you have the makings of a wonderful dinner.
I had some garlic confit I had made last weekend thanks to the wonderful blog by Ann called A Chicken in Every Granny Cart.
Garlic confit is one of the easiest things to make and makes a huge difference in the flavor of the foods you are preparing, each time adding a depth of flavor that is you just don’t get with fresh garlic. The flavor is sweeter, smoother, more adult is the best way I can think to describe it. And it works in many dishes.
You can make the confit and use it immediately. An extra bonus is the garlicky olive oil ready to use in salad dressings, or a fast saute of chicken, or drizzled over a gratin before baking.
Or this quick shrimp and toasted almond sauce that is to die for with a bit of Papardelle.
What was I worried about?
Place in small saucepan and cover with extra virgin olive oil.
Bring to a simmer and then reduce heat to the lowest setting. Partially cover and let cook about 25-30 minutes or til you can pierce easily with tip of a knife.
Remove cloves to a plate and let cool. Cool the oil as well. Squeeze garlic out of casings into small jar.
Save oil in jar to use as you would regular olive oil.
Keep confit in the refrigerator.
Shrimp with Toasted Almonds and Garlic Confit
12 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1 tbsp garlic confit
2 swirls garlic oil
Good pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
½ cup white wine
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
Papardelle , cooked
Heat garlic oil in large heavy skillet over medium high heat and when shimmery cook the shrimp until they turn pink and remove from the pan.
Add white wine and reduce by half. Add garlic confit and red pepper flakes and cook for a minute. Add the shrimp and almonds and stir til combined..
At this point you can add the pasta to the pan and toss.
Season with coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper and serve.
Friday, April 25, 2008
Remove the tough papery outer skin of the garlic. Leave the thin casing on the cloves.
Makes about 1 cup.