This is one of those little “Chef Secrets” that can elevate a great dish into the range of freakin’ amazing.
Slowly poaching the garlic cloves in butter adds an amazingly sweet, deep roasted-garlic flavor without the often accompanying hint of bitterness…and, of course, who doesn’t like garlic butter?
I use this technique with mashed potatoes (just add warmed heavy cream), in poultry stuffing, to toss with fresh green beans, asparagus, or wilted spinach, and it’s my go-to finishing ingredient to brush on steak or pork chops, just before serving, as well as a can’t-do-without addition to my favorite noodle soups. And it couldn’t be easier.
For four servings of…well, anything…
Butter Poached Garlic
1 cube Sweet Cream Butter
10-12 fresh whole garlic cloves, peeled
1/4 tsp. fine sea salt
In a small pan, melt butter over medium low heat.
Add garlic and salt, and poach for 20 minutes, tossing occasionally.
When a fork or knife can pierce the garlic with absolutely no resistance, it’s done. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Add garlic and butter to a blender, or use an immersion blender or even a fork to mash and mix the garlic together into a smooth slurry.
OR, allow to cool slightly and store the whole garlic cloves, covered in butter.
Use immediately, or cover, store and chill for up to a week in the fridge.
Garlic is divine.
Few food items can taste so many distinct ways, handled correctly. Misuse of garlic is a crime. Old garlic, burnt garlic, garlic cut too long ago and garlic that has been tragically smashed through one of those abominations, the garlic press, are all disgusting.
Please treat your garlic with respect. Sliver it for pasta, like you saw in Goodfellas; don’t burn it. Smash it, with the flat of your knife blade if you like, but don’t put it through a press.
I don’t know what that junk is that squeezes out the end of those things, but it ain’t garlic.
And try roasting garlic. It gets mellower and sweeter if you roast it whole, still on the clove, to be squeezed out later when it’s soft and brown.
Nothing will permeate your food more irrevocably and irreparably than burnt or rancid garlic.
Avoid at all costs that vile spew you see rotting in oil in screw-top jars.
Too lazy to peel fresh?
You don’t deserve to eat garlic.