Posts Tagged ‘whole’

Garlic has gotten a bad rap. Vampires and people on first dates have uniformly tried to stay away from garlic for centuries because of its harsh, pungent flavor (or death inducing side effect). Garlic has even been linked in Islamic myths as the fruit left behind from the left footprint of Satan after he left the Garden of Eden (the onion was the fruit of his right). I have hopes of persuading some of you to look upon this root vegetable a little different, I want to showcase garlic in a new light. Like most vegetables, when roasted, garlic takes on a completely different flavor becoming more sweet and mellow and becomes a perfect compliment to foods.

This is one of the easiest appetizers you can make for guests or for yourself on a cold winter day, in addition to the insane health benefits that have been found from the consumption of garlic including prevention of heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and cancer.

Ingredients

  • 1 whole head of garlic
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper

1. When picking a head of garlic, you want to make sure that the white paper is tight and in tact. Squeeze the garlic gently; it should be firm and not yield easily. It should be heavy for it’s weight and should not have any black powder (usually found near the root). This is mold yet most grocery chains will put it out anyway. And stay away from “elephant garlic” as this isn’t garlic at all, but a cousin of the leek/onion family.

2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut the garlic about a quarter of the way from the top making sure you cut through each clove held within.

3. Place the cut garlic on a piece of aluminum foil big enough to enclose the head completely. Pour the olive oil over the cloves. Season with salt and pepper.

    

4. Wrap the garlic up tightly and place on a sheet pan or other baking dish. Place the pan in the oven for 55 minutes.

5. Let the garlic head cool for five minutes on the stovetop before trying to unwrap. The individual cloves will easily pop out of their skin when given a gentle squeeze. Serve warm mashed over bread, in salad dressings, or anyway you desire.

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I was recently faced with a choice. Pay $21 per pound for shucked crab meat or pay $6 per pound for a live crab. I decided that this would make for an excellent opportunity to determine if it’s better to buy the entire animal or let someone else do the work.

This is a dungeness crab purchased at my local fish market. I didn’t have the heart to do the deed myself, so I asked them to steam the crab for me.

This crab weighed in at around 1.25 pounds for a total cost of $7.79. After removing the shell from the crab and extracting the meat, I was left with about 2/5 pound of actual meat. And yes, before you think of it, I did remember to zero out the scale first. After some rough calculations, this amounts to $19.38 per pound. That’s nearly what it would have cost me to buy the meat alone!

Of course, there are advantages to buying fresh seafood. You can prepare it yourself, the presentation is 10X better, you know the meat hasn’t been sitting around for long periods of time. But, for me, the amount of time saved by not having to shell the crab and remove the meat is well worth sacrificing these benefits. I say the next time you’re in the mood for shellfish, consider going to your local fish market and buy the meat alone.

Note: my one exception comes in the form of soft shell crabs. If you ever come across these lovelies, do not hesitate to buy a few for your family. They are delicious breaded, fried, and eaten whole.