According to my food holiday calendar, today is Garlic Day.
In honor of this made-up celebration, here are my favorite garlic recipes:
Garlic and Sage Chips
1 tablespoon – 1 stick of butter (depending on how decadent you feel)
1 tsp olive oil
3-4 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced REALLY thin (basically shaved)
1/8 cup fresh, whole sage leaves
Melt the butter over medium heat in a frying pan. Stir in the olive oil. Turn up the heat to high and spread the garlic slices/shavings evenly in the pan. After about 30 seconds, stir in the sage leaves and salt. Fry until garlic is golden brown, stirring often. The garlic chips can turn into garlic charcoal in the blink of an eye, so stay alert. Use the chips as a topping for baked potatoes, salad, soup, or Brie.
Garlic and Split Pea Soup Base
1 small onion, chopped
1 tsp olive oil
10 cloves garlic, peeled
1 pound yellow split peas
4 cups water
salt and pepper to taste
Saute the onions in the olive oil in a medium-size pot. I prefer my onions to be nearly caramelized, but you can stop when they are translucent, or even leave them a little crunchy. Add the garlic cloves, and cook for another minute or two. Add the yellow split peas and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and cook until split peas are soft (about 20 minutes). Add salt and pepper to taste. You can strain the liquid and use as a clear soup base, or puree the lot for a creamier soup base. This is a great substitute for chicken stock when you are cooking for your vegetarian friends.
Garlic Mashed Potatoes
5 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered
8 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped in half
1 tablespoon butter
Put the potatoes and garlic in a medium pot and add cold water to just cover the potatoes. Bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are mashable. Some people like a little substance to their mashed potatoes, others want it to be as smooth as yogurt, so you get to decide what done is. Drain the potatoes, put into a bowl, toss in the butter and mash away. Add cream until you like the consistency (or you start freaking out about your arteries). Salt to taste.
Luck and wisdom!