Monday, September 22, 2003

We had a few people over last evening for an impromptu dinner in the new house. As an appetizer, we had garlic roasted on the grill. It was spectacular. The garlic came from Garlic World in Gilroy, CA (just off 101 south of San Jose). I roasted a head of elephant garlic and a head of normal garlic (which was the size of elephant garlic anywhere else in the country, it seems).

First, grab your trusty Garlic Roaster.

Break down the heads of garlic and remove some of the excess skin. But don't skin the garlic pieces themselves -- the skin will both hold in the garlic and make for a convenient squeeze tube style applicator after roasting.

Put the garlic in the roaster and add a liberal amount of olive oil (the more the better as any leftover oil will be nicely spiced and can be mopped up with bread later), add a bunch of dried hot peppers (New Mexican Chiles and dried Scotch Bonnet, in my case), and toss in a pinch of salt & pepper.

Slap the whole thing on the grill for 30 to 45 minutes, depending on heat and how "done" you want the garlic. I left it on until the roaster just started to smoke and then I put the cover on the grill and closed a vent a little bit to effectively turn the heat down. Preferably, it'll be hot enough that the parts of the garlic touching the bottom of the roaster will turn black as the garlic caramelizes.

Serve in the roaster with some fresh bread; sour dough, olive bread, or the like. It should be a bread with a lot of crust and preferably one with holes to collect the garlic and spices in the oil. Make sure and mop up the oil and spices left in the roaster -- very tasty!

Update: Make sure and cut the tops off the garlic or do the classic cut the garlic head in half trick. Otherwise, some the bulbs will explode.

This can actually be quite entertaining when one explodes hard enough to knock the top of the garlic cooker off and a bunch of the oil across the other items (in this case, corn in husk) on the grill, causing a big flame up.
3:57:21 PM  pontificate