Not too long ago I bought two pounds of the most delicious smelling garlic from Sam’s Club. It’s been so dreary here in Indiana lately and I needed something to cheer myself up with.
What? Buying a crazy amount of aromatic garlic doesn’t brighten your life? You’re just weird, gentle reader.
(Seriously, this is the best smelling garlic of all time. OF ALL TIME.)
Sadly, the reason this garlic is such an olfactory delight, is because the garlic heads are quite ripe. As in balancing right on the precipice of being almost too ripe.
Frankly the dang things are going to start stinking soon.
Clearly, this garlic needs to be eaten and pronto. However, two pounds is a huge amount and while it would be physically possible to ingest this much garlic in a week or two, I don’t recommend it.
Still in my head I kept chanting, “Save the Garlic! Save the Garlic! Save the Garlic!“
Confession is good for the soul. So, in full disclosure, I’m going to admit that I sang this refrain to the melody of the Loony Tune classic “Kill the Wabbit!” (Click on the link, you’ll be a better person for it, I promise.)
So I did what I always do in times of culinary crisis: I turned to Pinterest. There I found several different recipes for garlic confit, which is just a fancy French way of preserving garlic cloves in oil.
It’s seriously easy to do.
First step: peel several heads of garlic. (If you want a super handy way to peel these heads of garlic click here.)
Second step: Put the peeled garlic cloves in a cast iron skillet and cover them with your favorite kind of oil. I like canola, but most people will probably go with olive oil. Rachel Ray ruined olive oil for me by insisting on calling it EVOO. Seriously Rachel, for all that is good and tasty in this world just say the actual words and not some stupid acronym.
Third step: Double check that all your garlic is generously covered by the oil. (Some cloves might float towards the top but don’t worry too much about them.) Then add a few bay leaves, because they’re snazzy.
Fourth step: Turn the heat to medium, but as soon as tiny bubbles start appearing lower the heat so that the oil is barely simmering. The key to delicious confit is a nice sloooow roasting of the garlic.
Fifth step: Cook the garlic, stirring and turning the cloves occasionally, until they have softened and turned a slight tan color. This takes approximately forty minutes.
Sixth step: Remove from heat and let everything cool down.
Seventh step: Get rid of the bay leaves, pour the rest into a glass jar, and keep in the fridge.
Use the cloves in your recipes that call for roasted garlic, or if you want to boost the flavor of some dish in a creamy and rich way.
The infused oil can be used whenever you want just a hint of garlic. I sauteed mushrooms in some and thought I had died and gone to heaven, they were that delicious. But I bet this oil would be dreamy in a vinaigrette too.
Some sources I read stated that garlic confit should only be kept in the fridge for a few weeks at most. Other sites claimed that it could be kept for a few months. Do what feels best to you.
Even if that involves taking a bath in this stuff. I won’t judge.
Happy garlicking my friends.