Posts Tagged ‘Garlic’

The inspiration for this was the roasted garlic bulbs that were popular a while back. You know the ones, the whole bulb is sprinkled with olive oil then roasted until soft. The garlic is then squeezed out as a paste. I always thought it was a nice presentation but very messy and not all of the garlic was extracted.

I think my method is less messy, and all of the garlic is used. I used to call it garlic confit, but then there was some concern about storing garlic in oil and the possibility of botulism. Now, I immediately use whatever I make. Since confit means to preserve, I couldn’t call it garlic confit anymore. Sigh.

I started to call this poached garlic, but then the definition of poaching (as it applies to cooking), is to simmer food in liquid other than oil. Double sigh. And “simmered garlic” just doesn’t have the same sexiness about it.

So, I’ll describe the process, and you call it whatever you want. I still don’t have a name for it.

Take peeled garlic (I usually find mine in Asian markets, or peel my own), place them in a small sauce pan, and cover with oil (peanut or olive). Heat the pan over the lowest heat possible (because the garlic is quick to burn) for an hour or so until really soft. We have a warming burner that works well. Remove garlic from oil.

We use the garlic on French bread, in salads, in pasta, and in hummus. The cooked garlic gives the hummus a softened garlic taste, not the in your face flavor. The Cat stomach likes the cooked garlic over raw of even sauteed garlic.

"Cooked" Garlic

The holes on the bottom clove was from me checking its doneness.

This time, I made pasta with the garlic, some of the oil, rehydrated shiitake mushrooms, rehydrated sun dried tomatoes, sugar, salt, chili powder, almond milk, and capers.

I slightly browned the garlic to add color.

The Cat said yum!

If you come up with a sexy name for the garlic, let me know, kthx.


The Mouse

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I’m still trying to perfect the charred spring onion noodles we ate in Shanghai (see 21 November 2010 post). This time, I used skinny spaghetti, peanut oil, spring onions (green onions),聽re-hydrated聽shiitake mushrooms (with dashi), crushed garlic (I cheated and used the pre-crushed garlic from the bottle, Shao Xing wine, salt, chili powder, sugar, and “crispy onions”.

The grocery store was having a clearance on the “crispy onions” (I think it was a Christmas item).

The suggestion on the package said it could be used for green bean聽casseroles (pass).

Charred Green Onion Pasta


I couldn’t get the oil hot enough so the onions wilted instead of charred. Still it was pretty tasty (but different). The crispy onions did give a good texture. The pasta noodles is closer to the noodles we ate in Shanghai (maybe there is something to the Marco Polo connection). I still think I need a dragon powered wok to do it properly.

The Cat said it was not bad, not authentic, but not bad. A definite try again. Keep on woking. It’s the journey as well as the destination. 馃檪


The Mouse

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Some men tinker with cars, some men tinker with sports, I tinker with food. Last week we had dinner with friends at Assagio in Kailua.

The Cat ordered fresh eggplant Milanese (diced eggplant pan fried in olive oil, garlic, and fresh basil, served over linguine).

Fresh Eggplant Milanese

I ordered anchovies over rigatoni.

Rigatoni with Anchovies

There was a lot of crispy garlic bits incorporated into the anchovies and olive oil, quite a powerful combination.

I think many cultures have some kind of preserved sauce or ingredient (think Chinese salted shrimp paste, Filipino patis, etc.). According to the Wikipedia article, western cooking also used a type of fermented fish sauce called garum. You can read the article here. In fact, one of 聽Lea & Perrins’聽Worcestershire聽sauces contains anchovies as one of its ingredients (so there).

Enough of the lesson. A couple of days ago, I put my own spin on the above dishes (you know I had to).

For The Cat, I made pan fried eggplant in spicy peanut sauce over skinny聽spaghetti with black sesame seeds.

Less garlic, less olive oil, more eggplant, add peanut butter,聽re-hydrated聽shiitake mushrooms, some chili powder (I was out of sriracha sauce), and sprinkle with ground black sesame seeds.

For myself, I made tuna over skinny spaghetti.

I substituted canned tuna for anchovies (it’s cheaper). Less garlic, added chili powder, and charred green onions (I can’t get my stove high enough to burn the green onions like in Chinese restaurants, but it was okay), and used the oil from the tuna. I think I need to hire a dragon to properly scorch green onions (know of any I can contact? Must have fire breathing capability). (See 21 November 2010 post) 馃檪

The Cat gave my effort three paws.

Will be tinkering again.

Much thanks to M & J.


The Mouse

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Sometimes traveling with no destination in mind is a good thing.聽A chance to experience new places and sensations聽and meet new people. Okay, enough聽with the philosophy, on with the food!

Awhile back, my cousins P & B asked if I knew any good ramen shops. 聽I recommended here: http://maps.google.com/places/us/hi/honolulu/kapahulu-ave/617/-tenkaippin-hawaii?hl=en&gl=us. We made arrangements to try it on Friday for lunch. This place is known for their rich broths. One friend claims that the Kotteri broth was so rich, his lips stuck together.

Although it’s not on the menu, B ordered her ramen with “Kosseri” broth, a combination of Kotteri and Assari broths. The combination is supposed to be not as thick as the Kotteri broth with the addition of shoyu flavor. This combination was mentioned here: http://tastyislandhawaii.com/blog/2010/05/31/tenkaippins-assari-ramen/.

P and I ordered the Local Special Set consisting of fried rice and fried chicken. The thinking was that P & B could share each others dishes. I didn’t get a picture of B’s ramen (they already think I’m weird). 聽Here’s a picture of the fried rice:

Tenkaippin Fried Rice

and of the fried chicken:

Tenkaippin Fried Chicken

B enjoyed her ramen down to the last drop of broth. P liked his selection. Both really liked the garlic and chili condiment that sits on all the tables.

Garlic and Chili "Paste"

B put it in her ramen, P added it to his fried rice and made a dip for his chicken. The raw garlic and chili complement all the dishes. P and B were happy.

Although the fried rice was good, the fried rice from our local choy suey (Kin Wah) restaurant is still the best.

Afterwards we walked around to take a look at the new Side Street In On Da Strip and the music store next to the ramen shop.

I forget how the subject came up, but the topic of malasadas came up. P’s favorite place here is here: http://www.agnesbakeshop.com/. So, after lunch we took a drive over the Pali to eat malasadas. Here’s the location: http://maps.google.com/places/us/hi/kailua/hoolai-st/46/-agnes-portuguese-bake-shop?hl=en&gl=us.

The malasadas are fried to order and looks like it was dropped into the frying oil by hand (as compared to by machine or gadget).


This was my first time here and first time trying these malasadas (I’m so聽embarrassed). The taste and texture were different from the other聽bakeries聽that make malasadas. 聽It was very good. The bakery also makes pastries and breads.

Chocolate Covered Cake Nuggets

German Chocolate Cups

Potato Bread Rolls


If I wasn’t so full after lunch I would have taken home some of their pastries. That’s okay, another reason to revisit the bakery. 馃檪

Here’s a Wikipedia article for more information about malasadas: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malasada.

They also told me about this place that makes chicharr贸n: http://maps.google.com/places/us/hi/honolulu/n-hotel-st/131/-jimmy’s-produce-&-filipino?hl=en&gl=us. Which I visited after leaving them.

Chicharr贸n is deep fried pork rinds or meats. A better description is here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicharr%C3%B3n.

The chicharr贸n here is deep fried pork belly. Talk about聽decadent!


Chicharr贸n, Sliced

The was very good. Imagine the end slice of a perfectly roasted prime rib, you know the one that has the salt crust on the whole surface with crunchy, almost burnt, bits? The texture was crispy on all surface areas. I ate it with vinegar (one of the recommended condiments). The vinegar helped to cut the greasiness of it. It was a bit over the top for me (The Cat seems to agree). For me, I prefer the Chinese roast pork. The chicharr贸n was a bit too greasy for my taste. Some of the fat in Chinese roast pork seems to be rendered out during the roasting process. The deep frying of the pork belly seems to seal in the fat. Just my opinion.

All in all a good afternoon. Good food, new food, good conversation, fun times. One of my uncles is known for saying if you can’t have fun with your family, who can you have fun with?


The Mouse

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Our聽friend gave us some Japanese eggplant from her garden.聽 Since The Cat was coming home late last night I decided to make a light dinner.

Ingredients (for two servings):

  • 6 small Japanese eggplants, peeled and聽cut into 3/4 inch slices – free
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (Italian style) with basil, garlic, and oregano – 99 cents
  • 1 can (6 oz.) sliced mushrooms – 99 cents
  • 1/2 box (8oz.) orzo – 85 cents
  • 2 eggs –聽40 cents
  • pinch each聽of salt and sugar, and drizzle of macadamia nut oil infused with italian herbs (see picture)聽-minimal
  • Approximate total cost – less than $4.00

Macadamia Nut Oil infused with Italian Herbs

Preparation and Plating:

  1. Cook orzo according to package directions, drain, and drizzle聽macadamia nut oil, toss to coat.
  2. Topped with聽eggplants, stewed with tomatoes and mushrooms (salt and sugar to taste).
  3. Added聽soft fried egg.聽 The egg yolk was broken to create a sauce for the orzo.

The Verdict:

The Cat liked it and asked me聽to make it聽for聽her to bring聽for lunch this week. – priceless. 馃檪

Stewed Eggplant with Orzo and Fried Egg.


The Cat likes Eggplant and Eggs.

The Mouse Succeeded.

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