Saturday, 29 May 2010

Getting my Garlic On - Garlic Mushroom Flans with Caesar Salad topped with Garlic Shrimp

“My final, considered judgment is that the hardy bulb [garlic] blesses and ennobles everything it touches - with the possible exception of ice cream and pie.”
Angelo Pellegrini, 'The Unprejudiced Palate' (1948)
And I am sure that, given enough time, I could figure out how to work garlic into ice cream and pie. And I wouldn't be the first.

If you were to state to me, face to face, that you did not eat garlic - well, I would look at you for a moment, decide that you were really quite mad, and that it was a good thing that you wouldn't be invited for dinner anyway. How can one trust someone, love someone, who doesn't eat garlic? You simply cannot. Perhaps all the garlic haters could have their own island somewhere.. I hear Australia is taken.
I have it on good authority that garlic lovers are more sensual, artistic, and intellectual than their counterparts. Certainly they are less susceptible to late night attack from the underworld.
In honour of the stinking rose, I have made a garlicky dinner which, when eaten on the deck in this beautiful summer weather, also seems to act as a natural bug repellent. See, good all around.
For your garlicky pleasure I have Garlic-Mushroom Flans, delicate and quivering in their deliciousness, Caesar Salad, with extra garlic of course, topped with Garlic Shrimp - because one can never have too much of a good thing.
“Without garlic I simply would not care to live.”
Louis Diat (1885-1958)
"There are many miracles in the world to be celebrated and, for me, garlic is the most deserving."
Felice Leonardo (Leo) Buscaglia (1924-1998)
Garlic-Mushroom Flans
adapted from Quick and Easy Recipes from the New York Times
Mark Bittman

1 tbsp butter
2 tsp minced garlic
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced mushrooms
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
4 large eggs

1. Put the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally and sprinkling with salt and pepper, until the garlic is fragrant and the mushrooms begin to soften, just 5 minutes or so. Stir the mixture into the stock.

2. Beat the eggs lightly and combine with the stock mixture. Put about an inch of water in a baking pan or skillet just large enough to hold four 6-ounce ramekins and turn the heat to high. When the water boils, turn the heat to low, pour the egg mixture into the ramekins, and put the ramekins in the water. Cover tightly with foil and/or a lid.

3. Simmer for 15-20 minute, then check; the moment the custards are set-they should still be quite jiggly-remove them from the water. Serve at room temperature.
"Garlic is the catsup of intellectuals."
“Tomatoes and oregano make it Italian; wine and tarragon make it French. Sour cream makes it Russian; lemon and cinnamon make it Greek. Soy sauce makes it Chinese; garlic makes it good.”
Alice May Brock (of Alice's Restaurant fame)
Caesar Salad
How to Cook Everything
Mark Bittman
Makes 4 servings
Time: 20 minutes

Who doesn't love a good Caesar? This is the king of salads, always a favourite. Topped with garlicky shrimp it makes for an excellent dinner.

1 clove garlic, halved (I added minced garlic to the dressing too)
2 eggs or 1/2 cup pasteurized egg product
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons minced anchovies, or to taste
Dash Worcestershire sauce
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large head romaine lettuce, torn into pieces
Croutons *I used Garlic Shrimp, below
1/2 to 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1. Rub the inside of your salad bowl with the garlic clove; discard it.

2. Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Pierce a tiny hole in the broad end of each of the eggs with a pin or a needle and boil them for 60 to 90 seconds; they will just begin to firm up. Crack them into the salad bowl, being sure to scoop out the white that clings to the shell.

3. Beat the eggs with a fork, gradually adding the lemon juice and then the olive oil, beating all the while.

4. Stir in the anchovies and the Worcestershire. Taste and add salt if needed and plenty of pepper. Toss well with the lettuce; top with the croutons (Garlic shrimp) and Parmesan, then toss again at the table. Serve immediately.
"Garlic is as good as ten mothers."
Les Blank
“There are five elements: earth, air, fire, water and garlic.”
Louis Diat
Shrimp with Garlic
How to Cook Everything: Bittman Takes on America's Chefs
Mark Bittman
Makes 4 servings
Time: 10 minutes

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
6 cloves garlic, slivered
1 bay leaf
Pinch to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne or good paprika, or to taste
1 pound large (21/30) shrimp, peeled
Chopped fresh parsley leaves, for garnish
Lemon wedges

1. Put the oil in a medium skillet and turn the heat to medium. A minute later, when the oil is warm, add the garlic, bay leaf, and cayenne and cook until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes.

2. Raise the heat to high and add the shrimp; cook, stirring occasionally, until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Transfer the entire contents to a shallow bowl, season to taste with salt, and garnish with chopped parsley and lemon wedges. Serve warm or at room temperature.
"Onions are for men; garlic is for heroes."
Garlic Mushroom Flans with Caesar Salad topped with Garlic Shrimp for Souper Sundays and I Heart Cooking Clubs, Garlic Breath.