When John worked in the UK, he worked with the generation of British chefs that were all coming up and around the same time as Marco Pierre White (Gordon Ramsey, actually worked for Marco Pierre White). John says, “Marco was a an unobtainable goal, he was obsessed and an awesome chef. Just to watch him move through the kitchen only he was not a chef yet, so even as a sous chef he was a legend to us commis.” The stories passed around about MPW grabbing colleagues by the neck because they botched something or got in his way. He was totally punk rock with long hair and chiseled facial figures. John says they were all frightened and drawn to him at the same time. He spoke fluent French and would answer the phone with an accent convincing guests he was the French reservationist–in a Peter Sellars/Iggy Pop like performance that backed it up with serious vittles. John says the most important dish he ever ate was a pig trotter stuffed with foie gras that White prepared when he established his first restaurant Harveys…

John’s experience in Michelin Starred restaurants in the 80’s, has informed many of our food practices. Which brings me to Garlic! One of the chefs John worked for in the UK many years ago, Shaun Hill still influences our use of garlic today. Martin Lane calls it the angel in the devil. Probably because although she loves Garlic, one of her jobs in the kitchen has become peeling it. Peeling maybe an understatement because we peel the paper skin and then split the clove in half to expose the ingrown tail like vein. The tail/vein is indigestible and by removing we enjoy our garlic so much more.

This time of year if you are not growing garlic, buy from the farmers market. Fresh garlic is an entirely different beast than the grocery/super market product (I remember garlic coming in boxes at the Giant in Montgomery County, stale, hard and weak). Fresh garlic is bright in color, firm in texture and juicy (if you have sensitive skin beware of break outs, don’t be afraid to use gloves when peeling a lot or raw garlic).

We also will Roast a dozen bulbs at a time. Break the bulbs down into cloves leaving the paper like skin on. Coat the cloves in grape seed oil and roast in a medium heat oven–around 300. The skin will protect the oil coated clove while it slowly roasts to soft. Pull from oven and let cool. Then Peel paper outer layer. One all your garlic is peeled then split each clove in half to remove tail/vein thing…

We use roasted garlic like butter to flavor anything from a salad to roasted greens. You can also eat just the way it is pureed with olive oil salt and pepper on bread… Makes a great soup if mixed with veggie or chicken stock…

This entry was published on August 10, 2009 at 3:34 am and is filed under Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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