Saturday, February 12, 2011

Garlic??? Yes Please!

A Wicked How-To for Garlic

If you are like many others, the idea of using fresh garlic entirely befuddles you.
Don't worry its not as difficult as it looks. Let's start at the beginning...

This is a bulb of garlic:

A bulb of garlic is made up of several cloves.  In order to get a clove you need to break through nature's protective layers and break the clove free.

Your next step is to remove the protective layers from the garlic clove.  I've found the best way of doing this is to use the flat end of a knife and press down on the clove of garlic. I like to use any knife with a decent amount of surface area.

Please excuse my 100 yr old knife.
Now it will be simple to remove the outside layer.  Your clove should be smooth and slightly shiny and now ready to use.

Most recipes call for minced garlic.  It simply means to cut very finely.

Troubleshooting for Garlic:
Sprouting: Unfortunately, garlic is harvested best in June or July but is wonderful year round, especially in those cold months.  When garlic sits around for too long it begins to sprout.  There are 2 ways to handle this 1) you can plant it or 2) you can work around it.  Some people choose to leave the sprouts in but it tends to make the garlic a bit more bitter than I like.  So to remove your sprouts, slice down the middle of your garlic the long ways and open it up.  Now all you have to do is pull it out and discard.  Your garlic should be just fine to use from here.
Stinky hands: Whenever you use any ingredient that makes your hands stink I whip out the fresh lemon.  If you don't have access to fresh lemon, lemon juice or citrus juice is the next best thing.  Rinse your hands with the juices, let it sit for a couple seconds and rinse.

Fragrant Facts:
Garlic is freshest typically in June or July but is available all year round.
Garlic is part of the onion family.
Garlic's actual name is Allium sativum.
The leaves and flower of the plant are also edible just less pungent and not often used.
Garlic has been used for centuries medicinally.
Garlic is a tasty way to keep your vampire friends away.

Friday, February 11, 2011

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Cabbage Rolls

This typical European and Western Asian dish is absolutely delicious when prepared properly.  Typically filled with onions, rice and meat, it can be a simple and delectable meal best for large groups.

This particular recipe used hamburger for the meat and a tomato sauce that turned out almost tangy.

The Good: The recipe is easy to make for large groups.
The Bad: Parts of the recipe can be fairly ambiguous, especially for those new to cooking with cabbage.
The Ugly: This recipe does not save well.  The cabbage tends to get stringy when reheated.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Recipe # 1 - Pumpkin Spice Crème Brûlée

If you like delicious... this is your dish. Dave and I made these for a Halloween party.  We could barely get them to the party without drooling on them ourselves.  The people brave enough to try them said, "These are better than pumpkin pie!"

The Good: The recipe is easy to make, delicious, festive and definitely unique.
The Bad: The recipe takes a lot of preparation time. It is difficult to pour the water into the roasting pan without it spilling into the pumpkins.
The Ugly: If you don't already have all of the spices it can become a bit costly to make this recipe.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

And so it begins

Welcome to the Memoirs of 2 Wicked Chefs.  I am esctactic to share with you the recipes, pictures and comments on the new dishes my wicked counterpart and I have found.  It may take me a few days to learn how to work out how to do this blogging but as soon as I do I will post the recipes to keep you up to date!  If there are any recipes you would like to see us try please let us know.  We are always looking for that next recipe.