January 15, 2004 at 2:13 p.m.
Don’t turn up your nose too quickly as you and I know it is a wonderful herb to add to all sorts of dishes. One of the first foods ever grown, garlic has a long, strong reputation in the history of food preventative medicine. Modern medical research is telling us that a diet including garlic is said to lower cholesterol, high blood pressure, soothe asthma and hardening of the arteries.
Garlic was popular in the time of Moses, and there were many myths concerning it. In ancient Greek legends it is said to be good for the heart, a cure for a toothache, poisoned arrow wounds, dog bite and even recommended to reapers to strengthen their bodies against their hard work in the blistering rays of the sun.
Last, but not least, it was widely used in cooking. According to the Old Testament, the Israelites wandering the desert missed the flavorful foods they had known in Egypt, specifically “the leeks and the onions and the garlic.” Numbers 11:5.
I think garlic is a wonderful herb to use in most every meat, vegetable, salad (with the exception of gelatin and sweet salads), and tomato-based dishes.
First, though, if you don’t have any fresh garlic on hand, I’ll give you some substitutions to use when cooking:
For one medium clove of garlic, substitute 1/8 t. garlic powder, 1/2 t. garlic salt (decreasing the amount of regular salt in the recipe) or 1/8 t. instant minced garlic.
Let’s do some cooking using “the stinking rose.” Oh, don’t store garlic in the fridge but rather in a cool, dry place away from other foods in an open container. If it isn’t peeled, there will be no odor.
GARLICKY GREEN BEANS
1-15 oz. can cut green beans or 1 pint home-canned
2-3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
3 T. butter or margarine
couple dashes of salt and pepper
Heat green beans in their liquid until boiling. While heating beans, saute garlic in butter until soft but not brown (about 1 minute). Drain beans well; pour garlic mixture over beans, gently tossing to coat.
These garlic snacks are so good with a hot bowl of soup or a salad.
1/2 c. butter or margarine, softened
2 t. garlic salt or 1/2 t. garlic powder
four 6-inch pita breads
3 T. grated Parmesan cheese
2 t. dried basil leaves
In a small bowl, mix butter and garlic until well blended. Split each pita in half to make two rounds. Spread each with garlic mixture. Sprinkle with Parmesan and basil. (I combine the two first.) Cut each round into six wedges; put on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 325 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until crisp. Makes four dozen.
The next time you are fixing a pork roast for company, do it this way.
GARLIC PORK ROAST
one 4-5 lb. rolled boneless pork roast
4 garlic cloves, peeled and cut into thin slivers
salt and pepper to taste
creamy horseradish (optional)
Using the point of a paring knife, make small slits all around the roast. Insert garlic into slits. Rub roast with salt and pepper. (I use a little paprika, too.) Place roast in a shallow pan on a rack. Bake at 325 degrees for 30-40 minutes per pound or until meat thermometer registers 160-170 degrees. Remove from pan; slice meat and serve with horseradish if you wish. Serves 10-12.
GARLIC ALERT: To clear your breath after eating foods with garlic, serve a garnish of fresh parsley to neutralize the odor.
GARLIC VINAIGRETTE DRESSING
3/4 c. canola oil or olive oil
1 T. cider vinegar
1 T. sugar
1/2 t. garlic salt
Combine ingredients in covered container and shake well. Shake before drizzling on salad greens. Makes about 3/4 cup.
A couple of garlic tips for you:
•To remove skins easily from garlic, soak in cold water for a few minutes.
•And, a few drops of lemon juice will remove garlic scent from your hands.
Thought for the day: Have you heard about the new garlic diet? You don’t lose weight but you look thinner from a distance!