I found a recipe for confit garlic in an issue of Bon Appetit and I liked the idea, but thought using butter as the recipe suggested seemed a bit risky so I did it my own way, with oil.
It still amazes me how different garlic can taste depending on how it’s prepared. I love the sweetness from caramelised garlic and the punch of frying fresh chopped garlic with mushrooms for example. The confit garlic is somewhere in between the two; it’s less sweet than caramelised garlic but a lot softer in flavour than raw. I used the confit garlic to make garlic bread and it was, as I suspected, absolutely delicious!
Why not try wild garlic bread or cheesy garlic bread next?
1 whole garlic
approx 100 ml neutral oil
Pre-heat the oven to 150C. Peel the garlic and place the cloves in a ramekin. Cover with oil. Place in the oven until the garlic is soft, approx 30 minutes. Leave to cool. Remove the garlic. Save the oil for roasting potatoes and vegetables in the oven. Keeps in the fridge.
Confit garlic bread
the confit garlic above
100 g salted butter, softened
a bunch of parsley, finely chopped
1 baguette or other preferred bread
Remove the garlic from the oil and mush into the butter. Add parsley and mix well.
Make slits in the bread and spread with the butter. Wrap in tin foil and bake for 10 minutes in 180C until the butter has melted.
Place the remaining butter on a sheet of cling. Shape into a roll and place in the fridge or freezer. Use for garlic breads or as a flavoured butter for fish or meat.
Savoury muffins are great as a snack in between meals or for breakfast on the go, and these lovely ones with sweet potato (the best vegetable there is according to Jamie Oliver!), spring onions, chilli and feta are absolutely delicious!
The recipe is courtesy of Jamie’s latest cookbook, but I have substituted feta for parmesan and white flour for wholemeal. Obviously, the picture above is before they went into the oven; I was so mesmerised by the smell when they were done I just dove straight in and forgot all about photographs. Sorry, but if you make them you’ll understand.
Sweet potato muffins with feta, serves 12
Adapted from Jamie Oliver’s recipe.
600 g sweet potatoes
4 spring onions
1-2 red chillies
3 tbsp cottage cheese
250 g self-raising flour
1/2 packet of feta
Pre-heat the oven to 180C. Line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cases. Lightly wipe each one with oiled kitchen paper. Peel the sweet potatoes and coarsely grate into a large bowl. Trim the spring onions, then finely slice with the chilli and add to the bowl, reserving half the chilli to one side. Crack in the eggs, add the cottage cheese and flour, then finely grate in most of the Parmesan and season with sea salt and black pepper. Mix until nicely combined.
Divide the muffin mixture between the cases. Add a slice of chilli to each one. Bake at the bottom of the oven for 45 to 50 minutes. They freeze well.
Melted cheese. Is there anything more comforting in the world? OK, a hug from a dear one and a warm duvet perhaps. But next up is melted cheese.
If in the mood for the ultimate comfort food (maybe because of a heavy night the evening before or just feeling a bit meh), I have the perfect recipe for you. This grilled cheese is exactly how I want it. Fried bread, melted cheese oozing out on the sides and a little depth from cayenne.
Making something as simple as a sandwich, it’s important the ingredients are of great quality. You want a nice sourdough bread and nice cheeses.
Best ever grilled cheese sandwich, serves 2
4 large white slices of sourdough bread
medium cheddar, coarsely grated
comté, finely grated
small pinch of cayenne
Spread one side of each slice of bread with butter. Place a large heap of grated cheddar on two of the slices, on the buttered side. Add comté and a pinch of cayenne. Place another slice of bread, buttered side down, on top so you have two sandwiches.
Butter one of the outsides of each sandwich and place buttered side down in a frying pan on medium heat. Butter the other side of each sandwich and flip the sandwiches around after a few minutes. Lower the heat if needed. What we want to achieve is melted cheese in the middle and crispy golden bread on the outside. When done, remove the sandwiches from the pan. Add a layer of grated comté to the frying pan and put the sandwiches back in, creating a crispy layer of cheese on the outside of the sandwich. Repeat on the other side. Remove from the pan and cut in half (or four). Enjoy!