A Blog Dedicated to All Things Garlic
Happy National Garlic Month!
Garlic is an ingredient that has been used in cooking for centuries, and it’s easy to see why. Its pungent and unique flavor has made it a staple in many cuisines around the world. In April, we celebrate National Garlic Month, a time to appreciate this versatile and delicious ingredient.
Not only does garlic add amazing flavor to dishes, but it also has numerous health benefits. Garlic is known for its anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties, making it a great addition to any healthy diet. It’s also been shown to help reduce blood pressure, lower cholesterol levels, and even help prevent certain types of cancer.
When it comes to cooking with garlic, there are endless possibilities. From classic Italian dishes like garlic bread and pasta aglio e olio, to Asian-inspired stir-fries and curries, garlic can be used in a wide range of dishes. It can be roasted, sautéed, minced, or even used raw in dressings and marinades.
During National Garlic Month, it’s the perfect time to experiment with new garlic-inspired dishes. Try making garlic butter shrimp linguine, garlic herb roasted chicken, or even roasted garlic hummus. Don’t be afraid to get creative and explore the many flavors and benefits that garlic has to offer.
So go ahead and celebrate National Garlic Month by adding some extra garlic to your favorite dishes. Your taste buds (and your health) will thank you!
Stinking Amazing: Garlic Fun Facts
- Garlic is part of the onion family, and is closely related to shallots, leeks, and chives.
- The name “garlic” comes from the Old English word “garleac,” which means “spear leek.”
- Garlic has been used for thousands of years for both culinary and medicinal purposes. Ancient Egyptians and Greeks believed that garlic had medicinal properties and used it to treat a variety of ailments.
- Garlic is rich in vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, vitamin B6, manganese, and selenium.
- The strong odor of garlic comes from a compound called allicin, which is released when garlic is chopped or crushed.
- There are hundreds of different varieties of garlic, each with their own unique flavor and aroma.
Fun Garlic Uses: More Than Just a Vampire Repellent
- Garlic is a staple ingredient in many cuisines around the world, including Italian, French, Chinese, and Korean.
- It can be used to add flavor to a wide range of dishes, including pasta, stir-fries, soups, stews, and roasted meats and vegetables.
- Garlic can be used raw, roasted, fried, or pickled.
- In addition to its culinary uses, garlic is believed to have a variety of health benefits. It may help lower cholesterol levels, reduce blood pressure, and boost the immune system.
While garlic is mainly known as a culinary ingredient, it actually has several unexpected uses beyond the kitchen. Here are a few unexpected uses for garlic:
- Natural Pesticide: Garlic contains sulfur compounds that repel many insects, making it a natural pesticide. You can create a garlic spray by blending several garlic cloves with water, straining the mixture, and then spraying it on plants to repel pests.
- Cold and Flu Remedy: Garlic has antibacterial and antiviral properties, which make it effective in fighting off colds and flu. You can make a garlic tea by boiling several cloves of garlic in water and drinking the liquid.
- Ear Infection Treatment: Garlic has natural antibiotic properties that can help fight off ear infections. You can crush a garlic clove and wrap it in a small piece of cloth, then insert the cloth into the ear canal for a few hours.
- Wart Remover: Garlic’s antiviral and antibacterial properties can also help remove warts. Simply crush a garlic clove and apply it directly to the wart, covering it with a bandage. Repeat this process daily until the wart disappears.
- Odor Neutralizer: Garlic is great at neutralizing strong odors. If you have a smelly fridge or room, you can place a few cloves of garlic in a bowl to absorb the odor.
Garlic’s versatility and natural properties make it a useful ingredient in many areas of life beyond cooking.
Surprisingly Good Garlicky Combinations
Garlic can be paired with many different foods to create delicious and unexpected flavor combinations. Here are a few unexpectedly delicious food combinations with garlic to try:
- Garlic and Dark Chocolate: The earthy flavor of garlic pairs surprisingly well with the bitterness of dark chocolate. Try adding a little minced garlic to your favorite dark chocolate dessert recipe for a unique twist.
- Garlic and Yogurt: The tanginess of yogurt is a great complement to the sharpness of garlic. Try mixing minced garlic into plain yogurt, then using it as a dip for vegetables or pita bread.
- Garlic and Watermelon: The sweetness of watermelon is a surprising match for the pungency of garlic. Try tossing diced watermelon with minced garlic, olive oil, and feta cheese for a refreshing summer salad.
- Garlic and Honey: The sweetness of honey can help balance out the sharpness of garlic. Try mixing minced garlic with honey and using it as a glaze for grilled meats or vegetables.
- Garlic and Pineapple: The sweetness of pineapple is a great contrast to the spiciness of garlic. Try adding minced garlic to a pineapple salsa and serving it with grilled fish or chicken.
- Garlic and Apples: The tartness of apples pairs well with the pungency of garlic. Try adding minced garlic to a warm apple and cabbage slaw for a unique side dish.
Don’t be afraid to get creative and experiment with your own flavor pairings!
Here are a few of our favorite garlic-based recipes to try:
- Garlic Butter Shrimp: Melt some butter in a pan over medium-high heat, then add minced garlic and sauté until fragrant. Add some shrimp and cook until pink and cooked through. Serve with crusty bread for dipping.
- Garlic and Herb Roasted Chicken: Mix together minced garlic, chopped herbs (such as rosemary, thyme, and parsley), olive oil, salt, and pepper. Rub the mixture all over a whole chicken, then roast in the oven until golden and cooked through.
- Garlic Fried Rice: Cook some rice and set aside. In a pan, sauté minced garlic and chopped onions until softened, then add the cooked rice and stir to combine. Push the rice to the sides of the pan, then crack an egg into the center and scramble. Add soy sauce and chopped scallions, then stir to combine.
- Garlic Butter Steak: Sear a juicy steak in garlic butter for a simple and flavorful dinner. Melt butter in a skillet over high heat, then add minced garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the steak and cook to your desired level of doneness.
- Beef Stir-Fry with Garlic: Stir-fry strips of beef with garlic, ginger, and your favorite vegetables for a quick and easy meal. Slice beef into thin strips, then stir-fry in a wok or skillet with garlic, ginger, and vegetables like bell peppers and broccoli.
- Garlic Roast Beef: Rub a beef roast with minced garlic, salt, and pepper, then roast in the oven for a flavorful and tender main dish. Place the beef roast in a roasting pan, then rub minced garlic all over the surface. Season with salt and pepper, then roast in the oven until cooked to your desired level of doneness.
- Beef and Broccoli with Garlic Sauce: This classic Chinese dish features tender beef and crisp broccoli in a savory garlic sauce. Stir-fry sliced beef with garlic, ginger, and broccoli, then add a mixture of soy sauce, chicken broth, and cornstarch to create a flavorful sauce.
- Garlic and Herb Crusted Beef Tenderloin: This elegant dish features a juicy beef tenderloin coated in garlic and fresh herbs. Rub the beef tenderloin with minced garlic, fresh thyme, rosemary, and salt, then roast in the oven until cooked to your desired level of doneness.
- Garlic Lemon Butter Salmon: Season salmon filets with salt and pepper, then cook in a skillet with garlic and lemon butter. This is a simple and delicious way to prepare salmon that everyone will love.
- Garlic Shrimp Scampi: This classic Italian dish is made by sautéing shrimp in garlic butter and white wine. Serve over pasta for a quick and delicious dinner.
- Baked Garlic and Parmesan Tilapia: Season tilapia filets with minced garlic, grated parmesan cheese, and breadcrumbs, then bake in the oven until crispy and golden brown. This dish is easy to prepare and perfect for a weeknight dinner.
Garlic is a versatile and flavorful ingredient that can enhance any dish, whether you’re a professional chef or a home cook. Its numerous health benefits and medicinal properties make it a valuable addition to any diet, and with so many ways to use it, you’ll never run out of creative and delicious ideas. From classic dishes like spaghetti aglio e olio to modern favorites like garlic butter shrimp, the possibilities are endless. So, next time you’re in the kitchen, don’t be afraid to add a little (preferably a lot) of extra garlic. In fact, if any recipe says “Use two cloves of garlic” just burn that book!!