Black garlic? The first time I heard it, the first thing that entered my mind was that: isn’t that rotten garlic? Good thing I was wrong, because I just got myself introduced into the wonderful world of what you might call as the next big thing when it comes to spices.
Black garlic is a just like any other garlic. It got its black coloration because it underwent careful fermentation at a high temperature. The result are black-colored cloves, that have a mildly flavorful taste, and a unique aroma that tickles the senses. It is the perfect flavouring for many Asian cuisines that require garlic as an ingredient.
Although it was first introduced by a Japanese researcher about five years ago, the use of black garlic is primarily connected to Koreans. Even so, Korea has only been using black garlic just recently. And it’s only now that the American market developed the taste for such cooking. With the many attributes of it as a health food, Americans are now using black more and more in their dishes.
Now what are the health benefits of black garlic? First of all, it has twice as much antioxidants compared to regular garlic. It also contains S-Allcysteine, which is a compound that has been found to prevent cancer. It also has anti-bacterial properties that help in fight infection and improve immunity. Not bad contents for an herb Taoist’s recognize as a source of immortality.
Now, what kind of dishes can we prepare using black garlic? Here are some of them:
1. Scallops with Black Garlic and Chorizo
A delicious dish that is good for two, a dinner appetizer, or as lunch with green salads. Easy to make, and with an aroma that only black garlic can give.
* 250g small queen scallops (these are sold in the fish counter in supermarkets)
* 50g chorizo sausage – finely diced
* 5 cloves of peeled black garlic – very finely sliced
* Juice of half a lemon
* 1 tablespoon of freshly chopped parsley
* 1 tablespoon of freshly snipped chives
* 1 tablespoon of sherry
* Lemon wedges for serving
1. Pat the scallops dry with a kitchen towel.
2. Heat a large frying pan (no oil) and fry the chorizo sausage for 1 –2 minutes.
3. Add the scallops, sliced black garlic and stir-fry for about 4 minutes or until the scallops are cooked.
4. Sprinkle the parsley and chives into the frying pan.
5. Add the lemon juice and the sherry.
6. Turn up the heat for one minute.
7. Serve immediately with a slice of lemon to squeeze over the top.
2. Mushroom and Black Garlic Risotto
A filling meal that is nice and tasty, guaranteed not just to make you full, but also to make you healthy.
* 1 – 1.3 litres of vegetable stock
* 125g butter
* 4 tablespoons of olive oil
* 1 onion – very finely chopped
* 4 peeled cloves of black garlic – finely sliced.
* 400g risotto rice (Arborio or Carnoli)
* 1 small glass of white wine
* 225g fresh mushrooms – sliced
* 25g Parmesan cheese – freshly grated
* 50g mascarpone cheese
* Freshly chopped parsley – optional
* Truffle oil – optional
* Salt and black pepper
1. In a large pan heat the stock until it reaches simmering point.
2. Prepare the mushroom base. Melt 50g of butter in a frying pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the mushrooms and some salt and pepper. Heat slowly until the mushrooms are cooked.
3. Heat 50 g butter and 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan. Add the finely chopped onion and sweat until soft and translucent. Now add the black garlic. Mix the black garlic into the onion mixture.
4. Now add the rice and stir until well coated. Pour in the glass of white wine. Allow it to reduce until there is no liquid in the pan. Stir continuously.
5. Add a ladleful of vegetable stock, stirring continuously. As soon as the liquid is absorbed add another ladleful of stock and continue this until the rice is cooked. Stir continuously.
6. The rice should be slightly ‘al dente’ but soft and loose. When you are happy with the consistency, stir in the mushroom mixture and the pan juices.
7. Stir in the Parmesan cheese, 25g of butter and 30 – 50g of mascarpone cheese
8. Season to taste with salt and black pepper
Serving suggestion – Stir in some freshly chopped parsley and drizzle with a little truffle oil.
3. Creamy Cheese and Black Garlic Dip
Add a unique twist to your regular cheese dip. Sprinkling a little black garlic in it would make your tacos, enchiladas, veggies, or just about anything way so yummy.
- 1 tub of cream cheese
- 1 small pot of soured cream
- Half to one tablespoon of creamed horseradish (according to taste)
- 2 cloves of peeled black garlic – chopped
- 3 tablespoons of fresh chives – snipped
- Salt and black pepper
Place all the ingredients with the exception of the creamed horseradish and snipped chives, into a food processor. Process until smooth. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Add the creamed horseradish according to taste. Stir in the snipped chives.
These are just some of the things you can do with black garlic. Nice and tasty, it’s guaranteed to make your cooking even more fun. There are a lot of recipes that you can use black garlic with. You can find some of them here.
November 30th, 2010