Late season additions

In brewing we talk about the “late boil addition” of something.  Usually with extract brewing in which we boil a smaller part of the full amount of liquid, then add water to the carboy, recipes will require us to add additional extract late in the boil.  Hence my title which, strangely enough, entitles an entry that is not about brewing at all.

I have noticed a lot of garlic at the market of late, and was considering what to do with it.  Put em Up has a few useful recipes.  First, roasted garlic: top the bulbs (cut about 1/3 of the tops off) and drizzle with olive oil, wrap tightly with aluminium foil, and roast in the oven (about 350 degrees) for an hour.  Then pinch out the meat of the garlic when it’s cooled, and freeze or refrigerate.  I put them in a 250ml jar in the freezer, for use later.  If I ever have people over. Which is rare enough.

But what to do with the bits of garlic cut off when I topped them?  Ah, Put em Up has a solution to that: garlic puree.  Basically, add a bunch of peeled garlic to a container, add about half the volume of olive oil, and puree (I used my lovely Kitchenaid stick blender).  Then, put in some kind of container, cover with oil (to protect) and refrigerate or freeze.  Again, I froze it.  This is good for adding to anything that requires garlic.  Like pasta sauce.

I liked this latter recipe because I always find that my garlic, which I usually use for the same things (base in various dishes) end up drying up before I can get through an entire bulb.  This seems wasteful to me.  Having the puree done already means I won’t waste the garlic, and I have garlic at hand all the time (which is another issue; since I always assume I have garlic, when I go to make something and don’t have garlic, I’m screwed.)

Frozen garlic. the puree was not supposed to freeze (due to all the oil) but it did. I'll probably have to add more oil.

The other thing I did was candy ginger.  This is a process from Alton Brown.  It’s so easy, I have already memorized it.  Ready?  here goes:

Take a pound of ginger.  You’re best using the thin skinned, less fibrous version, which I think is Japanese.

Peel it.  Slice it into about 1/8″ slices.

Add it to a pot and cover with about 5 cups of water.  simmer for about 35 minutes or until tender.

Drain, but reserve 1/4 cup of the liquid.

Once drained, weigh the garlic.  Then add to it an equal weight of sugar.  Everyday white sugar.

Return to the pot, adding the reserved water. Cook at medium high, stirring pretty constantly, until the water has evaporated and the sugar has crystallized.  This took about 15 minutes for me, but may be more or less for you.  Remember to keep stirring.

Once it’s all dried up, put on a drying rack and let sit for an hour. Make sure the drying rack is over top of a pan of some sort, to catch all of the lovely gingery sugar that will fall off.

You’re done!  Store in a tightly sealed plastic container lined with paper towel to catch any errant moisture. don’t store in ziploc bags, because apparently they will not can make the ginger squishy.  And save the gingery sugar for other applications, like to put on cookies or in coffee (if you want sweet gingery coffee).

This ginger turned out to be a little blueish when I peeled it, which I think is not a problem. It still tastes fine.

Just a note on this one.  I found this to be a much more intense ginger than the stuff you buy.  I wouldn’t be eating it individually.  But then again, that’s not usually the application for crystallized ginger, is it?

Zeeba thought that the canning was over for the year.

The entire process for me took about 2 hours.  Since I wasn’t canning anything (no boiling water packing) it was easy easy easy.

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About danmalleck

Medical historian and jack-of-all-trades curmudgeon. I tend to ramble about politics, social incivility, and our self-centred culture more interested in buying the next cool ringtone or LED TV than actively engaging in the sorts of discussions and issues that matter. The more opportunity we have to buy more stuff, the less concern there is, it seems, in politics, social justice and let's face it, basic human decency, unless those things actually can save us money or get us more things to show how awesome we are through displaying our material wealth. And I like to brew beer, make cheese, and put food in jars.
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