So, there's some special equipment needed for this one: A 9x12-ish stainless steel pan with a shallow, perforated basket and a tight-fitting lid. I got this whole set up at a restaurant supply store for about 30 bucks. I think they call it a hotel pan. The main thing is that the large pan has to be about one inch deeper than the perforated pan so there's room for the wood chips. You'll also need an outdoor gas grill and some wood chips, which are available in most grocery stores.
1. Soak a large handful of wood chips in water (or beer...or wine...) for about 20 minutes. I prefer applewood chips, but hickory imparts a strong wood flavor, which is nice, too.
2. Drain chips and set them in the bottom of your smoker pan. Turn your grill on high. Place the smoker directly over the flame of your outdoor gas grill and leave it alone. After 8 minutes, you will notice lots of smoke coming form the chips. This is a good thing.
3. Lay peeled garlic (or anything else you want to taste smoky, for that matter) in a single layer in the smoker basket and place over smoking wood chips.
4. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and secure with a few bricks. Wait ten minutes. Remove garlic and allow it to cool. Place in an airtight container for up to two weeks.
Smoked garlic is a wonderful addition to the vegetarian pantry because it adds a smoky, hearty flavor to almost anything. The cloves lose some of their garlicky qualities and act more as a vehicle for the smoke flavor. Quite frankly, smoked garlic tastes like bacon. Add it to black beans, grits, carbonara, or chili for a whole new taste experience. One of my favorite things to do with it is to mix one minced clove of smoked garlic with a few tablespoons of mayo, spread it on some bread, and add lettuce and tomato. It tastes like the BLT of your dreams.
What would you do with smoked garlic?