Thursday, May 20, 2010

Smoked Garlic

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?


Sue said...

Those are great instructions! There is a place in Austin that makes smoke-dried tomatoes that are amazing. They are great in quiche, beans, whatever. I like the garlic idea.

Moishe said...

Oh my god, that smoked garlic pizza will be forever imprinted on my tastebuds!!! Thanks for putting this on the blog-I am going to have to make this.

Mel Spillman artwork said...

Smoked garlic would be so good in a gazpacho- perhaps as a garnish with homemade rye croutons.

I loved the instructions too, seems easy enough. Bobby and I have a 1950's brick barbecue grill on our back patio. We have been talking about smoking something on our awesome grill and this sounds like a good first try.

Michelle said...

Have you tried smoking mushrooms? I love the ones at the Republic Cafe and was wondering if they could be replicated at home.


The Chubby Vegetarian said...

Yes you may. Using this same method you can add smoke flavor to anything: mushrooms, peppers, tofu, potatoes. Get creative. Remember that the longer they stay in the smoke the stronger the flavor will be. Sometimes it is nice to give a hint of smoke by only allowing it to smoke for 2 or 3 minutes.

Suzanne said...

I just stepped in from smoking my first ever batch of garlic thanks to your kind guidance. In lieu of the hotel pan I used disposable aluminum roasting pan with a disposable "vegetable grilling" pan stacked and covered with a sheet of heavy duty aluminum.. To my surprise it works fantastically. And is sturdy enough to be used several more times. This smoked garlic has me thinking of all the different dishes I can't wait to try it in. Thank you. I just stumbled onto your blog and think it is fantastic.

Drippin' Sauce said...

I am going to make a production batch (about 100 bottles) of a "Smoked Garlic Ketchup". I made a trial batch that people seemed to love, so here we go.

Just thought readers of this blog might find that interesting.