Operation Garlic Thunder

Garlic Thunder

Fresh milled garlic powder and garlicky BBQ rub

That’s right folks, commence Operation Garlic Thunder!

What is Operation Garlic Thunder you ask?  It is the code name for my experimental entity to develop fun, innovative, and perhaps slightly obnoxious garlic products.  The world needs more garlic awesomeness people!  Whether from many of the fabulous local garlic farmers though out the world or the slightly warped inner workings of my mind.  It’s go time.

Although seriously, everyone should have a project with a killer code name?  The benefits are numerous, specifically when mentioned in conversations.

Friend: Hey Ed, what are you up to?

Me: Operation Garlic Thunder

Friend: <insert facial expression of wtf and are you serious>

Friend: What is that?

Me: Just prepare yourself <walks away in mysterious silence>

First up is freshly milled garlic powder.  I just can’t bring myself to buy the garlic powder in the local super markets.  These products are all from China, which irradiates their garlic and you have no idea how long the product has been in storage.  The color, smell, and taste are all inferior to that of freshly dehydrated and milled garlic.  Not being able to find any fresh garlic powder locally, I decided to start to make my own.  Sourcing the garlic locally, regionally, or nationally with in the USA. The results are fantastic – you can’t beat the freshness and stronger flavor.

Next, we combine two of my favorite things in the world – garlic and BBQ.  To quote the Beastie Boys “Slow and low that is the tempo” – especially when it comes to good BBQ.  I love smoking meats at a low temperature for a long time.  BBQ can be very subjective especially depending on where you are from – beef or pork, sauce or no sauce, type of wood used to smoke, etc.  It actually becomes an art form and takes some practice to get the food just right.  This of course leads to tinkering with creating different sauces and rubs for experimental purposes.

We wanted to create a blend that had all the elements to hit the palate – sweet, salty, savory, spicy.  We also wanted it to have a nice undertone of garlic flavor – not to overwhelm the product as a whole but enough to have you garlic geeks nodding your head in approval.

The benefit of Operation Garlic Thunder to you?  Well, we are going to need some volunteers to help with feedback on products!  Read: we send you samples and you give us the low down on what you think.  So if you have not already, sign up for our newsletter and connect with us on social media (twitter, facebook, pinterest, google +) to hear when we need guinea pigs volunteers!

Peace (and garlic)

Garlic Hot Sauce

muy caliente

muy caliente

I am definitely a hot sauce fan.  There are’t many food items to me that can’t be improved with a hit of sriracha or a splash of hot sauce.  I have tried most of the commercial hot sauces and the one I have been digging lately is Frank’s Red Hot Sauce.  Frank’s certainly is not the hottest of sauces on the market but to me, the flavor is excellent.

Looking at the ingredients for Frank’s, it reads: aged cayenne peppers, distilled vinegar, water, salt, garlic powder.  That Frank, I knew I liked him.  Throwing in a little garlic action to his hot sauce concoction.  Internet high five to you Frank where ever you are.

Frank’s has a few simple ingredients, however the one they forgot to list is time.  Frank’s uses ‘aged’ cayenne peppers.  Translation, they mash em up and ferment them for an undisclosed amount of time.  That ‘aging’ process gives the peppers an entirely different flavor profile than what you get with fresh peppers.  The peppers flavor and heat mellow during this fermentation process.

So you know what all this means right?  Yeah, we gotta make our own version of Frank’s hot sauce with a little more garlic kick and minus the pepper fermentation.  Fortunately the local farmers market just so happened to have a nice variety of chili peppers available.  I purchased a nice pint sized basket of devilish looking cayenne peppers.

Couple of notes when handling hot chili peppers:

1. Use latex or culinary gloves when cutting and handling the peppers.  Because if you are like me, you will forget you just handled the hot chili of death and rub your eye.  This will in turn reduce you to a hysterical, profanity laden, moron that is stooped over a sink wildly splashing water into an eye that is 50 shades of Red.  Yeah I’ve done that.

2. When cooking hot chili peppers in a pot full of vinegar it is best not to stick your head over the pot and get a good whiff of what’s cooking.  I learned that one today.

Public Service Announcements aside, lets make us some garlicky hot sauce!

Garlic Hot Sauce Ingredients:

18 – 20 cayenne peppers

1 1/2 cups of white vinegar

1/2 cup of filtered water

5 garlic cloves minced

1 tsp kosher salt

everyone in the pool!

everyone in the pool!

 

Instructions:

Cut the stems off the peppers and then chunk them into big pieces.

Place all ingredients except garlic powder into the pot and bring to a boil.

Turn heat down a little still maintaining a simmer.  Simmer for 20 -25 minutes.

Remove from the heat and let rest for 10 minutes.

Pour into a blender (carefully) and blend thoroughly until thick and smooth.

I like to pour the blended mixture into a canning jar and place in the fridge to let the flavors get all happy together.

You can use the hot sauce as is or strain through a fine mesh strainer for a more liquid hot sauce.

it hurts so good!

it hurts so good!

Next time I am gong to experiment with adding a 1/2 tbl garlic powder when blending the mixture up and up the garlic flava a little more.

Garlic BBQ Sauce

bbq ribs

Ribs lovingly basted in garlicky BBQ sauce….

Barbecue.

If there is  one thing that comes close to my obsession passion for garlic, it’s barbecue.

That barbecue that you only get from going slow and low.  Where slow and low = cooking your meats for a long time at a low temperature.  Rendering the meat moist, succulent, and ridiculously good.  I am talking about ribs, pork shoulder (butt), and brisket.

So my latest mission is to see how I can marry these two passions.  We have been in the double G research and development lab working on how to bring a garlic kick to rubs, sauces,  and injections.  Of course the best part of this research is sampling the goods!!

The Garlic Geek team is mulling over entering a few BBQ contest this summer just to see how we stack up against some hardcore enthusiasts.  We’ll keep you posted when this happens.  In the mean time, here’s a BBQ sauce riff off my friend Melissa’s award winning recipe – Garlicified of course!

Garlic BBQ Sauce
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Kicking up the garlic in barbecue sauce!
Ingredients
  • 3 Tbl Garlic infused olive oil (from garlic confit*)
  • 1 Sweet Onion - diced fine
  • 10 cloves roasted garlic (from garlic confit*)
  • 3 cloves garlic - finely minced
  • 3 Cups Ketchup
  • ½ Cup + 2 T Apple Cider Vinegar
  • ½ Cup Molasses
  • ½ Cup Honey (or Agave)
  • 2 Tbl Worcesteshire Sauce
  • 2 Tbl Soy Sauce
  • ½ Tbl Liquid Smoke (optional)
  • 1 Tbl Cayenne Pepper
Instructions
  1. In a large dutch oven or pot add the infused olive oil and bring up to temperature.
  2. Add diced onions and saute for about 8 minutes.
  3. Add roasted/raw garlic cloves and get them going with the onions.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients and let simmer for about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. I like a little smoother texture in the BBQ sauce so will take an immersion blender and spin it a couple of times at the end.
  6. Get nasty with some que!

* How to make Garlic Confit

Sticker Love

garlic stickers

Rocking some garlic sticker awesomeness!

A few weeks ago, I was thinking about a way to show appreciation to some of our social media followers.  Maybe a fun little item to use in some spontaneous giveaways.  What did I come up with?  Stickers.

I mean who doesn’t like stickers.  I wear them nearly every day – not usually by choice mind you but by the sheer will of a six year old daughter who believes I should wear one….   At all times….

The latest Disney Princess stickers….check.

Hello Kitty stickers…..check.

I am well versed in the application of a nice sticker across arm hair and the subsequent pain with the removal of said sticker.

So I got about 100 stickers made that said “Peace Love Garlic” because that is what life is all about right?  I sent a couple out to some twitter followers that have been interactive on the twitterverse.  We obviously had to send some to the UK rock band The Megadudes since that have a song entitled Garlic Dad (go watch the video now).  We even had a contest on April 19th (National Garlic Day) where we selected three random Twitter followers and sent them a small Garlic Geek gift package that had a couple of the PLG stickers thrown in there.  They loved them!

Big thanks to @GarlicGeeks for sending these lovely stickers. One is going on my guitar for sure. Thanks so much! pic.twitter.com/o2Ofwa8LvN  ~ @TheMegadudes

 

@GarlicGeeks hey guys! stickers came today, most awesome 🙂 one has gone straight in the truck window ~ @totalsoulpatch

 

Thanks for the awesome goodies @GarlicGeeks!instagram.com/p/Y-yg0zvxR_/ ~ @girlichef

 

A couple of folks on Facebook, Twitter, and IRL (in real life) inquired about buying some of the stickers.

Well, we figured – sure, why not?  If you gaze over to the right sidebar of the site you will see the “Peace Love Garlic” stickers for sale.  Shipping is only one dollar US – no matter how many you buy or where you live on this planet.

Look for more sticker options to be available soon!

Garlic Confit

garlic confit

Ladies and gentleman, today we shall discuss confit.  Pronounced con-feeee in your most obnoxious French accent.  Confit is basically a fancy way of saying we are going to slow cook an item in a substance (usually a fat).  For example, duck confit is prepared by poaching a leg of duck in rendered duck fat.  Mmmmm duck fat.

For our garlic confit purposes, we only need two things – garlic and a fat (in this case olive oil).

 

Everyone in the pool!

Everyone in the pool!

The key to this technique is to start slow and low.  Low heat and let the oil slowly heat up and roast the garlic – keeping an eye the color you want the garlic to achieve.  Depending on your tastes, you can let the garlic roast to a light blonde to a nutty golden brown.  I prefer the latter.  Either way, what you will get is garlic awesomeness that can be used in any recipe that calls for roasted garlic.  Mashed potatoes, soups….you name it.

And that garlic infused olive oil that is produced?  Well that is what I call liquid gold.  Nectar of the gods.  The shiznit.   I use that in anything and everything – from pizza dough, to marinades, to my cologne (kidding).

Make up a big batch of garlic confit and it will keep fine in the fridge for two weeks.  Although if you use it as often as I do, it probably won’t last a week 🙂

When you want to get all fancy and impress your friends, next time you make this, throw in a few sprigs of rosemary and meyers lemon slices.  Jar it up and give it to them as a gift.  Trust me you will become known as the ‘confit dealer’.  Play around with different flavor profiles from orange peels to dried Arbol chili peppers.

Roasted garlic awesomeness and liquid gold

Roasted garlic awesomeness and liquid gold

* side note – if you finely mince some anchovies and throw them in the pot you basically have crack bagna cauda.

 

Garlic Confit
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Garlic confit - slow roasting garlic submerged in olive oil.
Ingredients
  • 6 heads of garlic (at least) cloves peeled
  • enough olive oil to cover the cloves
Instructions
  1. Add garlic cloves and olive oil to a pot. Turn burner on lowest setting and slow cook the garlic for about 45 minutes or until your desired color.

 

Garlic Dad – The Megadudes

Megadudes Garlic Dad

You know we like bringing you anything and everything garlic – whether that is recipes, restaurants, gadgets, or any garlicky entertainment. One industry that has a severe lacking of garlic love is the music industry.  Well do I have a treat for you today.  Whilst scouring the interwebs for tidbits of garlic awesomeness I stumbled on the UK based band The Megadudes.  (I love social media)

The Megadudes have a new album coming out called “Will Kill Again” from Kittiwake Records. One of the songs (possibly their debut single) is called Garlic Dad.  Obviously an awesome title name.  The Megadudes unleashed the video for Garlic Dad via twitter:

TheMegadudes: Did we mention we have a brand new video right here? The Megadudes – Garlic Dad#willkillagain #garlicdad http://t.co/VqWIs4veuu

Obviously I was compelled to check it out.

I freaking love the song and video!  The video has that early 90’s retro vibe to it and of course features a little Beavis and Butthead (how can you not like it?).  Garlic Dad flat out ROCKS.  If this song is any indication of the rest of the tracks on their debut album, I can’t wait to hear it.

Keep your eye on these guys.  Enjoy the Garlic Dad video below and hookup with these guys on facebook and twitter.