Monday, January 21, 2013

Recipe: Garlic Wafers

I'm always looking for recipes that feature garlic, not just with garlic as one of many ingredients. I don't exactly remember how I found the following recipe for Garlic Wafers, which are not crackers, but like chips that are totally made from garlic. The recipe (which I first saw printed in The Washington Post) comes from a very famous restaurant in San Sebastian, Spain, which features a fusion of traditional Basque cuisine with a modern presentation. Restaurant Arzak is considered a restaurant worth flying to, but I don't expect that I will ever do that, and now I don't have to do so in order to enjoy one of their popular ingredients/garnish.

'Small is beautiful' here. It takes only a small piece of this Garlic Wafer to wake up a dish or to start a meal as a very small appetizer.  Although I served them as an appetizer topped with just a dab of cream cheese or goat cheese plus another topper, the group actually wanted to taste them completely plain, as a 'chip', and these wafers were also a complete hit just plain and unadorned.

So I encourage you to take the time to make these. Please tell me how you like them and how you use them. This recipe will definitely become a handout at our farmers' market table in 2013. I expect to sell a lot of garlic just to make and enjoy this one recipe!!

Cloves from 2 heads of garlic (about 16 cloves) - peel and carefully trim away the base plate (the end where the root it) and if there are any tiny green shoots inside, trim those out too

Salt - to taste (I used no more than 1/8 teaspoon)

Nutmeg - freshly ground (I used ~1/8 teaspoon)

1). Place the peeled cloves in a sauce pan filled with water (4-5 cups). Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then cook uncovered ~25 minutes until the garlic cloves are very soft. Drain (save the water to cook rice, risotto, or add to soup stock).

2). Preheat the over to 350 degrees at this point. Line a baking pan with parchment paper.

3). Mash the garlic with a potato masher, through a garlic press, or with the back of a spoon into a paste. Add salt and nutmeg.

4). Use a spatula to thinly spread the garlic paste into two swaths about 1" x 10" (very approximate).

5). Transfer the baking sheet to the oven. Immediately drop the oven temperature to 200 degrees. Bake until the garlic is dry, about 45-60 minutes. (I used the convection setting for my oven and the garlic was dry at 45 minutes.)

6). Let the garlic cool completely before breaking into small pieces (15-20).

Serve these flavorful wafers as a garnish any place you would use garlic in a recipe, as a vegetable 'chip', crush and use as a topping to a tossed salad or an encrusted topping on fish, as a small appetizer as I served them topped with a dab of goat cheese or cream cheese from Zingerman's (a local company) plus another food for color, texture, and taste where I used red cabbage sauerkraut from another local company The Brinery, thinly sliced black Kalamata olives, or dried wild blueberries (which was the surprise flavor hit).

Here are the photos:

Photo: Garlic cloves simmering (save this broth!)

Photo: Smashing the cooked garlic (I used a potato masher to start and finished the mashing with a garlic press)

Photo: Garlic wafers spread out and ready to bake

Photo: Garlic wafers, baked, cooled, and ready to break into wafers

Photo: Garlic wafers, baked, cooled, and ready to lift off the parchment paper and carefully break into small wafers

Photo: Garlic wafers, broken up into various sizes

Photo: Garlic wafer appetizers

Photo: Garlic wafers with cream cheese topped with red cabbage sauerkraut, kalamata olive slices, and dried wild blueberries

Photo: Garlic wafers with goat cheese topped with red cabbage sauerkraut, kalamata olive slices, and dried wild blueberries

Seriously, these garlic wafers are unique, fun, easy to make, and delicious! They are more effort than kale chips but wowza!! are they tasty. Kale chips (my favorite) pale in comparison flavor-wise. Give them a try.

This recipe will be handed out by me with enthusiasm when our garlic is ready to market in August 2013. Please let me know how you use these garlic wafers so I can include your serving suggestions on my recipe handout! :)

Cultivate your life - you are what you grow - inch by inch, row by row,

Diana Dyer, MS, RD


Kateri said...

That looks divine! Now to see if I have enough garlic left to make some of this.

Diana Dyer said...

Don't dip into your seed stock, but I hope you have enough to make this special treat without needing to buy 'store-bought' garlic. :)

Love your goats!!

Diana Dyer said...

Ooops!! What I am thinking?? Your garlic seed stock, like mine, is deep in the ground right now. So anything not planted is far game for garlic wafers. :)

Susanna said...

This whole recipe made me so happy to see, and then you topped yourself with the appearance of Zingerman's creamery goods! :)

Diana Dyer said...

Susanna, thanks for reading all the way to the end to see the photos featuring the Zingerman's Creamery products. Spoiler alert - once tasting their freshly made cream cheese simply makes it impossible to purchase 'store-bought' cream cheese. Adding a dab of it to these garlic wafers, even without a 'topper' is just delicious. Come see us when you and Andy come back to A2, pre or post new baby! :)