Intro by Zack: Tincho does a great job explaining how we met in his post. We became running buddies at work and our friendship took off from there. His excitement for life is apparent in his post below. He gave me a jar of this awesome caramelized garlic. I couldn't contain myself and would sneak over to the fridge to eat these straight out of the jar!
Degree of difficulty: Easy
Degree of difficulty: Easy
Time: 40 minutes to prepare the garlic, 10 minutes for the bruschetta
Serves: ~10 as an appetizer
I realised that I need to start my recipe with an Introduction. I’m afraid I don't have a funny one like the Bang Bang Shrimps (my introduction to this blog) but I will try something to capture the attention of the Koulermos family.
I met Zack thanks to our Johnson & Johnson Running Team in Brussels and I suddenly realised how enthusiastic he is with…. well, everything haha. We shared trainings, races (where I also met Lauren - another super enthusiastic person), beer tasting, photography, cycling and yes, cooking. I must admit that I was more on the ‘learner’ zone while Zack looked like a pro in most of the areas. I can still kick his ass drinking beer and doing long races like a marathon :)
Anyway, during the discussion of what to cook for his farewell, he mentioned the famous Bang Bang Shrimps, and the blog. I was like WTF are the Bang Bang but after tasting them, I can say that I agree with Justin (or whoever he is) that they are as good as sex. I even did it for Christmas and they were a unique success.
So, Zack showed us (the A team of running that includes Noemi and Dominika - two ladies also eager to take most of life and who also did the Amsterdam Marathon with me) the blog and encourage us to participate… and I thought about my Classic Garlic Bruschetta.
I love this appetizer since the Garlic can be stored in a jar in the fridge and use it to welcome guests anytime. And the combination of flavours gives a lot with such a little effort. I took this recipe from a magazine and I’ve been cooking it for the last 3 years.
So here we go… hope you enjoy it.
1) 1kg of garlic cloves peeled off like Mama Tommy’s logo (this is the only challenge of the recipe - see below (*1) )
2) 250 gr. of black sugar. (I reinforced ‘black’ since it is not brown. This is the secret ingredient and I could not find it in Brussels so I was shipping it from Buenos Aires :))
3) 200 ml of balsamic
4) 200 ml of soy sauce
5) Thyme - as much as you like
6) Rosemary - as much as you like… again
7) Olive oil - see quantity below
PS: I usually prepare less than 1kg of garlic since it could be too much but up to you
OK, hands on work. But referring to the challenge in (*1), your first question could be “how in earth am I going to peel such a quantity of garlic?”. First time I did it, I followed the traditional way of peeling the cloves one by one. It took me ages and it was not fun at all. But don't worry, there are solutions for everything. Thanks to sharing this recipe with other friends, one of them found an interesting technique of peeling them in seconds. Yes, it is not a typo, it is seconds. Even my Mom (an experienced cooker) did not believe me, but it amazingly works and adds some fun to the cooking and a lot of noise !! Be careful with your neighbors.
In a nutshell, you just need to put the garlic into two metal bowls and shake them hard. No, Justin, I am not taking about Bang Bang Shrimps or sex :)
And now? The easy part.
Once the noisy experience is completed, just put the peeled garlic in a pot with the rest of the ingredients and cook them at a low fire. Olive oil is just to make sure you cover the surface of the garlic. Thyme and Rosemary at your own taste. I use a lot since it does not harm.
Approximate time of cooking is 30 minutes.
Cook them until the garlic is tender (see pic). Let them cool down and save them in jars in the fridge as shown below.
1) Bread for bruschetta (we call it ‘country bread’ in Argentina but I think Cottage Loaf is the same)
2) Roquefort cheese
4) One clove of uncooked garlic (not the same one as above)
5) Olive Oil
6) And the Caramelised Garlic, of course :)
First thing is to slice the bread, use the uncooked garlic to scrape it in the bread and pour a little bit of olive oil on it as well. Then cook it in a very hot oven to make them crispy.
While waiting the bread, start cutting the cheese in cubes. Do the same with the caramelised garlic. Wash and cut some rucola.
Once the bread is ready, add the rucola, the cheese and the caramelised garlic (in this order) as you can see below. Spread some of the liquid in the jar on top for more sweet flavour and Voilá!
Ps: Ok, not my best pic here I must admit. It is the second round. I was so excited serving this during Christmas that I forgot to make the official picture of the first round that was looking much better :)
Enjoy it and thanks to Zach for encouraging me to take pics while cooking and write this down. It was a lot of fun!
Suggested soundtrack: Blackbird Album - Fat Freddy’s Drop