Thursday, 9 April 2015

Black Garlic and Chilli Butter

We like to get Sous Chef J to try new foods, so when we were sent a bulb of Black Garlic by Sainsbury's we started to think about how to use it in a way he'd like to eat it.  Hitting on the idea of a spicy butter to go with a beef steak, we took a closer look at the garlic.

The Black Garlic bulb is a light rust colour and its outer skin texture resembles tissue paper.  We carefully peeled away part of the outer layer of cloves.  Having taken the cloves off the bulb, some were then peeled (we found starting at the root end resulted in the 'cleanest' way to do this) and that's when the blackness of the garlic was revealed.

The cloves are soft and squidgy feeling...we were careful not to squash them but I did try one.  It reminded me of the cloves of garlic we'd all wait for when my late father used to make a slow cooked one-pot dish called "Chicken with 40 cloves of garlic".  As the name suggests, a chicken was cooked in a lidded casserole with 40 cloves of garlic (unpeeled) and the resulting melt-in-the-mouth middle of the cloves that were squeezed out to be eaten with the chicken were amazing.  The slow cooking had mellowed the garlicky taste and this Black Garlic clove has a similar, less aggressive, taste.

Gathering the very few items needed to make our Black Garlic and Chilli Butter...

4 cloves Black Garlic (peeled)
1/4 teaspoon chilli flakes
50g unsalted butter (softened)

... they were put in a bowl where they were mashed together (our butter had part-melted in the warm Easter sunshine so it looks a bit messy).  The butter was then seasoned with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

By this point the butter was looking quite liquid and needed chilling.  With this in mind we wrapped the butter in clingfilm and made a sausage shape. It was then put it in the freezer to chill.  If we'd had more time, we'd have put it in the fridge to use later.

Having fried our steaks, a ring of butter was cut from the roll, placed on the steak and allowed to melt into a delicious garlicky, buttery, spicy mix.  YUM!   Great to use for speedy BBQ seasoning too.

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