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Make it Garlic Tonight

July 31, 2013

Cal Dining chefs Ida Shen Mary Ferrer made an appearance at the Gilroy Garlic Bowl last Friday and went head to head (Iron Chef style) with San Jose State and Fresno State in a nerve-wracking, garlic-infused recipe competition. They were given one hour to cook up two dishes (each containing at least six cloves of garlic) in front of a live audience, at which point the judges tasted the fare and declared a winner.

Ida and Mary didn’t take home the big award, but the dishes they cooked up looked pretty good. Being the culinary-minded folk that we are here at California, and considering that it is close to dinner, we decided to use our powers for good and procure the recipes. These are a little ambitious, but if you rush off to the market, get the stuff home, and start chopping right away, you just might get dinner and dessert on the table sometime tonight. Late tonight.  Like they do in Barcelona.

Halibut with Summer Vegetable Hash, Bacon, Garlic Nage, and Toum (A Lebanese Garlic Mousse)

Summer Vegetable Hash:

2 medium zucchini

1/2 yellow onion

1/2 fennel bulb

2 stalks celery

2 medium carrots

2 medium red or Yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed but not peeled

2 ears sweet yellow corn (remove kernels from cobb)

2 large cloves minced garlic

3 TB clarified butter

1 TB chopped parsley

1 TB chopped fennel fronds

Salt and pepper to taste

1. Dice the first 6 ingredients (zucchini, onion, fennel, carrots, celery, and potatoes) into 1/2” x 1/2” cubes. Set aside.

2. Heat a large, non-stick sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the clarified butter, then sauté onions and garlic until translucent.

3. Add the potatoes and sauté for 3 minutes, using a flat spatula to keep the potatoes from sticking to the pan.

6. Add in the carrots, celery, and fennel, and sauté for an additional 5 minutes.

7. Add the zucchini and corn; finish cooking for an additional 5-10 minutes or until heated through.

8. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

9. Finish off with the chopped parsley and fennel fronds.

Garlic Nage:

4 cups chicken broth

2 oz. of lean slab bacon

1/2 cup dry white wine

1 small bay leaf

5 cloves garlic

1. Combine all the ingredients into a 2-quart pot and simmer while making the hash and fish.


1 cup fresh peeled garlic cloves

4 cups (1 quart) canola, grape, or safflower oil

1 tsp. Kosher salt

2 lemons, juiced (about 1/3 of a cup)

1. Transfer the cloves to a food processor with the Kosher salt.

2. Pulse the cloves until they are finely minced, scraping down the bowl at least twice before starting.

3. With the blade running, add 1/4 cup oil by droplets then a thin stream for the emulsification process to begin (you want the garlic to start to turn a creamy white). Follow with 2 teaspoons of lemon juice.

4. Repeat the process over again with another 1/4 cup of oil, followed with 2 teaspoons lemon juice until all the juice and oil are used up and the mixture is light and fluffy.

5. Cover mixture with a damp cloth and lid. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. (You will have A LOT left over, however, the ratio of product is needed for the process to work. Share the Toum with all of your garlic loving friends.)


6 – 6 ounce halibut filets  (or any firm, white fish such as tilapia, snapper, or cod)

Salt and pepper to taste

2 TB clarified butter, or canola oil

1. Season halibut filets with Kosher salt and black pepper.

2. Heat a large non-stick sauté pan over medium-high heat.

3. Add the clarified butter or canola oil and the fish filets to the pan.

4. Cook the filets for 2-3 minutes on one side. Turn once and cook for another 2-3 minutes until fish flakes easily with a fork. Remove from pan, keep warm.

To Plate:

1. In a shallow soup bowl, place one cup of the hash in the center. You may choose to use a ring mold to shape the hash into a perfect circle.

2. Ladle a scant 3/4 cup of the nage around the hash.

3. Top the hash with a piece of fish.

4. Top the fish with approximately 1-2 teaspoons of the Toum (depending on how much you like garlic!)

5. Garnish with chopped parsley and a fennel frond.

6. Serve with additional Toum on the side and crusty sourdough bread or toasted baguette slices.

Dessert: St Joseph’s Pastry with Garlic Almond Brittle

Makes at least 20 small puffs and 12 medium puffs.


1 TB finely chopped rosemary

1 tsp. chopped fresh lavender flowers (optional)

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup water

4 TB (1/2 stick) butter

3/4 cup toasted sliced almonds

1 large clove garlic, sliced paper-thin

Have ready: sheet pan lined with parchment or Silpat mat.

1. Have all ingredients ready and placed by the stove before you begin.

2. Add the water into a two-quart pot.

3. Add the sugar into the middle of the pot, being careful not to get any crystals on the side.

4. Using the tip of a knife or a chopstick, slowly draw an “X” in the sugar in order to draw the water into the center of the sugar.

5. Heat over high heat until the sugar starts to caramelize. Do not stir the sugar until it has completely melted and granules are no longer visible.

6. When the sugar starts to turn color, keep stirring with a high temperature spatula until it is a medium-light amber color.

7. Add in the butter, then remove the pot from the heat.

8. Stir constantly until the butter is melted, then add in the almonds and the sliced garlic.

9. Once the mixture has been thoroughly incorporated, carefully pour it onto the lined sheet pan.

10. Spread the mixture to an even 1/4” thickness.

11. Immediately sprinkle on the rosemary, sea salt, and lavender.

12. Let cool for at least 45 minutes.


1 LB fresh whole milk ricotta

1 tsp. finely grated orange zest (use an organic orange)

1/4 cup powdered sugar

2 small cloves garlic, finely grated, preferably over a micro plane

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped (yields about 1 cup)

1/4 cup powdered sugar

1 cup chopped almond brittle

1. Combine the first four ingredients in a large bowl.

2. Mix well, taste, and adjust for garlic and sugar.

3. Whip the cream with the second 1/4 cup of powdered sugar.

4. Fold the whipped cream into the ricotta mixture.

5. Keep chilled until ready to serve.

6. Fold the almond brittle into the cream right before filling.


1 cup all purpose flour

1 cup water

8 TB (1 stick) butter

2 cloves garlic

1 TB sugar

1/4 tsp. salt

4 large eggs

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2. In a large pot, bring water, garlic, and butter to a rolling boil.

3. Remove the garlic after 1 minute.

4. Stir in flour, sugar, and salt until the mixture forms a ball. Transfer the dough to a large mixing bowl. Using a wooden spoon or stand mixer, beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each.

5. Pipe or drop by tablespoonfuls onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.

6. Bake for 10 minutes in the preheated oven, until golden brown.  Then reduce heat to 325 and bake for another 10 minutes. Centers should be dry.

7. Let cool.

To Serve:

1. When the shells are cool, fill the shells with the ricotta mixture by either piping directly into the puffs or splitting them in half and filling them.

2. Dust with powdered sugar and garnish with lavender flowers.

3. Crack the brittle into 2” pieces and serve with the puffs on the side.

— Nicole Grant Kriege

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