Cooking with black garlic
Black garlic is not an ingredient you want to look at too carefully before you cook with it. It's kind of dark, kind of misshapen, and just a bit unusual. However, it's delicious and it can go into just about any dish you'd use regular garlic, but adds a sweetness you won't get from the regular stuff.
Because of its versatility, there is a lot you can do with it. Here are a few ideas to get you started cooking with this unusual ingredient.
First, though, you may be wondering what, exactly, black garlic is. Black garlic starts life as a regular garlic clove and then is fermented either quickly at a high temperature or for a long time over low temperature, until it takes on that black color and gains a syrupy, tangy flavor. The only drawback is that it has only been popular in America for the last 6 years, which means that prices for it are still high — but they are becoming more reasonable.
Do it all with black garlic
Now, what can you do with it? Well, the easy answer is that you can do anything with black garlic that you would do with regular garlic. Because of its sweetness, it will change the flavor of whatever it is added to, but it will still work. However, given its rarity and cost, black garlic is normally reserved for times when it can be the star.
Black garlic paste
One of the most worry free uses of black garlic is to make black garlic paste. Simply take your one or two heads of black garlic, peel the cloves, and mash them on a cutting board with a teaspoon of salt. Take the resulting paste and cover dark meat chicken or pork tenderloin and bake in the oven. The result is a sweet/savory blend you won't find from regular garlic paste.
Also, if you would prefer, simply roast beef or chicken with the cloves in the same pan and you'll get a lot of the same flavor.
Black garlic aioli
Aioli, basically fancy mayonnaise, is traditionally made with garlic that is whipped with olive oil, egg, salt and sometimes an acid of sorts. Simply swap out the regular garlic for black garlic cloves and make the aioli as normal.
Black garlic sauces
A lot of sauces, from hollandaise to cream sauce, can get a flavor boost from black garlic. Just replace the garlic in a given recipe with black garlic (or add a clove or two on your own if the recipe doesn't specify).
Even simple pan sauces are great with it. After you have sautéed the meat, just mince two or three cloves of black garlic and add to a skillet with a tablespoon of flour. Stir for a few seconds until the flour forms a paste and then add a half-cup of beef broth and a half-cup of heavy cream. Bring to a boil, then continue stirring until it thickens. Serve over your meat for a quick flavor kick.
These are just some of the things you can do with black garlic. Start with these ideas and then let your imagination soar.