Gourmet Style: Garlic Crack

So I know what you’re probably thinking, how can you take a boring and unheralded staple like garlic to the next level. Well my friends it is possible with some time, dedication, and careful attention. As fate would have it, a family trip to a local farm netted me a half-dozen heads of choice heirloom elephant garlic instantly slated to become the gourmet seasoning I like to call Garlic Crack…

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You’ll need a few tools; garlic-press, knife, mortar & pestle, sieve; the most critical being a food dehydrator with a puree tray. I had attempted this in a conventional oven and ended up with a roasted garlic powder that was awesome in its own right but not what I am presenting here. Start warming up your dryer while you are doing the prep work, I shoot for 115F(45C).

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You will have to peel all those cloves but leave the ends untrimmed for now. When garlic is crushed or cut it begins to undergo a chemical reaction that activates the flavours. We are going to be taking advantage of that reaction in a controlled fashion soon…

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If you are using elephant garlic you will probably have to cut those mutant-sized cloves down to size to get them into the press. From the time your first clove is cut you are going to want to work quickly so make sure you are methodical and prepared before chopping…

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Press the garlic directly on to the warmed tray reserving the left over pomice(the fibrous remains) in a bowl, work quickly…

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Before you are even finished the virgin-pressing you will notice a powerful smell of garlic(get used to it) and the colour will shift from off-white, through yellow, and into greenish tones. This means you’ve successfully reacted the garlic. If I were producing a ultra-premium product for sale I would stop here, but it’s sort of a douchebag move to go all-local farm-to-table style just to waste the better part of the mass, so we will move on to that reserved pomice…

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The pomice will also have begun to undergo the reaction, though to a lesser extent than the virgin-pressing rich in volatile oils. To get the most out of this lower-grade material you will need to chop it a finely as possible so get with the machine-gun stacatto and mince dat…

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This second-press is going to form the bulk of our finished powder so get it up on the dryer and put the lid on. For the first time in a while you can stop rushing a take a break…

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Now the waiting game begins, this stage is going to take one-to-two days. While it is possible to under-dry it, it isn’t really possible to over-dry something so don’t rush it, just let nature take it’s course…

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The fully dried product is the reason I call this crack. It will be a dark golden orange-yellow colour, rock-hard and completely stuck to the tray. Use a metal implement to carefully scrape and pry it off. Load it up into your stone-mortar…

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How you process it is up to you really, but I like to produce both fine powder and granules. I gently crush the crack with the pestle and run it through my sifter cup to isolate the powder and reduce the chunks into a more uniform size, it takes many cycles of this process…

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The finished product in whatever form will smell more powerfully of garlic than any commercial spice. The flavours are not overpowered with hot allium but come in delicate layers. Once you start using it in your cooking you will quickly find that like it’s illicit namesake, it’s highly addictive…

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