Tag Archives: roasted garlic

Roasted Garlic Soup, Or, The Passive-Aggressive Approach to Being Left Alone

I have a friend from my former job.

Just one.

Not really. I had more than one.

Anyway, we used to joke that Pacific Northwesterners are about the most passive-aggressive group of people you’ll ever meet. In other words, we’re painfully indirect, we never say what we mean, we sigh and shake our heads and complain behind someone’s back rather than confront them about what’s bothering us, and we have a million little ways of showing you know that something’s not okay even when we say it is.

I don’t know why we do this. The group shrug. Maybe it’s rain-induced. A vitamin D deficiency.

But hopefully we all have a few people that we can be painfully honest with, people with whom it’s safe to say what you feel. For me, Nacho Man is one of those lucky people. Take, for example, this recent exchange.

“What’s this?” Nacho Man asked, peering at something in the refrigerator.

“Garlic soup,” I declared forthrightly.

“Hmm,” he said as he closed the door. “Sounds interesting.”

Do you see what he just did?

But that’s his loss. This soup is wonderful. And it’s just the meal for you if:

1. You’re a busy mom with kids hanging on you all day and you don’t have it in you to tell your significant other, “Not tonight, honey.” It’s a safe word you don’t even have to say;

2. You’re so into Twilight that you’re casting paranoid–I mean rightfully suspicious–glances at your neighbors;

3. You’ve ever stared at a pantry that’s barren except for garlic, onions, and chicken stock and walked away, defeated;

4. You love love love garlic.

Check out the recipe at smitten kitchen, then whip up a batch and savor it for lunch for a few days. This soup is warm, earthy, and garlicky without being in your face.

It’s passive-aggressive that way.

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Baked Potato with Roasted Garlic

It takes a lot for me to get excited about a baked potato. Namely, the toppings. But the sight of a potato being buried alive by butter and sour cream isn’t all that appetizing, either.

And since Nacho Man is at a company softball game, I can eat as much garlic as I want without worrying about any unseemly side effects. So here we go.

Joining me for dinner: one medium Russet potato, one small head of garlic, 1 tablespoon olive oil + more for drizzling, 1/4 teaspoon salt, black pepper, two pieces of aluminum foil, basil, shredded Parmesan cheese, and red pepper flakes (the last three missed the class photo).

I cleaned and started the grill, since it was too pretty outside to turn on the oven.

Scrub the potato well and poke if full of deep holes with a fork. Baked potatoes are a lot fluffier and tastier if you don’t par-cook them in the microwave, but I was pressed for time so I microwaved my potato for about 8 minutes, turning once, until it was slightly soft to the touch, which explains the wrinkled skin. If you’re a purist, you can bake or grill the potato for 45 minutes to an hour. If you were born hungry, you can just microwave the potato until it’s completely cooked. But they’re definitely better cooked start-to-finish on the grill or in the oven.

Definitely.

Tear a piece of aluminum foil large enough to cover the potato. Pour 1 tablespoon of olive oil into the foil, and add 1/4 teaspoon of salt and cracked black pepper to taste.

Roll both sides of the potato in the oil. This baby’s ready to be swaddled, so wrap her up and place on medium heat. Avoid setting the foil directly over the flame.

After about 5-10 minutes, you’ll add the garlic to the grill. In the meantime, prep it:

Trim the top off the head of garlic.

Stand the garlic up in a piece of foil. Drizzle with olive oil; sprinkle a pinch of salt and cracked black pepper over it. Wrap it up and put it on the grill.

On my grill, the potato took approximately 25-30 minutes to finish cooking, while the garlic only took about 15 or 20 minutes. Check both for doneness by poking them with a fork. The potato skin should be crispy but the fork should slide right through it. The same goes for the inside of the garlic. Remove them from the heat.

Keeping a firm grip on the bottom of the garlic head, slide your knife blade along each clove. The roasted garlic should slide right out.

To split open the potato, make a line of fork holes down the potato. Use your thumb and forefinger to squeeze the ends of the potato so that the fluffy insides burst. Safety first–hold onto the foil or use cooking gloves to protect your skin from the heat.


Give each side a little drizzle of olive oil. Rub, mash, and stuff the garlic cloves into the potato. Flavor with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with shredded Parmesan, basil, and red pepper flakes. Or add the cheese and red pepper flakes, wrap the potato up, and put it back on the grill for a couple of minutes. Then, add the basil.

This would also be good with gorgonzola. Or gruyere. Or sharp cheddar and chives. I feel like “The Three Faces of Eve.” Today, the daughter of the Wisconsin farm boy is in control. And she wants cheese.

Baked Potato with Roasted Garlic

Ingredients:

For the potato:

1 medium Russet potato

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for garnish

black pepper to taste

1 tablespoon olive oil

basil for garnish

shredded Parmesan cheese for garnish

red pepper flakes for garnish (optional)

For the roasted garlic:

1 small head of garlic

drizzle of olive oil

pinch of salt

black pepper to taste

Instructions:

1. If grilling, then heat and clean the grill.

2. Scrub the potato and poke the skin with the tines of a fork. Microwave 6-12 minutes, flipping once, or until potato gives slightly to the touch. Or don’t microwave and skip to step 3.

3. Pour 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and black pepper to taste into a piece of aluminum foil large enough to completely cover the potato. Rub both sides of the potato into the oil mixture. Cover with foil and place on the grill on medium heat, away from direct flame.

4. Trim the tops off the garlic head. Place the garlic head on a piece of foil large enough to completely encase it. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover and place on grill.

5. The par-cooked potato will take approximately 25-30 minutes to finish cooking. Otherwise, expect the potato to need 45 minutes to an hour. The garlic will take about 15-20 minutes to cook. It’s done when you can easily insert a fork into one of the cloves.

6. Holding onto the bottom of the garlic head, carefully slide a knife blade along the cloves. They should slide right out of the skins.

7. Make a line of fork marks down the potato. Use your hands to split it open–look out for steam. Drizzle with a little olive oil, if desired. Gently mash the garlic cloves into the potato.

8. Garnish with Parmesan cheese, basil, and red pepper flakes.

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