Food & Drink Magazine

Black Garlic and Cheesy Smash

By Mariealicerayner @MarieRynr
 Black Garlic and Cheesy Smash
I was recently asked if I would like to try some Basaljo Black Garlic.  I quite like garlic and I was immediately intrigued . . .  black garlic. It sounded quite interesting!  I was game to try it! I like to try new things (within reason) and from what I had read about black garlic, it sounded like something we would enjoy.
Black Garlic and Cheesy Smash 
So what exactly is Black Garlic?
From Wikepedia:  Black garlic is a type of "caramelized" garlic (in reality, browned by the Maillard reaction rather than truly caramelized) first used as a food ingredient in Asian cuisine. It is made by heating whole bulbs of garlic (Allium sativum) over the course of several weeks, a process that results in black cloves.
The garlic came, already peeled in a plastic pot. It looked a bit like garlic clove shaped black jelly babies. It was soft and slightly sticky.  I tasted a small one just to see what it tasted like.  It was only slightly garlicky, very mellow with an almost fruity balsamic quality. I could not wait to use it.
Black Garlic and Cheesy Smash  
One of my first thoughts was that it would be fabulous in a vinaigrette salad dressing.  Possibly a salad with earthy baby  greens and some beetroot, and so that is what I used for the salad. I added some leftover roast chicken and green peas. 
Black Garlic and Cheesy Smash 
I left the dressing pretty basic as I wanted to highlight the flavor of the garlic.  It was basically just a good olive oil, along with a touch of Dijon mustard and some good balsamic vinegar and seasonings, which I felt would go well together with the garlic. I blitzed it in my small food processor and was well pleased with the resulting almost amber coloured silky dressing. 
 Black Garlic and Cheesy Smash 
It was slightly pungent, but not in a bad way. We really, really liked it.  I think this dressing would be beautiful drizzled over some grilled salmon, or even brushed on the salmon prior to grilling, or even some good cod. I think it would also serve as a great marinade for beef or pork, or even lamb.  I am going to try that in the summer for  BBQ season!
Black Garlic and Cheesy Smash
*Black Garlic Vinaigrette*Makes 225ml (1 cup)Printable Recipe 
A delicious vinaigrette for use with salads or marinating meats. 
6 peeled cloves of black garlic65ml good quality balsamic vinegar (1/4 cup)1 tsp good Dijon mustard1/2 s each salt and sugar1/4 tsp ground black pepper180ml of good quality olive oilPlace the garlic, vineger, mustard, salt, sugar and pepper into a blender or the cup of an immersion blender.  Blitz until smooth.  With the motor running, drizzle in the olive oil until completely imulsified.  Store in a jar in the refrigerator.
Black Garlic and Cheesy Smash  
The next thing I did was to use it in some mash. We love our mash and are very fond of roasted garlic mash.  (We are fond of roasted garlic anything!)
Black Garlic and Cheesy Smash 
My primary concern was about the color.  I was a bit worried that it might tint the potatoes a funny colour, the idea of really black potatoes did not appeal to me.  
Black Garlic and Cheesy Smash 
I wanted to make sure that the garlic was really smooth before I stirred it in, so I did what I do with normal garlic.  I mashed it together with some sea salt. The sea salt helps to break it down really fine and also adds flavor to your potatoes. You won't need to add anymore salt.
Black Garlic and Cheesy Smash 
We have really good new potatoes coming out now.  They are sweet, but waxy in texture so not really great for mashed potatoes, but work great for smashed potatoes!  You can peel or not as you wish. I chose to peel this time around.
Black Garlic and Cheesy Smash 
I used quite a few cloves of the black garlic, six altogether, and I added some grated strong cheddar.  We got some really great cave aged cheddar the other day and the two were begging me to use them together.  What a fabulous result!  I could have easily sat down and eaten a bowl of this Black Garlic and Cheesy Smash all on its own with nothing else at all.  It was fabulously delicious!  A new favourite!
Black Garlic and Cheesy Smash 
*Black Garlic and Cheesy Smash*Serves 4 - 6Printable Recipe If you have never tried Black Garlic, you are missing out on something really special.  It has a sweet taste that is mild and very moreish. It goes wonderfully with potatoes and cheese. 
1.5kg waxy new potatoes (about 3 pounds)225ml cream225ml whole milk3 TBS butter6 cloves of black garlic145g strong cheddar cheese, grated (5 ounces)fine sea salt and black pepper to taste 
Peel the potatoes, halve and cover with lightly salted water.  Bring to the boil and cook until tender.  Warm the cream, milk and butter together until the butter melts. Mash the cloves of garlic on a cutting board together with 1/2 tsp fine seasalt until the garlic is pureed. Drain the potatoes well and return to the pot. Place over the residual heat of the burner to dry them out a bit. Add te warmed milk mixture and mash together to combine. You don't want it as fine as mashed potatoes. You want some texture. Fold in the cheese and black garlic.  Season to taste with salt and black pepper. 
Note - If you cannot get black garlic, you may use plain roasted cloves of garlic.  It will give you a lovely garlic kick without the umami flavor of black garlic.  Still mighty tasty however.  Do try to get the black garlic if you can however, as it is fantastic!
Black Garlic and Cheesy Smash
Black garlic is sweet meets savory, a perfect mix of molasses-like richness and tangy garlic undertones. It has a tender, almost jelly-like texture with a melt-in-your-mouth consistency similar to a soft dried fruit. Hard to believe, but true. It’s as delicious as it is unique. This is sure to become a pantry staple.
To find out more about Balsajo Black Garlic, be sure to check out their website
Balsajo Black Garlic is available from www.balsajo.com and any good independent farm shops, fine food shops and delicatessens.
 Balsajo Black Garlic One Large Bulb - £2.99 from Sainsbury’s ·   Balsajo Black Garlic Peeled pots 50g (£4.49) or 150g (£11.99) ·   Balsajo Black Garlic Black Garlic Paste for 100g jar - £6
Many thanks to the people at Balsajo for affording me this opportunity to try something new!  This has become a new favorite item in my kitchen!  I can't wait to see what I can use it in next. There are plenty of recipes and tips on their site.  That Black Garlic and Parsley Potato Salad is calling my name!
Note - Athough I was sent some black garlic for free to try out, I was not required to write a positive review.  Any and all opinions are my own.

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