Rich and Creamy Goodness is Sometimes Needed.
I wanted some shredded red cabbage for a recipe. All good. But after using what I needed, I still had about two thirds of a head of red cabbage on my hands. It was nearing the end of my grocery week and the cupboard was getting a little bare, so I decided to make something filling and substantial with the rest of that cabbage.
I cut it into big thick wedges, spread each wedge with black garlic paste, a little olive oil, salt and pepper.
After popping them into the oven and letting them roast until they’d become a little charred and had started to soften, I was ready to get on with the rest of the dish.
I stirred some lemon zest, fresh thyme leaves, salt and pepper into heavy cream and poured half over the cabbage. I then sprinkled on a couple ounces of aged white cheddar cheese, dotted it with a little butter, and then repeated with the rest of the cream, cheddar and butter. Back into the oven it went.
While it was baking, I browned panko crumbs in butter and quite a few minced anchovies. When the browned and bubbling gratin came out of the oven I let it sit for a few minutes, sprinkled those crispy breadcrumbs on top and served it up. We ended up eating this with only an apple salad and a light dinner roll as accompaniments. It was so luscious we didn’t need anything else. When I serve something this rich, I want it to take center stage, so I keep everything else on the lighter side. This ended up being even more delicious than I’d envisioned.
Black Garlic from Soul To Belly
I’ve been singing the praises of black garlic for awhile now and I apparently came to the attention of a very nice couple, Senya and Victoria Laryguine, who own a company called Soul to Belly. They produce a line of black garlic products. One of the products is simply Black Garlic Paste. Nothing more. No additives or preservatives. Just garlic, which they ferment themselves. Senya asked if he could send me 3 of their products and get my opinion. I was more than happy to oblige.
Well, here’s my very honest opinion. The paste is outstanding. The long fermentation is very evident in the end result. It is deeply flavored, sweet, and full of black garlic funkiness. I also really like having it in a paste format. It makes it very easy to measure and use. Besides using it in the red cabbage gratin, I also used it in a compound butter that I made to go with some lamb chops.
I’ve also been very pleasantly surprised by the Black Garlic Seasoning Salt, which again contains nothing more than kosher salt and black garlic. It has a gorgeous flavor, but also a very pleasant unexpected result. I’ve used it several times now on simply prepared steaks and pork chops. Each time I rubbed it onto the meat right before searing it in a cast iron skillet. I’m assuming that due to the caramelized sugars in the black garlic, it enhances the Maillard reaction when browning my meat. I had more crust development than I’ve ever had in the past and I couldn’t be happier with the results.
I’ve only had the opportunity to use the Black Garlic Ultra Powder in a couple of instances so far and have found it to also be excellent. It’s much more nuanced than normal garlic powder because it contains 3 ingredients: garlic powder, roasted garlic powder and black garlic powder.
This is a small family business that I’m happy to support and encourage you to visit their website at www.SoulToBelly.com. Their prices are very reasonable. Senya was kind enough to offer me an affiliate fee for any purchases made from my recommendations, but I didn’t feel it was necessary. His products are excellent and I’m proud to recommend them on their own merit. So, if you should find yourself interested, please check them out.