One of the shows this reporter likes to watch on the LiveWell Network is "Mexico - One Plate at a Time," with chef Rick Bayless. Growing up in California I have always been a fan of Mexican food.
Yet, I must say that watching the show has really expanded my understanding and concepts about the cuisine. Mexican food is much more than tacos and tamales. Bayless features dishes from every region and part of Mexico and one of the things he emphasizes the most is making everything as fresh as possible.
Fresh tortillas, fresh cilantro, etc. He knows all the basics on how to prepare, shop and look for the best and freshest ingredients.
So, when he explained that it was really easy to roast garlic, I paid attention. I consider garlic a very important ingredient in just about everything I cook, no matter what the style of food. Yet, I do find that prep time in the kitchen, especially with garlic can be tedious.
The other day, I decided to roast the garlic just as Bayless instructed on his TV show. It is really very simple.
Take the garlic cloves and place them in a frying pan with little or no oil and just let them roast in the pan over low or medium flame. They will sizzle a bit and when the paper skin on the outside has turned to a golden brown or singed texture, simply peel away the paper skin.
Best to let the pan and the cloves cool first before peeling. The longer the roasting time the softer and more tender the garlic becomes. Be careful not to let the garlic clove on the inside burn.
The aroma of the garlic is delicious, much better than when peeling garlic cloves raw. Bayless then likes to take the soft roasted garlic cloves and put them into a food processor. The cloves them become like a paste and he then likes to stir it into dips and sauces like his Roasted Garlic Guacamole
Such a simple way to deal with garlic, especially those really small cloves that are almost impossible to peel. Yet roasting them, the paper skin slides off easy. But most of all, oh, the aroma and richness of the garlic once it is roasted. Such a simple way to do it too, takes only a few minutes. There really is something new to learn from watching those cooking shows.