Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Homemade Roasted Garlic Salt


The year before last, my aunt gave me homemade garlic salt for Christmas. I found a variety of uses for it right away. I didn’t have garlic powder at the time, so I often substituted it for garlic powder in a recipe and then eliminated the salt from the recipe. The garlic salt was so delicious that when I ran out late last year, I asked my aunt for the recipe so I could make more.

Now that we’re almost four months into 2014, I finally got around to making a batch of roasted garlic salt, and thought I’d share with all of you! 



Roasted Garlic Salt

(recipe given to me by my aunt)

Ingredients:

About one cup of salt
One head of garlic
A few drizzles of extra virgin olive oil

Directions:

1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Place an entire head of garlic on a piece of foil, and drizzle oil over it, making sure every part of it is covered. Wrap the foil around the head of garlic. The foil should cover the garlic completely.

3. Roast garlic in oven for around 40 minutes, and then let cool.

4. Now for the fun part: squeeze the head of garlic into a shallow pan and mix with one cup of salt. Break up all the clumps so you have a relatively even layer of salt.

5. Dry the salt in the oven at 200 degrees F for about twenty minutes.

6. Break up any lingering chunks with a fork.

7. Enjoy!

For a seven step process, I promise it’s easy. Also, I had several mishaps along the way that I wanted to share with you, so you can all laugh at my silliness and avoid those same mistakes yourselves!

For starters, the only salt I had in the cabinet was Sea Salt Crystals from Trader Joe’s. I love grinding spices, but it added time to an otherwise simple recipe, and I definitely did not take the time to grind up an entire cup of salt. So next time I would buy already ground salt from the store. To make matters worse, I opened a new container of Sea Salt Crystals, and found that the lid was not entirely screwed on when I accidentally dumped the contents of the entire vial into the pan and had to try and pick them out. The consequences of this mishap aren't so bad, however; it just means we may have garlic-flavored salt for the next few weeks!

Also, although I am far from living a life of ambidextrous bliss, I realized that I grind my spices left handed. I guess I ought to thank my ten year old self, who practiced writing in cursive left-handed every few months in an attempt to magically become ambidextrous.

On to roasting tips: I roasted my garlic head for 50 minutes, wanting to ensure that it was fully roasted. This is a general failure of mine: overcooking food. After 50 minutes, some portions of the head had blackened. I think 40 minutes would be the perfect amount of time to cook the garlic head, but everyone’s oven varies. I was still able to use most of the garlic even after 50 minutes, however.

It already looks delicious!
Squeezing it out was way too much fun! I didn't realize the garlic would squeeze out like frosting, and of course had to touch it and mix in the salt by hand at the beginning. I lost salt on my hands that way, however, and switched to a fork so I wouldn't lose any more of my precious hand-ground salt.

There were a few things I did right: I used an 8x8 glass Pyrex pan to mix the salt up so I could then put it directly in the oven. This worked for my amount of salt, but I think a 9x13 would work better if you used the whole cup of salt, as I could not.

I’m excited to use my garlic salt! Thanks, Aunt Cynde, for the recipe!

Have you ever made flavored salt before? Tell me if you try out this recipe!

Hobbes trying to pretend she's comfortable.
I can’t resist including this picture of Hobbes...she got herself shimmied into a position that did not look comfortable at all, but true to cat nature, remained in the uncomfortable position with a wry expression on her little face. Of course she helped during the salt-making...whenever I’m in the kitchen, she thinks it must be for her benefit, even though I feed her at the same two times every single day.

Here she decided to be cute again!

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