itsalive

Creamy Black Garlic Potato Soup #sevendaysofsoups

Ingredients:

  • 4-6 medium potatoes, peeled & diced
  • 6 pearl onions, peeled & halved
  • 4 cloves black garlic, crushed
  • 8 oz heavy cream
  • 1 qt vegetable or chicken stock
  • EVOO
  • up to 1C dry instant potatoes (optional)

Instructions:

  1. In a large pot heat a few tsp EVOO over medium-high heat.
  2. Sweat pearl onions until translucent.
  3. Toss in the black garlic & toss until onions are coated & mixture is fragrant.
  4. Add potatoes and toss to combine.
  5. Pour in stock. If it doesn’t cover the potatoes, add enough hot water to cover.
  6. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover & lower to medium heat.
  7. Simmer over medium heat until potatoes are tender, 10-15 mins.
  8. Lower heat & purée mixture with a hand blender until smooth.
  9. Whisk in the cream. *Hint: If at this point you feel that the soup isn’t reaching your desired thickness, you can sprinkle in the dry instant potatoes, a little at a time, whisking constantly until you reach the desired thickness.*
  10. Heat soup gently, over medium-low heat until heated through. Serve with crusty bread.

Need some black garlic? Order 40 day aged Black Garlic from my Etsy shop, Mise en Place Gourmet

Gastro Goodies? Ain’t nobody got time for that!

Want some of the delicious treats you’ve been seeing in my blog in your own mouth? Check out my Etsy shoppe, Mise en Place Gourmet for 40-day-aged black garlic, hand-rolled truffles in 6 flavors, flavor-infused finishing salts, flavored sugars, and more! Hand made by me & delivered right to your door! You definitely have time for that!! 

Pumpkin Spice Kombucha

I know, I know… it’s pumpkin-spice-everything time! But there’s a reason everyone goes loco for all things pumpkin & spice at this time of year… BECAUSE IT’S DELICIOUS! And not to toot my own horn or anything, but this is the tastiest flavored kombucha I’ve made to date. Real talk. Usually, what I do when I’m flavoring kombucha is do all the brewing & fermenting, then after the booch is filtered I will add some frozen fruit & let it sit on my counter in the jar with the lid loosened for another 24 hours. Usually I will end up with some secondary fermentation & a little fizziness. Some of my favorite flavors are peach & basil, black cherry, and mixed berry (cranberries, raspberries, and blueberries).

This kombucha contains actual pumpkin, which is great for your eyesight, reducing “bad” cholesterol, and keeping your skin wrinkle-free! And it’s tasty too!

IMG_0153

I totally agree Charlie!

Pumpkin Spice Kombucha

makes 2 qts

Ingredients:

  • 4 tbsp pureed pumpkin (use canned or make your own)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp ground clove
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmug
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 qts kombucha

Instructions:

  1. In a small bowl combine pumpkin, brown sugar, and spices.
  2. Pour kombucha into a large pitcher.
  3. Add pumpkin mixture to kombucha & stir well to combine.

    I used this type of whisk.

    I used this type of whisk.

  4. Pour mixture into two 1-quart jars. Screw lids on loosely. Let jars sit at room temperature for at least 8 hours.
  5. Before drinking you will need to shake your kombucha, as the pumpkin mixture will sink to the bottom.
  6. An alternative method is to place half the pumpkin mixture directly into two 1-quart jars of kombucha, put on the lids tightly & shake well. Then, loosen the lids and allow kombucha to sit at room temp for at least 8 hours before drinking.

Bread Zen

Earlier this week I was feeling some stress. My most favorite stress-reliever is baking bread. Something about working with my hands, dough stuck to all of my fingers, will always bring me to my happy place. Plus, when it’s over: FRESH BREAD! IMG_0153

My go-to is this recipe, and as I am apt to do I made the loaves according to recipe the first time, and played a little the second go-around.

Julia’s White Bread

adapted from a recipe from Baking with Julia

makes 2 loaves

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 C warm water
  • 1 tbsp active dry yeast
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 7 C all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp Kosher salt
  • 2 oz unsalted butter, at room temp
  • EVOO to grease rising bowl

Instructions:

  1. Pour 1/2 C of the water into the bowl of a heavy-duty stand mixer. Sprinkle in the yeast & sugar, whisk to blend. Let the mixture rest for about 5 mins, until it’s nice & frothy.
    IMG_0959

    This is actually the froth with the molasses (darker color).

  2. Using a dough hook, add the remaining 2C of water, & about 3 1/2 C flour to the yeast mixture. Mix on lower speed until combined, then add 3 1/2 C more flour.
  3. Increase the mixer speed to medium, and scrape down bowl & hook as needed until the dough begins to come together.
  4. Add the salt, and knead on medium speed for about 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic.
  5. When the dough is mixed, add the butter, gradually, until incorporated. If the dough, begins to come apart here, don’t fret, keep kneading the dough & it will come back together.
  6. Shape the dough into a ball & place it in an oiled bowl. Make sure it is a large enough bowl, since the dough will double in size. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 1 hour.
  7. Grease 2 standard-sized loaf pans, and set aside.
  8. When the dough has risen you will want to punch it down to release the air, shape it into another ball, and split that in half, shaping each into a round shape with the edges tucked underneath.
  9. Place each loaf in a pan, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to rise for 1 hour a second time. While the loaves rise, preheat the oven to 375F.  IMG_0956
  10. When the loaves have risen, bake for about 40 minutes until they are honey-brown and make a hollow sound when tapped.

Changing it up:

When I made my second round of bread, I used 1 tbsp of molasses in lieu of the sugar. It got frothy when mixed with the yeast, so I knew it was good-to-go for the bread rising. I did not find that this addition effected the flavor or color of the bread in any way. Other options to try include honey and agave nectar.

Black Garlic Bonanza! #itsalive

My journey making Black Garlic is complete! It took 39 days to get to earthy, fermenty perfection.

Here’s a recap in case you forgot…

Black Garlic: To Boldly Go… (NERD ALERT)

Black Garlic Update!

Black Garlic: Week One

Here is a photo of my babies at the 20 day mark...

Here is a photo of my babies at the 20 day mark…

The good news, is the garlic odor did not take over my house as I predicted it would… It would get stinky for a few minutes when I opened the crockpot & unwrapped it. My hands would definitely get pretty stinky when I rotated the cloves so the bottom ones would be on top & vice versa.

Here are the cloves in the mini crockpot on Day 39.

Here are the cloves in the mini crockpot on Day 39…

At this point I started to peel the cloves.

Here's a pile of the little wrinkly babies... Aren't they CUTE?

Here’s a pile of the little wrinkly babies… Aren’t they CUTE?

Now, you can keep the cloves intact, throw them in a container in your fridge and use them in the place of regular garlic. I decided to make a Black Garlic paste for various future applications…

Black Garlic Paste

This Black Garlic paste has a salty pungent taste, not unlike fish sauce. Seasoning with salt whenever you cook with garlic is a good idea. I find that the salt “sets off” the flavors in the garlic. That is especially true here.

Ingredients:

  • 2 heads of Black Garlic, peeled
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 2 tsp warm water

Instructions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in food processor or blender.
  2. Process or blend until smooth.
  3. Use sparingly. A little bit goes a long way.

This Black Garlic dip was a big hit at a recent shindig I attended…

Addictive Black Garlic Dip

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz (1 brick) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1 tbsp finely minced chives
  • 2 cloves Black Garlic, minced or 2 teaspoons (not a tsp, the kind of teaspoon you eat with) Black Garlic Paste (see above)

Instructions:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine all ingredients.
  2. Mix using the paddle attachment until combined.
  3. Serve chilled with crackers or chips.

For more fermenty food ideas, check out my Pinterest board, “IT’S ALIVE!!!”

“It’s ALIVE!!” Black Garlic Update: Week One

Here’s a little video-update on my soon-to-be Black Garlic:

Possibly you can’t tell from the video, but there is a VERY STRONG aroma coming out of that mini-crockpot. I imagine it will get stronger as the weeks go on. I ended up changing my mind about using beer as the liquid & instead used some leftover white wine (GASP!) I had hanging around the house. It doesn’t smell winey, and I’m unsure if the wine will end up effecting the flavor.

In case you missed it, and want to join the fun, here’s the recipe

For more fermenty fun, check out my It’s ALIVE!! Pinterest board

“It’s ALIVE!” Part 5: Black Garlic- “To boldy go…”

Black Garlic. It sounds so goth. But it’s supposedly Asian (Korea specifically) in origin and is the next stop on my fermented foods journey. But it’s going to be a long road. According to all the research I’ve done (Thank you Pinterest!) it can take anywhere from 14 to 40 days! And it will possibly stink up my house and need to be moved to the garage or outdoors. But it’s supposed to be healthy and have a rich, layered, smoky umami flavor. How will I know when it’s ready? I have no idea. But here we go!

Mysterious Black Garlic

Ingredients & Equipment:

  • whole heads of garlic (I’m starting with 8 heads)
  • some beer (or wine, or broth, or water even)
  • a rice cooker, food dehydrator, or crockpot that can maintain a steady low temperature
  • some plastic wrap &/or aluminum foil

Instructions:

  1. Do not peel the heads of garlic! In order for the magic to happen, they will need to be intact.
  2. Put the garlic heads in your heating apparatus (I bought myself a teeny, tiny crockpot for this project.)
  3. Drizzle with your liquid of choice. You want to lock in the moisture so your heads don’t dry out and burn. Beer seems the best choice here, for moisture and imparting flavor. I’m using about 1/4 C for my 8 heads of garlic, just enough to moisten the bottom of the vessel.
  4. Cover with plastic wrap or foil or both. I’m putting the cover of the crockpot on there too. I think this is to a) keep the moisture contained and b) to contain the funky smell that’s liable to emanate while the garlic is fermenting.
  5. Keep at a constant temperature of 130F-150F for at least 2 weeks, leaving it in longer will result in a a deeper, smokier flavor.

So it’s working! I will update in 2 weeks, unless something crazy happens before that. In the meantime check out some of the things you can make with Black Garlic on my “IT’S ALIVE!!!” Pinterest board…

Update…

So there is a slight funk of garlic currently lingering in the house. It's not BAD, the kids don't even notice it, but if it gets worse I may have to move this operation to the garage.

So there is a slight funk of garlic currently lingering in the house. It’s not BAD, the kids don’t even notice it, but if it gets worse I may have to move this operation to the garage.