True aficionados refer to something almost metaphysical. They call it “garlic euphoria” and liken it to being drunk or stoned — “but more grounded” as a narrator in Les Blank’s 1980 film Garlic Is As Good As Ten Mothers says.
The modern-day lover of this onion derivative is not alone in heaping praise or respect. I apologetically steal from Wikipedia, which states, “Hippocrates, Galen, Pliny the Elder, and Dioscorides all mention the use of garlic for many conditions.”
My aspirations are more pedestrian. Rather then deify this stinkin’ little bulb of a plant I cut it up and use it in my cooking.
A pretty simple approach.
So here goes. A response to many requests for the recipe that launched a thousand bnb frittatas.
cast iron pan
broiler + stove top burner
cutting board, for serving
Two eggs per person plus two eggs on top of that.
Veggies + meat.
* bacon works, cooked and pulled pork works, hand-shredded boiled chicken works.
* a veggie combo such as purple onion, mushrooms, sweet red peppers, zucchini or asparagus works.
Added sun-dried tomatoes can be almost as exquisite as garlic.
Herbs, such as rosemary, basil, cilantro, oregano, thyme.
1. In a mix of butter and olive oil (a tbls each) saute your veggie mix (diced) over high heat until cooked through. The goal is to put a nice seared outer edge of flavor on each diced piece of vegetable. Be sure to add salt to the searing. When cooked, keep ready on a nearby plate.
2. If using bacon, cook over medium-high heat until very crispy. When cooled, crumble by hand or knife into small pieces. Add to the waiting veggie mélange.
3. Crack eggs in a bowl. Add a quarter cup of half and half or milk, and salt. Whisk until incorporated (until the egg whites and yolks have been completely integrated and the color is a uniform yellow…blended you might say).
4. Pour the eggs into a waiting, hot, and with a recently added pad of butter, cast iron pan.
5. Be still. Let cook for about one minute. Then sprinkle in the veggie mix and meat by hand. Distribute evenly. Give the pan another minute of heat before transferring it to the broiler-heated oven. Place on a rack in the middle of the oven. In effect, you are baking the eggs now.
6. After about four minutes move the pan to a rack just below the broiler heating element. This is going to really work on the eggs, puffing them up and also browning them nicely. I usually engage in some back and forth at this point — a little heat on the burner, a bit of time under the broiler element for blackened goodness.
7. Cook until just done (they will cook a bit more on the table) and slide them out on to a cutting board, Cut with the pizza knife and serve.
Sadly, it has taken me nearly four years of cracking eggs to realize garlic was the missing ingredient that took this dish to a higher level.
Not spiritual. Not unique. Just essential.