Monday, June 14, 2010

Guarded by Garlic

So did you catch the True Blood Season 3 premiere last night??? It was awesome! Fabulous bloggers, Wendy and Stacy, came over to hang out and to watch the awesomeness unfold. Even more awesome? Wendy brought me my new stake necklace just in time to wear at our personal premiere party! She revealed the new necklace design just in time for the show. (I love that the photo of Eric on her blog features him wearing a similar necklace.)

I didn't really plan my True Blood menu (at all), so the only thing linking the recipes below happens to be garlic. It's in everything. (Sorry, ladies. I hope peeps didn't have to move far away from you at the gym today!) According to folklore, garlic was used to keep vampires away. According to Google, it repels mosquitos. But after watching last night's episode, we'd really, really rather not keep Vampire Eric away.

Garlic Bread

(Adapted from Food & Wine)

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
6 large garlic cloves, thickly sliced (about 1/4 cup)
4 thyme sprigs
1 rosemary sprig
Coarse sea salt
1 baguette, halved and split lengthwise
Pimentón de la Vera (smoked Spanish paprika), optional

1. Preheat the broiler. Heat the butter and oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, thyme, and rosemary and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is softened and lightly golden, about 10 minutes. Discard the herb sprigs. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the garlic and any loose herbs to a small bowl and mash to a paste. Season the garlic-herb paste with salt.

2. Spread the baguette with the garlic-herb paste, brush with the melted butter left in the skillet, then sprinkle with salt. Season lightly with smoked paprika, if using. Broil the bread for about 1 minute, or until sizzling and browned. Serve hot.

Eggplant, Garlic & Feta Dip
(Adapted from Food & Wine)

2 (1-pound) eggplants
3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 large garlic cloves, minced
Salt and freshly ground pepper
4 ounces feta, crumbled (about 1 cup)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Pita chips

1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. On a baking sheet, roast the eggplants, turning once, until they are very soft and blackened, about 1 hour. Let cool.

2. Cut the eggplants in half lengthwise. Using a spoon, scoop the pulp into a strainer. Let drain for 10 minutes, shaking the strainer occasionally.

3. On a work surface, finely chop the parsley with the garlic. Transfer the eggplant pulp to a food processor and pulse until chopped. Add three-fourths of the parsley mixture, and season with salt and pepper and pulse just until blended. Transfer the eggplant to a bowl and stir in three-quarters of the feta and 2 tablespoons of the oil. Sprinkle with the remaining parsley mixture and feta, drizzle with the remaining olive oil and serve. Serve with pita chips or crusty bread. Makes about 2 cups.

Mediterranean Couscous and Lentil Salad
(Adapted from Gourmet)

1 cup lentilles du Puy (French green lentils) or brown lentils
3 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
1 1/4 cups water
1 cup couscous
1/2 teaspoons salt
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large garlic clove, minced and mashed to a paste with 1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh mint, parsley, or basil leaves (or a mixture of all)
2 cups vine-ripened cherry tomatoes, halved
4 ounces feta, crumbled (about 1 cup)

1. In a small saucepan, simmer the lentils in water to cover by 2 inches until tender but not falling apart, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain well. Transfer the hot lentils to a bowl and stir in 1 tablespoon of the vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Cool the lentils completely, stirring occasionally.

2. In a saucepan bring the water to a boil and add the couscous and salt. Remove the pan from the heat and let the couscous stand, covered, 5 minutes. Fluff the couscous with a fork and transfer to a large bowl. Stir in 2 tablespoons of the oil and cool completely, stirring occasionally.

3. In a small bowl whisk together the garlic paste, remaining 2 tablespoons vinegar, remaining 3 tablespoons oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir the lentils and dressing into the couscous. Chill, covered, at least 3 hours and up to 24.

4. Just before serving, stir in the remaining ingredients and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serves 6.


WendyB said...

Thanks again for the great night. And yeah...we should only use garlic to keep Kelly Bensimon away. We can sprinkle ourselves with TruBlood to get Eric to come closer.

Tina said...

Ha! Totally!!!

Jennifer said...

Everything looks amazing. You can't keep me away from your amazing dishes!