While working in one of New York’s very popular restaurants, a young chef fresh out of culinary school, eager to make her stamp in an unknown world, only lived through cookbooks, her mother’s recollection of running a kitchen and TV cooking segments willingly learns a lot. For instance, the chain of command, the general order and functions of a commercial kitchen and efficient and creative thinking. The ability to cuss in another language and build my alcohol tolerance was a bonus. As a young chef I learned secrets to finishing dishes–small additives to make food taste exceptionally good. Garlic confit is one of those secrets: a gentle roast… no poach, preferably in olive oil until the two ingredients are transformed into a fragrant almost naturally inevitable marriage of concentrated flavor. I hate to use the term but is this what “food porn” is because that shit sounds sexy as hell.
Today, in my home kitchen, I have garlic confit handy at times. I go through periods where I’m cooking all the time or not cooking at all. I rather turn the raw cloves of garlic into confit than have them suffer to be used.
For lunch, one of the easiest ways I used the confit is on potatoes. A rustic mash of roasted yellow potatoes, butter, garlic confit, salt and black pepper. And Breakfast, I smear the soften garlic on toast and drizzle the garlicky oil on eggs.
1 ½ cups of olive oil
2 cups of garlic cloves, peeled
3 sprigs of thyme
3 bay leaves
Combine all the ingredients in a medium saucepan and simmer over low heat until the garlic is tender but not browned, about 30 minutes. Let cool.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the garlic and herbs to a jar. Pour the cooking oil on top, seal and refrigerate for up to 4 months.