One of the tips that I teach in every cooking class is how to have fresh chopped garlic at your fingertips at all times. With 22+ years in this biz- this technique is by far my fave and most used…and easiest to boot. Gone are the days of bashing, peeling, chopping and smelly hands. Say adios to the dull, icky citric acid-laden jarred garlic of yesteryear. Press play and spend a few minutes to save you hours over your cooking endeavors!
Fermented Black garlic is sweet meets savory, a perfect mix of molasses-like richness and tangy garlic awesomeness. It has a tender melt-in-your-mouth consistency similar to a soft dried fruit. Not only is it delicious but it has twice the antioxidants of regular garlic and in many Asian cultures is said to promote longevity. it has become quite “en vogue” lately in the chef world to add to sauces, dressings, pastas and much more. I myself have fallen in love with it an found a quick ‘n’dirty way to make my own in under 12 days. I have been making it in my rice cooker and it creates such a lovely aroma that permeates the house…yum! If this is too much for you, the garage is always an option.
Fermented “Black” Garlic
2 – 4 cups peeled garlic, rough ends removed
1/2 cup filtered water
Rice cooker or crockpot
Place the garlic in the cooker and turn it on “warm” setting- you want it to be at about 140 F. Leave the garlic in the machine for about 9-12 days on this constant temperature. Check every few days and stir gently. You are looking for the garlic to first turn a nutty brown color and then to a dark brown and then to a black- like it is burnt. The idea here is to keep the garlic at a higher ambient temperature- not to cook it.
The garlic will start to dry out a bit over the days- I found that adding a ½ cup or so of filtered water one day before it is ready will add the moisture back in evenly. Once you feel that it has reached a dark black color; unplug the machine and allow the garlic to cool. Store in an airtight jar in the fridge for up to a month.
Use this garlic in salads, pastas, pizzas, salad dressings or just with bread and cheese, yum!
Every chef and home cook alike has their favorite kitchen tools- their go-to items that they cannot live without. I am a pretty simple gal, I don’t need a lot of fancy gadgets, but there are some essentials that rock my culinary world. If you love to cook or you are a newbie looking to improve your kitchen experience, even just a few of these tools will rock your world too. The idea is that these tools will simplify your life and inspire you to cook more. If you need more help in that department we have public cooking classes and private cooking classes that will do the trick! (more…)
There are a few kitchen tools that I find indispensable; A good chef’s knife (8-10 inches), a Vitamix, a food processor and a Japanese mandolin. While the first three are pretty awesome, nothing will turn your veggies into effortless, professional-looking works of art quite like the mandolin. The best part? It is CHEAP, easy to clean, stores super easily in a drawer, no muss no fuss.
There are 4 different blades that you can use:
- Flat- for things like sliced onions, fennel, paper thin squash, root veggie slices, cheese etc
- Wide Strips (1/3inch wide)- for zucchini noodles, carrots, cucumber, root veggie etc
- Thinner Strips (3-4mm wide)- a medium julienne, great for many veggies for salad, sandwiches, pickling etc
- Super Duper Baby Strip (1-2mm wide)- works only with very dense veggies like carrots, and other root veg
Whatever you do- do not use the silly plastic guard that is included (not pictured here as I promptly throw it out!), invest the $10 in a pair of nylon mesh gloves that will SAVE YOUR FINGERS :). See the video above for the full demo…I promise you will fall in love!
Check out some of our recipes use a mandolin:
- Mixed Mushroom Parcels with Sherry & Herbs
- Spicy Southwestern Kelp Noodles with Avocado & Toasted Seeds
- Pasta with Creamy Avocado Garlic Sauce
- Eggplant Tomato Bolognese with Quinoa Pasta & Zucchini
- Zucchini Alfredo “Pasta”
- Brussels Sprout Salad with Brown Butter Hazelnut Vinaigrette
- Shaved Root Vegetable Salad with Toasted Hazelnuts
- Zucchini Pasta with Sun Dried Tomato Cashew Sauce
The Naked Bite has expanded to Austin, Texas! We are offering veggie-driven cooking classes for individuals and groups as well as personal chef services, and boutique catering for our new Austinite neighbors.
This is a unique and bustling city and we are very excited to make an impact on the way people eat and how they cook. With vibrant and pure flavor vegetable-driven recipes, mouthwatering special diet options* and everything clean in between, The Naked Bite is thrilled to become part of the food scene in Austin.
Austin is a wacky, eclectic and dynamic city filled with food, fun, music and plenty of places to get your drink on. Fitness is also a big focus here with plenty of outdoor activity and organized events to sweat and work up an appetite. Exercise may be popular, but food is King here in Austin. The city’s amazing eats still err on the side of heavy: BBQ with a side of pulled pork and bacon, anyone?
The options are diverse and there are strong roots in the farm-to-table and nose-to-tail philosophies; supporting local is almost mandatory. Despite these conscious practices, meat is still the main focus and the veggies are often the side piece. There is room for all, and The Naked Bite will be the perfect complement to all that Austin has to offer.
So if you are a local, we can’t wait to meet you. Check out the services we offer in Austin.
*The Naked Bite can accommodate almost all dietary needs. Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Paleo & Vegetarian/Vegan are our specialties.
Everyone is looking for exciting vegetable side dishes. These tasty little parcels are super fun, fast and a neat crowd pleaser. Many different veggies will work and you can even place a piece of fish inside the parchment for a full and flavorful meal.
Mixed Mushroom Parcels with Sherry & Herbs
6 cups mixed sliced mushrooms, such as shiitakes, oysters or chanterelles or portabellas, cleaned and de-stemmed
1 small head of fennel, tops and core removed and sliced very thin (I use a mandolin)
6 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
6 large stems of tarragon or dill, stems removed and chopped
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup dry sherry, marsala or madeira
2 teaspoons sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
6 slices of butter, about 1/8 inch thick (optional)