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Aug 1, 2012 05:15 PM

Garlic in oil, again

I know that this subject has been covered repeatedly on Chowhound, but I have a large quantity of garlic on hand and I'm looking for a work around that won't endanger my family.

I bought a big sleeve of garlic at BJ's yesterday. The last time I bought this much garlic, the last few heads were compost fodder by the time I got to them. But BJ's sells 5 heads of garlic for $3.50 and close to 40 heads (3 pounds) for $5.99. I use a lot of the stuff, so I bought in bulk.

I would like to use this recipe to use some of the garlic up:

My thought was that I would freeze the resulting oil and puree separately in ice cube trays, then store them in ziploc bags and toss cubes into the pan/sauce as needed. Would the long simmer and subsequent freeze be enough to keep botulism at bay?

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  1. I make an infused oil for my spaghetti sauce. Typically I put two cups of EVOO in a pan with 8-10 garlic cloves a table spoon of crushed red pepper and a big handful of basil stems, flowers and all. Bring that to just below a boil and simmer covered for a bit then off the heat and let it steep. Strain it into a jar then you can either use the swarf, or toss it. I whisk that oil into sauces, make salad dressing with it, saute in it, etc. - once it's made it's good for several weeks and the flavor is intense.

    You can freeze some and instead of regular ziplock bags get the vacuum ones with the hand pump.

    4 Replies
    1. re: mike9

      That sounds delicious! I decided to forge ahead and the garlic is currently simmering on the stove, but I may have to make a middle of the night foray out into the garden for some basil. Thanks for your help. Also, thank you for adding a new word to my vocabulary. (I had to look up swarf.)

      1. re: faeriefolk15

        If you find "swarf" in your garlic oil prep. I'd suggest burying it. That variety of fragments do not pass through the digestive tract very well.

        1. re: todao

          I suppose not, unless you want to impress your friends with your ability to stick magnets to your abdomen. It is a clever repurposing of the word though.

          The golden hued garlic cloves are in a colander now. The oil isn't as strong as store bought garlic oil is, but I think that it will add a lovely depth of flavor to dishes. The garlic cloves taste like a mild roasted garlic. Very smooth and creamy. As soon as they've cooled I'll give them a spin in the Cuisinart and toss the first batch into the ice cube tray. Now if only I hadn't given away all but one of my ice cube trays. This could take a couple of days.

          1. re: faeriefolk15

            Also, I should mention that I altered the original recipe slightly. I used four heads of garlic to one and one half cups each olive oil and corn oil. My husband vetoed the basil and red pepper, but I want to make another batch soon with those additions. The garlic, once pureed, makes a delicious spread for bread.