Sunday, May 16, 2010

Two Recipes: Garlic Confit and Chickpea & Orzo Pasta Salad

About three weeks ago I posted a list of recipes for dishes I wanted to try. Sadly, I didn't accomplish all of them, but I did prepare two from the list.

First, I made the garlic confit.The recipe calls for canola oil, but I used extra-virgin olive oil. I purchased two plastic jars of peeled garlic rather than trying to peel all those cloves myself. It worked out well. All I had to do to get the cloves ready was trim off the root end.I placed the cloves into a saucepan and covered them with the olive oil until the oil was about one inch above the garlic cloves. The original recipe calls for using a diffuser under the saucepan, but I don't own a diffuser, so I put the saucepan in a large frying pan so the heat was evenly distributed, then I turned the burner to a medium-low heat.

I set my timer for 40 minutes and stirred the cloves about every 5 minutes or so, but had to adjust the heat so that tiny bubbles rose from the cloves, making sure the oil was not steaming or sizzling. You want the cloves to remain white.

It took my cloves longer than 40 minutes to become soft. It was more like an hour. But there were a couple of times when I went back to stir them that I realized I had adjusted the heat too low because I didn't see the tiny bubbles.

For a week I used the soft garlic in nearly everything I cooked then stored the remaining cloves in the oil in a sterilized jar.

I also made the Chick Pea & Orzo Pasta Salad for a family dinner at my sister-in-law's house near Greers Ferry Lake at Eden Isle, but I changed Reeni's original recipe and used my own salad dressing that I created several years ago to use on Cobb Salad. The salad was simple to make, delicious and I will definitely make it often.

The following recipe includes all of my changes to the original recipe, including my recipe for the Cobb Salad Dressing.

Chickpea & Orzo Pasta Salad
by Terri Powers for Terri's Table

adapted from Reeni @ Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice

  • 1-1/3 cup uncooked orzo pasta
  • 1 can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
  • 2 cans solid white albacore tuna, drained
  • 1/2 cup red onion, sliced then roughly chopped
  • 2/3 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • 1/3 cup basil leaves, chopped OR 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • the juice of one whole lemon
For the dressing (this recipe makes about a quart, but you will only use about a cup. The rest can stored in a jar for up to a week in the refrigerator):
  • 2 cups vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 3 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 3 teaspoons onion powder
  • 3 teaspoons Coleman's dry mustard
  • 2 teaspoons Worchestershire sauce
Make the dressing first. Put the vinegar in a blender. Add all the ingredients except the oil and blend to mix well. With the blender running, add the oil in a thin stream until it is fully incorporated and the dressing is smooth and emulsified. Pour into a quart jar and refrigerate until ready to use.

To prepare the salad, cook the orzo pasta to al dente according to package directions. Drain the pasta and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking. Put the pasta in a large bowl and add the chickpeas, tuna, red onion, grated parmesan, basil and thyme. Mix gently to combine.

Add about a cup of the salad dressing to the salad and mix gently until the salad if covered with the dressing. To finish, sprinkle the lemon juice over the salad a tablespoon at a time, mixing gently after each tablespoon.

Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.


1 comment:

Cinnamon-Girl said...

I made garlic confit this week too! It's still in my fridge - not sure what I'm going to make with it. And this is one of my favorite salads - your dressing sounds delicious!

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