Christopher Ranch’s California Garlic Blog

It’s no mystery that fresh garlic is one of the most popular, versatile ingredients ever. What remains relatively unknown, however, are the distinct flavor, quality and health differences associated with varying garlic varieties. Christopher Ranch, a family farm in Gilroy, Calif., grows a California heirloom garlic that is a leader in each category. All Garlic Is Not Created Equal. We’ll show you why.

JINGLE BULBS, JINGLE BULBS, GARLIC ALL THE WAY

One of my favorite maxims, “a day without garlic… tasteless!” is especially true for the holly days. What would Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanza/Boxing Day (please forgive me if I’ve forgotten one – and, no, Festivus does not count) be like without garlic to sweeten – as in enhance – your favorite holiday fare? Hold the garlic and we’re talking mundane roast beef, weak salsa, lifeless vegetables and ordinary mashed potatoes. Your menu would be, in Garlicia terms, humdrum with no yum.

Well, bah, humdrum! In the coming days, I’ll be sharing some of my favorite party foods, liberally laced with garlic, to help make your holidays jingle with flavor. Today’s recipes are “snackers” to keep guests occupied until the main event/dish commences. Best served with a chorus of carols and a carafe of wine…

ROASTED GARLIC STUFFED MEATBALLS

30         Christopher Ranch Roasted Garlic Cloves

2            lbs. hamburger

1            lb. Italian sausage

1/3        cup seasoned bread crumbs

1            tbls. catsup

1            tbls. Worcestershire sauce

1/2        tsp. each salt & pepper

1            tbls. Italian seasoning

1            tbls. finely chopped fresh parsley

Pinch of chile flakes

1/4        cup Parmesan cheese

2            eggs

Take Italian sausage out of casing. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients except garlic cloves until very well blended. Take 1 to 2 tbls. of mixture and start to form into a ball. Press thumb into ball and put one garlic clove in center, then seal mixture around it to form a 1” meatball. Brown meatballs lightly in small amount of oil, transfer to a baking dish sprayed with Pam. Bake at 375º for 20 minutes. To serve: place in warming dish with a favorite sauce, i.e. marinara, barbecue, if desired or offer sauces on the side. Makes about 30 meatballs.

NUTS FOR GARLIC

1            tbls. vegetable oil or 2 tbls. butter

2             cups raw pecans, walnuts, sunflower seeds, almonds or a combination your favorites

6             or more cloves Christopher Ranch California Garlic – minced

1            tsp. soy sauce

Heat oil or butter in large frying pan over medium heat. Add garlic and lightly sauté for a few seconds before adding nuts. Add nuts, stir and continue stirring until most of the nuts are golden. Remove from heat and add a light sprinkle of salt if desired. Wait a couple of minutes and add soy sauce and blend. Serve warm or store in a zip lock bag or a container with a tight lid.

 

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