Monday, November 28, 2011

Off-The-Cuff Cooking: Garlic!

I hope everyone survived the Holiday. Not just the eating, but the horrific shopping there after. I myself, did not partake of the shopping, only the eating.

Dinner at Mom's was wonderful this year. The stuffing was perfect, nice and moist the way I like it. I made sure to bring home lots of left-overs. They're all gone now. But on to the cooking! This year, it was my job to bring a light appetizer to Thanksgiving Dinner. Mom didn't want everyone to fill up on my treats and then not be hungry for dinner.

I agonized over this for quite some time. I wanted to do something with pumpkin, but I also didn't want it to be the sweet pumpkin that everyone was expecting for as a pie for dessert. So I decided on a savory pumpkin idea. One decision down! Now I had to figure out how to present it. Here I journeyed without the aid of a recipe, or any logical thought what so ever.

I mixed my pumpkin puree with Rosemary, Thyme, Garlic, and Lemon Zest. I don't have any actual measurements to provide you for this. I just "Dashed and Shook" till I thought it looked like the right amount. After all of this, it was still mixing up rather thin and watery. So I added about a cup of Sour Cream to the mixture to give it a tang and thicken it up.

My choice for the "Vessel of conveyance" were Pillsbury Crescent Rolls. They make a nice crust without over powering what you put on top of them. I refrigerated the pumpkin mixture to give it a chance to rest while I got the crescent rolls ready. I spread them out in a 13x9 rimmed pan. I squeezed together all of the seams and the spread my pumpkin mixture on top. Into a 350 degree over they went for about 20 minutes.

The day before, I had discovered a box of freshly harvested garlic in our kitchen at work with a sign which read, "Please find me a good home". Well, I couldn't think of any better home than mine for a few bulbs of fresh garlic, so I grabbed about 5 of them. Once home I grabbed 2 of bulbs, slit the tops of them off to expose the pungent cloves below, drizzled on some Olive Oil and then roasted them in the oven for about 30 minutes. I can't tell you how wonderful my house smelled!

So, once my treats came out of the oven, were cooled, and then cut into bite-sized pieces…I added a thin slice of roasted garlic to the top of each one. Of course, being who I am, I tried to match the size of the garlic slice to the size of the pumpkin treat slice. Here they are once they got to my Moms house.

Yummy Roasted Garlic & Savory Pumpkin Bites
They were quite popular. A few folks were wary of the garlic. Once I told them it was roasted garlic, those fears went right out the window. I had cut the treats to the perfect size to simply pop them in your mouth. Therefore, all of the flavors combine perfectly in your mouth. You're not just getting a bite of garlic or pumpkin. I'm still warming up the leftovers! Yummy!!!

The Hubby got in on the fresh garlic too. He has a version of roasted green beans that made perfect use of the spoils from work.

Fresh out of the oven and smelling wonderful!
He combines the fresh green beans with whole cloves of the garlic, olive oil, fresh red onion, salt, and pepper. Then they are roasted in a 400 degree oven for about 40 minutes. He stirs them every now and then as well. We served them with some stuffed chicken breasts and they were delicious! They made spectacular left-overs too.

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