…because some thoughts are worth remembering
There are things we hold to be true, because your foodie friend who recently remodeled the kitchen told you so, or because the instructions have been passed down far up the ancestry tree. One of these is boiling pasta in a big pot of boiling water (it turns out you don’t have to). I know this because I lived in Hawaii and it seemed like I didn’t need to have the water boiling and adding more humidity to already humid air, just to boil some pasta (and electricity rates being highest in the nation). I would start with a small pot of salted cold water, and it came out fine (I would also turn off the heat before it was fully cooked, and let the residual heat carry over).
I enjoy cooking in the oven, but it would heat up the whole apartment as well, so it becomes a moral and environmental decision. I would justify the use of the oven by baking more than one dish at a time. If you can’t think of another dish that has a similar baking time and temperature, you can fall back on roasted garlic.
Any time I have room in the oven and I need to fire it up for any length of time, I can throw in a head (or two) of garlic with outer skin peeled off but the cloves still intact with one layer of skin. It comes out great every time. It combines my love of “non-recipes” and my personal value to reduce electricity consumption, while not compromising on taste. It’s my go-to “oven-hitchhiker” of a (non) recipe. Yes, I am coining the term oven-hitchhiker, and alongside the other cooking memes: non-recipes and dissolving various pastes into yogurt for marinating meats for grilling (ok, that technique needs a name, too).
Note: if you are concerned that you don’t want your cake to smell like garlic, it won’t. I have made brownies in the same oven. Nothing happened. I have made tres leches cake… nothing happened. Perhaps there are recipes too sensitive for the hitchhiker, but I haven’t encountered one yet.
When roasted, you don’t end up with bad breadth, so you can eat more garlic more often. It’s a win-win-win (and a win, if you count keeping the vampires away).
Photo: The oven-hitchhiker…roasted garlic