July 2, 2009
by Gareth Mark
Garlic confit is magical stuff. I keep some around to use in everything. I even warm up a clove or two and smear it on bread when I want garlic bread. And it's so easy to make that you should never be without some. Let me show you.
Start by peeling a bunch of garlic--or buy pre-peeled garlic like I do--and trim the ends off each clove. Then put them into a saucepan and cover with oil. The original Thomas Keller recipe I used, and the blog post on it at Bouchon for Two, calls for canola oil. I now use extra virgin olive oil, because I prefer the flavor of olive oil, and the heat isn't high enough to destroy the oil.
You'll use low heat, and, if you have it, a diffuser. If you don't have a diffuser, use a fry pan as a diffuser. You want to heat the oil until you see tiny bubbles rising, but not too many of them. Hold at that heat for about 45 minutes, until the garlic cloves are softened.
Spoon the garlic into a sterile container and then carefully pour in the oil to cover by at least half an inch. Don't discard any of the oil if you have extra, just use it for cooking.