Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Little pieces of heaven. If you have a bunch of holiday potlucks coming up, or need to bring something snazzy to Thanksgiving, this is for you. Garlic knots (my version is based on a Gourmet recipe from a couple years ago) are simple and pretty and seem to really tap into that fundamental human need for buttery, garlicky bread hot from the oven. You can either use prepared pizza dough (Trader Joe's sells it in the refrigerated section) or just make a quick batch, because it's pretty easy. Note: I only used half a batch for this below, because it was just for Phil and myself. It made 10 knots and only needed one baking sheet. Presumably you will get 20 knots and need 2 sheets when you make a full batch. Math! Flour your countertop and flatten out your dough. If it seems too pliable to stretch and hold its shape, go ahead and let it rest for 5 minutes or so and then return to stretching it out. After it's somewhat flattened, go ahead and roll it out to get it more or less even. Slice into even strips--I guess you could make them more narrow than I did here and thus get more knots per batch, but I think they'd be harder to work with. Once all your dough is sliced into strips, tie them into little knots. Super cute!!( There are a lot of pictures of these little guys because I just find them so charming) Set them on an oiled baking sheet and let them go for 20 minutes in a 425 degree oven. While they're baking, get 3 cloves of garlic (peeled and smashed somewhat) and pound them with a teaspoon of salt. Don't worry if you don't have a mortar & pestle--you can use the flat side of a knife on a cutting board to mash the salt and garlic and that will work fine. Or a bowl and a heavy spoon. Smash it all into a paste. Now, in a very large bowl, combine 2 tablespoons butter with the garlic-salt paste and a tablespoon of olive oil. Now, to be perfectly honest, I did not actually measure the olive oil. I just eyeballed it. But I think it was at least 1 tablespoon. Set the bowl on your hot stove while the knots are baking and the butter will melt, not that it matters too much. OK, your knots are done! Now, this is the only part where you have to move quickly, because you'll want to toss them with their seasonings while they are still very hot from the oven. Dump your knots into the big bowl with the garlic-butter-olive oil, and stir them around firmly, yet gently. You don't want to break them but you do want them to get well-covered with all this goodness. See? Deliciously browned, buttery and garlicky. Two more things you need to add while they're still perfectly hot, then you can eat them. First--toss them in a couple tablespoons of minced parsley...Plus a few tablespoons of fresh grated parmesan cheese--again, I eyeballed this a bit, so not sure the exact amount. But you really can't screw it up, so no worries. And we're done! So irresistibly good. They're wonderful hot but fine at room temperature too. Don't feel bad if you want them at every meal--trust me, it makes sense.