ROASTED GARLIC (Rob Allison's)
Look for a head of garlic that is uniform in size (you are going to cut the top off to expose all the cloves so choose a head with that in mind). Cut the top off and discard (or chop finely to add to other dishes). Place the garlic head on a square of aluminum foil large enough to wrap or fold around the amount of garlic you are roasting. Drizzle olive oil over the top of the garlic. Salt and pepper to taste. Wrap in foil tightly and place in a 350-425° oven for 1 hour or til garlic is soft (this is for a spreadable roasted garlic to use on toasted bread or crackers).
To use as a garnish to top a steak, bake at 400-450° for 35-45 minutes (til slightly soft but still holds its form). Pull the cloves out of their jackets using a paring knife or cut the skin off each clove and serve 3-5 cloves on top of a steak as a garnish. The roasted cloves are also great when used as a garnish for baked potatoes. You bake the potatoes for 1 hour at 450°. Put the foil packet of garlic in the oven for the last 35 minutes of baking. Remove both the garlic and potatoes. Remove the cloves and set aside. Make an incision lengthwise in the potatoes and fluff the pulp up with a fork or a knife. Add butter, salt and pepper and garnish with the roasted garlic cloves.
ROASTED GARLIC UPDATE:
I have made roasting garlic easier now. Instead of using whole heads of garlic, I buy the large jars of garlic you get at Costco or Sam's Club. Take a sheet of Reynolds heavy duty foil and fold it in half. Spray it with olive oil and put a few handfuls of garlic cloves onto the foil. Spray the garlic cloves with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher or sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. Fold over the other half of the foil Fold the 3 unsealed sides over to create a sealed "pocket" of garlic. Bake 400°-450° for 45-60 minutes. I like to refrigerate the unused garlic cloves and use them in salads and as a garnish for hot or cold dishes. Or just pop them in your mouth...what can I say, I'm a garlic-holic!
Roasted Garlic recipe is published in our October, 2003 Menu Minder.