I have a lot of garlic and want to use it to make infused olive oil
There are bunches of recipes out there, as you can see from this google collection (or should I say, on a food website, collation):
But I would not make a large quantity, unless you know you'll use it up soon, because of dangers, including botulism, in keeping home-infused oils longer than 2-3 weeks.
and other articles
So, my suggestions
1) use some of your garlic for infused oil to use at home and/or give now as gifts.
2) chop and freeze the remainder now, use in recipes later.
In Thai Cuisine they take chopped garlic and let it gently fry in oil for a few minutes until it is golden brown. Take out the garlic and let it cool on paper towels. Use the oil in all dishes that need a kick. It will last you a few weeks in fridge.
I made a small batch in the microwave, chop up the garlic small , zap it for a few minutes, and let cool. you can strain it out or just put some , garlic chunks and all on some bread. Nice with some fresh rosemary mixed in if you have it. the garlic bulbs will keep in a cool dark place so no need to use it up in one shot.
Ben's idea is a great one. Jean-Georges' fried rice recipe has you toast garlic and ginger until golden. You end up with amazing oil and delicious garlic and ginger to top the rice. I never thought to make it in large quantities, but it's an awesome idea.
I make garlic oil in the slow cooker every so often. Just take peeled whole garlic, throw into cooker, cover with a neutral oil like regular olive oil (not extra virgin), and cook on low for 3-4 hours. It sort of makes a garlic confit. In the end, you get garlic flavored oil to use in your cooking and soft sweet cooked garlic that can be spread on toast or added to any number of sauces, soups, or entrees. No worry about botulism since everything is heated. I freeze the whole garlic and keep the oil refrigerated. It lasts for months.
Mexican mojo de ajo is made by covering the bottom of a pan with whole peeled garlic cloves and covering it with olive oil- something like 2c. oil to 4 large heads garlic. It is baked at 325 for 45 min- 1hr., until the cloves are lightly browned; strain out the garlic.. For Mexican dishes, lime juice and some sort of chile is generally added.
This sounds like Rick Bayless mojo. Tasty for sure. Have you tried Heidi Swanson's? It's a little different with fresh o.j. added along with the lime. Delicious!!
That's probably where I first got it- " ...One Plate at a Time" was my main sort-of-watch-it-while-finishing-dinner show when it was on at 4:30 (my father's a million years old and likes dinner at 5:00. Exactly.)
Lol Smaug. I can't wait until I am a million years old and get to say what time dinner needs to be served. Exactly.
I have never made garlic infused olive oil, but if you are simply looking for a way to store a large amount of garlic and keep it from going bad, pickled garlic is easy to make and will allow you to keep the garlic for months.
Susan W - good point. not worth the risk. I forgot about the freezing option. I do it with herbs, chimichurri and pesto all the time in ice cube trays.
After this conversation, I'm now in the mood for garlic and ginger oil (toasted..not raw) which I think I'll freeze a portion of. I'm curious to see if it freezes solid. I'll be using grape seed oil or possibly olive oil.
Susan, Thank you for the information. One clarification I would like to hear though - does or does not heating the garlic as in the slow cooker method kill the botulism? I would think not since it is a concern in canned green beans which have been processed, but would like confirmation.
I'm sure 3-4 hours in the slow cooker is enough to kill the botulism (that would be 185 degrees on low and probably 200 degrees on high), but I'm going to see if I can find what temperature and for how long is necessary.
C Sangueza - maybe have a look at the University of Maine article I cited in first comment above. Seems the issue is not heat but acidity (which will prevent C. bot. from growing). Article has good tips.
Well, so far, I've seen everything from anything above 200 degrees kills the toxin, but not the spores to kills the spores and toxins, but it has to be above 250 for ten minutes to it has to be cooked at 400 degrees or above. Those all just came from opinions from cooks and not from an extension service from a university or FDA. The easy answer is introduce enough acid, but I'm not interested in that. I'll keep looking.
@Susan W, UC Santa Barbara says 120C (248F) in a pressurized system will kill the spores. 10 mins at 212F (boiling) will kill the toxin. So any cooking for ~10 minutes will take care of the toxin. The spores aren't a problem until they start to germinate and produce the toxin. And spores will germinate under low oxygen conditions. That's why throwing raw garlic & fresh herbs into oil without any heating or acid is risky.
HP, I was just coming back after seeing UCSB site and info. My question is would 4-6 hours at 200f be sufficient? I'm not seeing that from a reliable source. They all say 212f or above. Maybe that's just splitting hairs, but the slow cooker I would use doesn't get higher than 200-205f. Does the length of time make up for the difference? Just curious.
Also, does your garlic brown a little or just become soft?
@Susan W, based on what I read from the Colorado State U Extension, http://extension.colostate.edu/topic-areas/nutrition-food-safety-health/botulism-9-305/
I'm inclined to think that 4-6 hours at 200-209F is sufficient to inactivate the toxin, though not make a dent in the spores, but the spores are not a problem until they start to germinate.
HP, good deal. I'm convinced. :)
@Susan W, forgot to add. My slow cooker garlic softens but doesn't brown. It is almost greyish in color, but very soft and sweet.
HP thanks. I kind of figured as much. One of my slow cookers (I have 3...it's a flaw) reaches 225f on high, but I'll be using my small one for this and it reaches 205f on high in 4 hours.
Great idea, HalfPint. Thank you! ;o)