Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Dreamfarm's Garject + Allioli a la Catalana with Arròs Negre #4theLoveofGarlic #Sponsor


Welcome to the kick-off post for my online event #4theLoveofGarlic*! I wrangled half a dozen garlic lovers and we worked with ingredients from Melissa's Produce and a kick-ass garlic press called the Garject from Dreamfarm to create recipes to make your garlic loving heart sing.


Click for more information about the event, the bloggers, the schedule, and the sponsors: here. And, while you're there, enter the giveaway for a chance to win a Garject of your own! We have six Garjects to send to our lucky readers.


About the Garject...
In all the years I've been seriously cooking (that's going on two decades), I have never had a garlic press. Okay, I guess I should clarify: I've had lots and lots of garlic presses; I have just never liked any of them!  So, I resorted to some mad knife skills while I usually used the presses once or twice, then shoved them to the back of the utensils drawer until Spring cleaning. 

That is, until I received my Garject from Dreamfarm. This gadget is a workhorse and has earned its place in the front of my utensils drawer. Actually, in reality it never even makes it back into the drawer: I use it, I wash it, and it's only in the drainboard till the next meal. Yes, I love it that much.


It gets its name - the Garject - from the portmanteau of garlic + eject. And that says it all. You place one whole, unpeeled clove in the Garject, you squeeze, it presses, you depress the Peel Eject button, peels go on the cutting board, pressed garlic goes in a bowl, and you start again. It's very much an ordinary press with some useful upgrades. 

I tested the Garject with a several heads of unpeeled garlic cloves over the course of several meals and several weeks. Here’s what I found: It is hefty and sturdy. It's easy to use. And, my favorite feature, it's easy to clean! The Garject is a solid, reliable garlic press. The scraping and ejecting features actually work, unlike several other presses I've tried. It's a bit on the pricey side, compared to other presses. But, in my opinion, it's worth it.


See! Easy peasy. The Garject made light work of the ten cloves of garlic I needed for the recipe I'm sharing with you today. You read that correctly. Ten. Cloves. Of. Garlic. 


On Our Plates...
I wanted to share a recipe that really benefits from the use of the Garject. As I mentioned, between the two components, this uses ten cloves of garlic. The press made my life so much easier. 


A shoutout of gratitude to Melissa's Produce for providing #4theLoveofGarlic bloggers with a veritable bounty of garlic. For this recipe, I used their regular garlic, but stay tuned for more recipes that showcase their elephant garlic and their black garlic. Oh, my!!

Allioli a la Catalana with Arròs Negre

Allioli, akin to the French Aioli, is an incredibly versatile sauce or emulsion that's ubiquitous across Spain. It's eaten with fish, meat, and vegetables and is traditionally made with a mortar and pestle. My version is made in the food processor, but it's still as rich and creamy.

Ingredients for Allioli a la Catalana

  • 3 or 4 whole cloves of garlic, peeled and pressed
  • generous pinch of salt
  • 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 1/2 organic lemon, juiced
  • 1 C olive oil
  • freshly ground black pepper


Procedure for Allioli a la Catalana
Put garlic and salt in a food processor fitted with a metal blade, or in a blender. Pulse 2 or 3 times. Add the egg yolk and lemon juice. Pulse until blended. Turn the food processor on low and add the olive oil in a thin stream through the access chute. If it becomes too thick, thin it out with some water and continue streaming in the oil until it's all used.


Spoon the allioli into a small bowl and refrigerate until ready to use.

Arròs Negre serves 8

I recently had a friend from Spain teach me how to make paella. Real paella. And, since then, I've made peace with my paella pan - it was previously collecting dust in the garage - and whipped up some really tasty dinners. Susanna had told us about the black paella that's made with seafood and squid ink. I've made it twice now and it might just be my favorite paella! This version is my own, so not wholly traditional, but it's a family favorite now.

Funny story about this dish: I posted a photo of the pan on social media and one of my friends quipped, "I thought you finally burned something!" Ummm...no. Not this time, it's supposed to be black. But I have burned things before!


Ingredients for Arròs Negre
  • 1 pound fresh squid, cleaned and separated into tentacles and tubes
  • 1 pound fresh shrimp, peeled (peels and heads reserved)
  • 8 T olive oil (Juan told me 1 T per serving)
  • 1 organic onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 5 to 6 whole cloves of garlic, peeled and pressed
  • 1/2 C bell pepper, deseeded and chopped (I used an orange bell pepper)
  • 3 ripe, organic tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 C Spanish paella rice
  • 1 generous pinch saffon
  • 1 Carmencita Paella Spice Mix sachet+ 
  • 2 T squid or cuttle fish ink
  • 5 to 6 C fish stock, warmed

+Juan used this and they brought some back from Spain for me, so I use it. But, in a pinch, you can add a blend of paprika, pepper, and clove to the pot. These packets also include a food coloring that makes regular paella a rich golden color. For this black paella, the food coloring isn't so crucial.

Procedure for Arròs Negre
Slice the cleaned squid tubes into thick rings. Heat the fish stock in a pan and keep warm. Poach the squid and shrimp in 1 C water. Once they turn opaque, approximately 1 to 2 minutes, remove the seafood and pour the poaching water into the fish stock.

Heat olive oil in the paella pan. Add onions and bell pepper. Sauté until the onion is softened and translucent. Add in the garlic and sauté till fragrant, approximately 1 minute. Add in the tomatoes and cook until they have lost their shape slightly, approximately 6 to 7 minutes.

Add the poached seafood to the pot. Sprinkle the seasoning packet into the pot and add the saffron to the side so it's not where the heat is most concentrated. Stir to coat the seafood. Whisk in the cuttlefish ink so it's spread throughout the pan.

Tip in the rice. Pour in the stock. At this point, do not stir. Gently shake the pan to distribute the rice and seafood evenly. But do not stir. Ever. As Juan instructed me: "This is not risotto."

Bring the pan to a boil, then turn down to a simmer. Watch the pan and keep turning it so that the rice cooks evenly. As it cooks, the stock will be fully absorbed.


You will see fewer and fewer bubbles popping up through the top. When it is completely dry, it's done. The rice should also be crackling. It reminds me of rice krispies. Snap, crackle, and pop!

When you no longer see any bubbles, remove the pan from the heat. Tent it with foil and let it steam for 10 minutes.


To serve, use a flat spatula to scrape the soccarat from the bottom. Invert the scoop onto the individual plates to show off your soccarat, that delicious, crusty goodness on the bottom of the pan! Serve with a dollop of allioli on top and more on the side.

The Event Sponsors
You can find Dreamfarm: on the web, on Facebook, on Twitter, and on Pinterest.

You can find Melissa's: on the web, on Facebook, on Twitter, on Pinterest, and on Instagram

*Disclosure: Bloggers received complimentary items from Dreamfarm for the purpose of review and complimentary ingredients from Melissa's Produce for the purpose of recipe development. Dreamfarm also provided prizes for the rafflecopter free of charge. Comments are 100% accurate and 100% our own. We have received no additional compensation for these posts.

3 comments:

  1. You always make the most interesting dishes that make me super hungry. Love the process with the Arròs Negre! Thank you for letting me be a part of the fun with all the garlic love. Hugs, Terra

    ReplyDelete
  2. Isn't that Garject a dream!!! Love it, can't wait for our lucky readers to get theirs and tell us what they think.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This dish looks truly delicious. I am totally on board with any kind of aioli, allioli,, rouille or any garlicky mayonnaise sauce. Yum! Thanks again for hosting us and organizing this event! ;-)

    ReplyDelete

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