Monday, June 25, 2012

Lactofermented Garlic Paste

I hate procrastination.  Especially when I'm the guilty party.

I've been wanting to post this recipe for just shy of a year, but it hasn't happened.  (I realize that I haven't been blogging for a year, but there were months of planning that went into this before I began.)  It really isn't my fault, entirely.  I have more ideas than I have time to put into practice, and I don't want to become overwhelmed trying to be everything for everybody.

Enough chasing of rabbits.  This is a recipe that's near and dear to my heart, because I associate it with special occasions, like my anniversary.  It's a part of my Indian feast.  But because I make it only for special occasions, as part of a larger feast, I don't have many opportunities to take pictures.

Now that someone is asking for my naan recipe, however, I've decided to post at least a portion of my Indian feast now and come back in a few weeks (after my anniversary, of course) to add photos.
Garlic Sauce
1-2 cold egg whites
4-6 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt, not optional
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 cup grapeseed or olive oil
1 Tablespoon living whey

Before we really get started on the recipe, let's pause for a minute and consider the ingredients.  Use a salt that is colored.  Salt is white when it comes from the lab.  In nature it has many colors, from reds and pinks to grays and blacks.  By choosing a salt that is colored, you can be sure that you are buying an unprocessed salt.  Don't be fooled (as I was) by a label like, "sea salt."  Almost all salt is from the sea, but that doesn't mean that the minerals weren't stripped.

Your whey needs to be alive.  Do not use powdered whey.  It is highly processed and will not be useful in this recipe.  Do not use whey which has been heated.  After a certain temperature the beneficial bacteria dies.  Instead use whey from making yogurt, unheated cheese, or (my personal favorite) dairy kefir.

If you do not have whey, you could just substitute another living starter culture, such as unpasteurized kombucha, water kefir, Body ecology starter culture, yogurt, or unpasteurized buttermilk.  However, all of these options will influence your final taste.  The whey or other starter culture is important, because it gives plenty of beneficial bacteria to overwhelm any nasties that might come along with the raw egg.

Theoretically, you could also add an extra tablespoon of salt and see what wild bacteria you can grow.  However, since most chicken (even backyard flocks) contains salmonella or campylobacter, I wouldn't do that without pasteurizing the eggs first.  I know that plenty of people don't bother pasteurizing pastured eggs since they are less likely to contain harmful bacteria, but it still is a little like playing Russian roulette--even though your odds of winning are better.

Also, don't forget the salt.

Note: my recipe is for those who own a Vitamix.  It can be adapted to any blender or can be made with a simple wire whisk, but I do not have experience doing it that way.

All ingredients must be at room temperature, except that the egg whites must be cold.  Place the egg white, garlic, salt, and lemon juice in Vitamix.  Select variable 1.  Turn the machine on, quickly move it to variable 10, and then to High.  While the machine is running, remove the liquid plug and pour the oil in a thin, steady stream until the mixture thickens and all oil is consumed (about 60 seconds).  Stop the machine.  Feel the outside of the machine.  If it is too hot to touch, then it needs to cool down to a more comfortable temperature.  (Don't be impatient or you'll kill off the beneficial bacteria that you're trying to culture).  When it is cool enough, stir in the whey and any remaining oil.  Leave it out in an air-tight container at room temperature for 7 hours, and then refrigerate.

I rarely just use a recipe without tinkering with it.  That's not how God wired me.  These are the recipes that inspired me, the ones I cobbled together into what you see above.

No comments:

Post a Comment