The Food and Wine Hedonist

leave your inhibitions at the door

The Garlic Chronicles: Living With My Mistake

So I struck out while making toum and was left with a bowl full of oil with teeny bits of garlic in it.  But it’s not like the ingredients went bad and the stuff was inedible.  It just didn’t have the pretty, fluffy consistency.

Hmmm, what I could I do with it?  More importantly, what the heck should I name it?

Green Beans Tossed in Some Garlicky Oily Shiznit That Shoulda Been Toum

I put a pound or so of green beans in salted boiling water for about 3-4 minutes until it’s tender but still crisp.  I then drained and tossed them around in a bowl with a few tablespoons of the my garlic snafu.  Normally after blanching beans like that I run cold water over them to stop the cooking process.  But tossing them around while still hot heats up the oil and garlic to release a lot more of the flavors and aroma.  Tasty.

garlic green beans


Pork Carnitas Sandwiches Topped with my Latest Blunder

I’m a huge, huge fan of these carnitas I found at Costco.

Costco carnitas Costco

The pork has already been braised and is vacuum sealed in an inner bag.  All you do is toss it in  the microwave or boil the whole bag for a few minutes to heat it up.  Then serve on a tortilla with some chopped onions, and chopped cilantro.  The pork is deliciously moist and tender and makes for a terrific 10 minute meal.

I know, I know.  It’s not real cooking because the main part of it is pre-made.  Just call me an ugly Sandra Lee without the nice knockers.

Sandra Lee’s boobs

For lunch one day I had some of the carnitas left over, but ran out of tortillas.  So I put some on a bun, and topped with my garlic boo-boo and some sliced avocado for an insanely delicious sandwich.  In fact, I may just forgo the tortillas next time and serve the carnitas like this.

Yeah, that's a lot of garlic on there.  And your point is...?

Yeah, that’s a lot of garlic on there. And your point is…?


My garlic aberration turned out to be pretty versatile. Toum itself lasts in the fridge for weeks and my garlic bungle had all the same ingredients.  But I had so much fun with it that I used it all up in a few days.  I threw a ½ cup or so into 2 pounds of ground beef for some beautifully flavored burgers.  I also brushed a few tablespoons of it on a whole chicken that I roasted.  And it made for a terrific garlic toast, too.

What would you have done with it?  Besides not mess up the toum in the first place, little-miss-perfect…



About thefoodandwinehedonist

I don't know everything about the world of food and wine, but I'm not going to let a small detail like that stop me from blogging about it.

21 comments on “The Garlic Chronicles: Living With My Mistake

  1. PinotNinja
    May 30, 2013

    There are pre-made, delicious carnitas?! That is definitely the best news that I will read today. My lazy night black bean tacos just got a serious upgrade.

  2. armchairsommelier
    May 30, 2013

    Heading to Costco this AM . . . Carnitas just went on the list! Yum.

    • thefoodandwinehedonist
      May 30, 2013

      Yeah!! We really love the uncooked flour tortillas at Costco, too. THey take about 30 seconds to cook and are fantastic with the carnitas.

  3. talkavino
    May 30, 2013

    I have nothing creative to recommend here, except that I would just keep it in the fridge and use it where the garlic is needed…

  4. Go Jules Go
    May 30, 2013

    That may be the best name for a recipe I’ve ever heard. I’m partial to “garlic boo-boo” as well – I read it as a term of endearment, not ‘oops I made a boo-boo.’

    I’m intrigued by this pork-in-a-bag… You really can’t beat a garlicky pork sandwich with avocado, yummmm.

  5. jesselyn6585
    May 30, 2013

    When I read the post about the failed toum I immediately thought of a million things to use it with. The one I think that has the most global appeal was pasta tossed with the garlic oil and a little parmesan. I did think of the chicken and garlic toast as well. I would never have thought to use it with the carnitas. That sandwhich sounds amazing!

  6. rachelocal
    May 30, 2013

    I don’t know if I could buy pork in a bag, but you make it look delicioso.

    • thefoodandwinehedonist
      May 30, 2013

      Aw thanks.. Def worth going non-local for the bag-o-pork!

      • teacherpatti
        June 2, 2013

        Non-local bag-o-pork should be our gang name. Think of the cool ass gang signs we can throw up at people.

  7. wildbluewonder
    June 3, 2013

    I can’t wait to get those pork carnitas at Costco!! I hope they have them in metro Detroit. Is the bag in the freezer section?

    • thefoodandwinehedonist
      June 3, 2013

      No, it’s not frozen. THey have a whole section of prepared meats and it’s hidden in there. We have it in the Ann Arbor one, but I’m sure others have it

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This entry was posted on May 30, 2013 by in Cooking and tagged , , , , , .
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