Saturday, March 22, 2014

Costco's Christopher Ranch garlic with spuds, pasta

Christopher Ranch peeled California garlic cloves and skin-on sweet potatoes, both from Costco Wholesale, can be boiled together for mashing with avocado and extra-virgin olive oils, and such seasonings as cinnamon, black pepper, red-pepper flakes and a little salt.


Google "Can you eat too much garlic?" and you'll discover a lively Internet discussion of the many health benefits of this onion-related bulb.

You'll also find a few cautionary tales, such as "garlic breath" and a warning that garlic is a blood thinner and shouldn't be eaten in large quantities after surgery.

One food blogger mellows chopped raw garlic by blending it with butter or sour cream, neither of which I eat.

I love cooking with Christopher Ranch garlic from California that I buy at Costco Wholesale in Hackensack, and use it freely when mashing sweet potatoes and preparing pasta with oil-and-garlic.

We recently started buying the refrigerated peeled variety in 3-pound bags for $5.99 that are stamped with a "best before" date that isn't as inflexible as the one found on Earthbound Farm Organic Spring Mix.

Garlic mashed sweet potatoes and leftover baby spinach with chopped fresh garlic make great side dishes for two organic brown eggs with prepared pesto, sun-dried tomatoes, a thin slice of French-style cheese and Aleppo pepper.

Organic whole-wheat spaghetti from Whole Foods Market forms the basis of this twist on oil-and-garlic pasta with the addition of diced organic tomatoes, a can of drained and rinsed anchovies, fresh organic baby spinach, chicken stock, red wine and such seasonings as black pepper, red-pepper flakes and dried Italian herbs. I used about three dozen garlic cloves,1 pound of spaghetti and a half-pound of pre-washed spinach. Most of the ingredients were from Costco.

I enjoyed the last of the garlic sweet potatoes this morning with two fried organic brown eggs seasoned with a little salt, curry powder and shredded Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese.

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