Serves 8 to 10
This recipe is a no brainer; simply peel lots of garlic, place in an oven dish with chilies, hot or mild, cover with olive oil and bake long and slow. I use a small covered clay dish for this because it’s perfect thing to cook it in and it gives a comfortable, country look to the table for serving.
20 to 30 cloves of garlic, peeled *
3 or 4 whole fresh Anaheim or Poblano chilies
2 or 3 small hot chilies, or to taste
1 sprig of fresh dill weed
A slice of lemon
About 1/2 teaspoon sugar
A pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 325°f (160°c or gas mark 3). Place the first seven ingredients in a baking dish with a tight fitting lid. Pour in enough olive oil to cover the ingredients. Cut a circle of brown paper bag that is about one inch larger than the opening of the baking dish and place over the ingredients. This helps to make a tight seal. Cover with a tight fitting lid and place in the center of the oven. Place a baking sheet on the rack below to catch any drips that might occur. Put some water in the baking pan and drips won’t burn and smoke. Cook slowly for three to four hours, or until the garlic and chilies are very soft. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. This is best made the day before. Since it is olive oil, it is fine served at room temperature. Serve with fresh baguette. Each guest breaks off a piece of bread, and places a clove of soft garlic or bit of soft chili on it as a spread. The oil is also great just for dipping the bread. After all the garlic and chilies are eaten, any flavorful oil that remains may be kept for cooking.
* I buy my garlic by the pound already peeled in plastic jars. It’s a great product.