I promised that I would write about recipes that have turned out to be a disaster. I will get to those, I promise. But first let me describe to you a spice that is so delicious, that you will probably think it contains something that simply has to be bad for you.
To start, I will tell you about what does not work. In my great efforts to use the Sedona dehydrator, I tried drying garlic. It went like this: I bought about a dozen bunches of fresh garlic. I then peeled it and put the cloves into my dryer. Of course to avoid cooking it, I put the dryer on 38ºC and left it for 24 hours. After a whole day of drying, the cloves looked exactly the same as when I had put them in. In the same ways that every cell in our bodies tries to resist us losing fat, vegetables and fruit resist being dried out. To speed things up a bit, I then cut the cloves into pieces and continued drying it. After about three days of waiting, the cloves seemed to be relatively dry. I decided it was time to pulverize them.
When I purchased my very expensive Vitamix blender, I got the extended version with two different mixing containers. The one we use every day is for blending liquids. So if you want to make a fruit juice blend or puree some baby food, it is ideal. The other is used for dry blending, thus if you want to make icing sugar, just add sugar, blend and everything becomes a super fine powder. The liquid mixing container pulls the ingredients down; the dry mixing container pushes them up. Or so they say. The most important is that the dry one is smaller, otherwise I would not be able to keep them apart.
I tried to pulverize the dried garlic, but something strange happened. Even though it initially seemed to do its job of blending, when I stopped the machine, I had one large blob of garlic inside my mixing bowl. Something I didn’t realize is that garlic is basically glue. You can notice this when you cut it up. Besides making your fingers smelly, you can also feel the stickiness. I kept this blob of garlic, occasionally blending it with some other ingredients like salt, oregano and chillies. Eventually my wife discovered the leftover garlic blob inside the tupperware where I was hiding it, and threw it out together with the container. The smell was rather pungent.
Knowing that it was quite difficult to dry and blend garlic, but really wanting to do so, I set out on a slightly different path, which helped me discover the most delicious spice that I have ever eaten. Watch and learn how to make it yourself.
I bought a dozen bunches of garlic again and peeled it, drafting in some helpers to do the job. No point doing all the physical labour myself. I then squeezed about another dozen lemons. I can’t give you exact amounts of lemon to garlic, but there should be enough juice to cover all the garlic in your blender. Our aim here is to dissolve the glue or at least to make it all less sticky. Also, in this version 2.0 of my garlic powder, I decided to first blend all the ingredients in the wet blender, then dry the paste and lastly turn it into powder. Besides the lemon juice (enough to cover the garlic), I also added about two tablespoons of Cretan Sea Salt. This gives it more flavour and also acts as a preservative. Everything was blended until smooth. If the mixture is not liquid enough (remember that the garlic is a glue) you can add water. This does not affect the final taste in any way, since we will evaporate that away in the dehydrator.
Once the blended liquid was nice and smooth, I poured it onto teflon sheets for my Sedona dehydrator. The thinner, the better, since it will dry more quickly. I let it dry for 24 hours, then turned the semi-dried garlic-lemon over and let it dry some more. After another 24 hours, I took away the teflon sheets and just had the garlic-lemon on a plastic grid. I also broke up the garlic mix into smaller pieces, which helped it to dry faster. I think in total it dried for about 4 days solid, always at 38ºC. Having established that we don’t care about enzymes, since the body creates those anyway, I still maintain to do it at this temperature as the taste is best preserved.
The last step is to now put the solidly dried pieces into the dry blender and pulverize them. You know it is ready when the pieces snap when you try and bend them. I did a few iterations of blending and then sieving the result into a large bowl. Put the resulting fine yellow powder into a spice shaker and apply to your food after serving. The taste is glorious. It is hard to describe. Garlic-lemon-salt, in a healthy combination. Not just I like it, but my son and wife both think it is the most amazing spice ever made.