'Amazing' garlic


Garlic - once eaten by ancient soldiers to give themselves courage and strength in battle - spices up this shrimp dish with sticky honey butter soy sauce.

Garlic - once eaten by ancient soldiers to give themselves courage and strength in battle - spices up this shrimp dish with sticky honey butter soy sauce. Photo by: therecipecritic.com


Garlic and apple flavors complement this pork roast that goes great with steamed fresh asparagus and roasted red potatoes.

Garlic and apple flavors complement this pork roast that goes great with steamed fresh asparagus and roasted red potatoes.
Photo by: tasteofhome.com



Jan Swoope



So many foods, spices and herbs we take for granted have amazing histories. Garlic is one of them. Even if there's nary a werewolf or evil spirit to ward off, springtime's harvest of fresh garlic can inspire a peek into this wonder food that has a significant place in culture and folklore.


Garlic, a close relative of the onion, shallot, leek and chive, has been used for thousands of years for medicinal purposes by civilizations from Egyptians and Babylonians to the Greeks and Romans.


Did you know slaves building the pyramids were fed garlic for endurance? That Greek athletes would take copious amounts before competition? That Greek and Roman soldiers ate garlic for strength and courage before battle? That in World War I, garlic was used to treat wounds on the front lines? Garlic juice on swabs of sterile sphagnum moss helped prevent gangrene and sepsis in the trenches, says gourmetgarden.com.



Cloves of garlic were found in King Tutankhamen's tomb. Henry IV of France was baptized in water containing garlic (academic.oup.com). Ancients prescribed garlic for digestion, animal bites, arthritis, convulsions, respiratory ailments and a host of other concerns. Modern research, as most of us are aware, has shown that bygone cultures were on to something. Garlic is currently used vfor conditions related to the heart and blood system and numerous other health issues.


But back to the kitchen. Garlic is used in cuisines worldwide. With its spicy flavor that mellows and sweetens with cooking, it's great in stir fries, curries, soups and sauces and pairs well with onions, tomatoes, chili, ginger, basil, beans, chicken, pork and seafood.


Mississippi's garlic harvest season is "coming into bloom," so a few recipes to put garlic to good use are suggested below. One might even find a place in your Easter menu. The garlic-apple pork roast is simple to prepare for a slow cooker. Or use lemon and garlic new potatoes as a side dish. Shrimp lovers may opt for that dish coated in a delicious sticky honey garlic butter soy sauce. Having corn on the cob for supper? Try the garlic lemon butter on it.


A kitchen tip for getting that heady garlic smell off your hands after peeling, from lifehacker.com: Neutralize the odor by rubbing your hands with a stainless steel object (spoon, knife, etc.) under cold water, as if the object was soap. (Try it after handling onions, too.)


Oh, and according to folklore, dreaming that garlic is in the house is supposedly lucky. Dreaming about eating garlic means you will discover hidden secrets. So after eating well, sleep well.






Prep time: 5 minutes


Cook time: 15 minutes


Serves 4-6



1/2 cup honey


1/4 cup soy sauce


3 cloves garlic, minced


Juice of one small lemon


1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined


2 tablespoons butter


Green onions, for garnish



  • In a small bowl whisk honey, soy sauce, garlic and lemon. Add half of the sauce to the shrimp and let marinate for 30 minutes.


  • In a medium sized skillet add the butter. Add the shrimp and discard marinade. Season with salt and pepper. Turn the heat to medium high. Cook until the shrimp turns pink about 2 minutes each side. Add the reserved marinade and pour over shrimp. Cook until the sauce starts to thicken and coats the shrimp. Garnish with green onions.


    (Source: the recipecritic.com)





    Prep time: 10 minutes


    Cook time: 8 hours + standings


    Makes 12 servings



    1 boneless pork loin roast (3 1/2-4 pounds)


    1 jar (12 ounces) apple jelly


    1/2 cup water


    2 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic


    1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes


    1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons seasoned salt


    1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper



  • Cut roast in half; place in a 5-quart cooker. In a small bowl, combine the jelly, water and garlic; pour over roast. Sprinkle with parsley, salt and pepper.


  • Cover and cook on low until meat is tender, 8-10 hours. Let stand 15 minutes before slicing. Serve with cooking juices, if desired.


    Nutrition facts: 4 ounces cooked pork: 237 calories, 6g fat (2g saturated fat), 66mg cholesterol, 165mg sodium, 19g carbohydrate (17g sugars, 0 fiber), 26g protein.


    (Source: tasteofhome.com, Jennifer Loos)





    Prep/total time: 25 minutes


    Makes 4 servings



    1 pound small red potatoes


    2 tablespoons olive oil


    2 garlic cloves, minced


    1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese


    2 tablespoons lemon juice


    1/4 teaspoon salt


    1/4 teaspoon pepper



  • Cut scrubbed potatoes into wedges; place in a large saucepan. Add water to cover; bring to a boil. Cook, covered, until tender, 10-15 minutes. Drain.


  • In the same pan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add potatoes; cook until browned, 4-6 minutes. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Remove from heat. Stir in remaining ingredients.


    Nutrition: 3/4 cup: 166 calories, 8g fat (2g saturated fat), 4mg cholesterol, 240mg sodium, 19g carbohydrate (1g sugars, 2g fiber), 4g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1 starch, 1-1/2 fat.


    (Source: tasteofhome.com)





    Prep/total time: 10 minutes


    Makes 1/2 cups



    1/2 cup butter, softened


    2-3 teaspoons grated lemon zest


    1 garlic clove, minced


    1 teaspoon minced fresh parsley


    1/4 teaspoon salt, optional


    Pepper, to taste



  • In small bowl, beat all ingredients until blended. Refrigerate up to 1 week or freeze up to 3 months.


    (Source: tasteofhome.com, Margie Wampler)



  • Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.


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