When I moved out on my own, and started cooking for myself for the first time, there were quite a few ingredients that I was afraid of. Garlic being first and foremost on that list! How crazy! It wasn't until YEARS later that I finally conquered my fear of the potent bulb.
Now, I use it in everything. It's a staple in my kitchen, amoung-side the herbs and onions. I don't care if my fingertips smell, or if the garlic aroma is spilling from my pores...it's one of the most necessary and important ingredients in the world of food preparation. (Don't get me started on those prepared jars of garlic - the flavor just is not the same!)
Roasted garlic is one of my most favorite things in the world. Just cut a whole garlic head - exposing the cloves - drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with kosher salt, and roast in package of foil for 1 hour at 375 degrees. When done, the garlic cloves are as soft as room temperature butter. You can take that garlic and spread it on toasts as an appetizer...or, you can make one of my favorite sides to go with beef...
ROASTED GARLIC SMASHED POTATOES - no measure
equal parts white potatoes and baby red-skinned potatoes
salt and pepper
1 head of roasted garlic - can be made a couple of days in advance, and kept in the 'fridge
Peel and cube the white potatoes. Since the baby red-skinned potatoes are already small, you can scrub then and leave them whole, or cut them in half if they are a little bigger in size. (You want all of your potatoes to be about the same size, so they cook at the same time.) Place potatoes in a pot, and cover with water. Bring water to a boil, and cook until a fork thine easily pierces.
Drain cooked potatoes into a collander. Place the potatoes back into the pot. Add your roasted garlic cloves, salt and pepper, clives, a few tablespoons of butter and milk. Smash until you achieve the consistancy you desire, and all the ingredients are incorporated. I like mine a little more on the chunky side.
And besides all of the health benefits, it will also keep those pesky vampires away!