Hello, hello! So there is a garlic festival in North Western New Jersey tomorrow from 11am to 4 pm. It's being held at Old Lafayette Village. It promises a melange of locally grown, organic garlics, tasty treats, crafts, etc. Here are the goods: http://www.localharvest.org/event.jsp?id=23907

So, that being said, here are some traditional recipes inspired by tomorrow's potential booty!


T'sire

A spice blend from the Maghreb which was carried & traded by the Berbers throughout the spice trade routes. It is a hot & pungent blend of spices held together in a rich base of ground fire roasted peanuts. T'sire is ground with fresh garlic, ginger and oil to make a paste which is used as a dip. It is mixed into yogurt or soft cheeses, or most commonly used by coating meat to marinade and spice for grilling.

It has a sweet and nutty flavor that finishes with a rush of heat from the sweet sweat of ginger to the blood racing punch of chilies.

It gives you a good sweat, if made properly, to help cope with the heat of unforgiving climates. Hot food eaten in hot climates results in cooler feeling bodies – and it helps your body rid itself of toxins released in a good sweat. Strangely- it is also believed that chilies and ginger eaten in combination are excellent for a series of digestion ailments including acid reflux, constipation, sour stomach – and here's that strange bit – expels intestinal parasites(Cheeses Rice!*%@!). Perhaps this is why T'sire became so popular in the preparation of meats and sea foods.

Now that your armed with that weird little fact, it really is yummy - So don't let historical & holistic gibberish scare you. Plus, it may clean your pipes to boot!

6 cloves of Garlic

½ cup Olive Oil

2 Cups of Raw Peanuts (you can get these at several Latin or Indo- Pak markets, and health food stores for pennies)

2 – 3 Dried Chilies ( use chilies to taste, how brave are ya?)

1 Chipotle(Not traditional, but the smoky, sweet flavor really lends itself to this spice blend)

2 cloves of Garlic, minced ½ teaspoon of Whole Clove

2 inch piece of ginger grated 1 Teaspoon of Nutmeg

1 inch piece of cinnamon Sea Salt to taste

1 Teaspoon of White Peppercorn


Try to do this one over an open fire or a grill that you can add some smoke chips to. If making on a stove top, make sure to include that chipotle, it will give you that hard wood smoky flavor that you'd be missing.

Using a heavy skillet, heat two tablespoons of ghee to smoking hot. Crush peppers, cinnamon, nutmeg, white peppercorn and cloves in a mortar and pestle then add to skillet. Stir well.

Add garlic and ginger and fry with spices until fragrant( two to three minutes) being careful not to burn. Add peanuts and while stirring constantly, fry till roasted or golden brown. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Grind in a coffee or spice grinder till you get an even, crumbly powder. Store in an airtight container.

When using for grilling meats and seafood, dip protein in yogurt, egg or oil and then roll in T'sire. If making kofta, mix in chopped meat with diced onion and cilantro. Dust with T'sire before serving.



Toum: Lebanese Garlic Sauce

This traditional Lebanese dipping sauce is not for the faint of heart! If you love garlic, you’ll love Toum!


6 cloves of Garlic

½ cup Olive Oil

2 slices White Bread

½ cup Water

Clean dish towel or cheese cloth


Remove the crust off the white bread and soak in water.

Remove the bread and place in towel or cheese cloth and squeeze out the water – you basically want to be left with a ball of wet bread.

Crumble the bread into a blender and add garlic and a pinch of salt. Puree until the garlic is mashed.

Turn the blender on low speed, remove the feed port and add Olive Oil in a slow steady drizzle.


Use Toum as a dip for grilled meats, grilled chicken, on a salad, or as a marinade.

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Tags: African, Garlic, MiddleEastern

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