Posted by: familiabencomo | Monday, March 24, 2008

Good Friday, Great Meal!

I have recently come to the conclusion that I am the quintessential Copy-Cat and I’m OK with that. The ho-humdrums of “What’s for dinner?” are no long a part of my daily existence, my family is experiencing new flavors while being well-fed and I look forward to making dinner instead of seeing it as the last task of my already busy day – aaaah, bliss.

So, having said that, last Friday I went grocery shopping with a handful of recipes that I wanted to try over the weekend. Marie, Proud Italian Cook, posted Vegetali alla Marie last week & if she posts it, then I try it – simple. This was the easiest side dish to prepare! All of the veggies are frozen (when you buy them, not when you eat them)! All that is really required of you is to fry up some lean bacon, then toss with Garlic Oil (see below) & veggies. Alfredo described the veggies as “rustic perfection,” meaning down-home, country good.

Vegetali alla Marie

As for the main course, I prepared Merluzzo ai Porri which I found on Lorraine’s Italian Foodies blog. This was a straightforward fried cod with sauteed leeks, however the flavor was rich & satisfying (even more so because it was E-Z!!!). True confession: I had to ask the grocer to point out the leeks for me because I had no clue what they were.

Merluzzo ai Porri

We thoroughly enjoyed everything! And, as a cook, I learned a few things along the way….. You see, it pays to be a Copy Cat.

GARLIC OIL – Marie’s recipe calls for garlic oil which I did not have at the time. However, Lady Luck was on my side. I was at Costco last week & saw the HUGEST container of garlic cloves. Since I use garlic all the time, it seemed like a good idea to buy in bulk. Not one of my better ideas to be honest – it’s A LOT of garlic. Anywho, I have a little less of it now.

To make the Garlic Oil – grab a handful of cloves, dribble with extra virgin olive oil, wrap tightly in foil & bake at 350 for 45-60 minutes. Then, combine garlic & a lot of extra virgin olive oil in a sauce pan and bring it to almost a simmer. Set aside. Once cooled you can use it as you like. Keeping the garlic & oil combined will richen the flavor, but you can also remove the cloves after a day or two. For immediate use, keep the cloves in the oil & perhaps toss some into the veggie salad.


Oh!  If anyone has any ideas for the rest of my garlic container, then please let me know.  Thank you!



  1. Good morning my dear. YUM YUM…I’m quite a copy cat foodie too & love ideas from meals form others blog. My friend in Kiev is a bigger copy cat thoug, & is constantly mailing me what she copies off my blog! That’s what foodies are all about…my family is thrilled too with new food ideas & flavours. Love the idea of garlic oil…garlic is my all time fave. I made a roasted pepper coulis with roasted garlic today…will blog it if it tastes good. didint use too much garlic though…You’ve got a LOT! Make herb butter & freeze it, use it in bread dough…will keep thinking. Love your meal; wish I had been there!! tanti baci…Deeba (see I’m a copycat too)

  2. Fab…I prepared Osso Buco over the weekend…I took pics, but forgot to bring my camera in..perhaps tomorrow.

  3. Rustic perfection? I love it! Tell Alfredo thanks! You always bring a smile on my face when I come by for a visit, I’m so glad you enjoyed the veggies. Great idea to make your own garlic oil, I bet it tasted great! The first thing I thought of when I saw that big container of garlic, was a recipe I haven’t made in a while, its called 40 clove chicken, I think its from Food network, you can google it fast, it’s really good! Thats one way to use up that garlic, huh!

  4. Deeba – Great idea! I also buy my butter from Costco. Do you think 2lbs of Garlic Butter is too much?!?! Glad to hear I’m not alone on the copy cat thing. I’ll be watching you blog for my next kitchen adventure. Tanti baci to you too!

    Mom – OK I’ll post your Osso Buco shortly. Love you too!

    Marie – Alfredo always comes up with a two-word description of everything I prepare. I try to remember them b/c they’re usually pretty concise. For him, anything that is simple & let’s the natural flavor dominate the taste buds is rusitc – great job, Marie! Also, thank you for the lead on the recipe. I will make that tomorrow (just 200 cloves to go).,1977,FOOD_9936_31318,00.html

  5. I have an idea! Will you make me some garlic oil? I will be happy to reimburse you for it or make something special in trade. I have been wanting some for my little kitchen. The Vegetali alla Marie looks and sounds so yummy and the Merluzzo ai Porri… omg! my mouth is watering! lol!

  6. […] Chicken… & a few Hail Marys! Last week, I found myself faced with a dilemma: too much garlic! Fortunately, I was given some great suggestions by Deeba & Marie. Marie pointed out that there […]

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