ATLANTA — Midsummer is the peak of the garlic season all across the United States. Last month, Gilroy, Calif., was the epicenter of all things garlic as that small town 30 miles south of San Jose hosted the 35th annual Gilroy Garlic Festival.
The festival’s centerpiece attraction each year is the Great Garlic Cook-Off. Eight amateur chefs take to the stage to wow the judges with their original creations. First place winner goes home with a crown of garlic and a $5,000 cash prize.
Jamie Brown-Miller of Napa, Calif., said Gilroy is the Holy Grail in the world of amateur competitive chefs. It doesn’t hurt that garlic is a favorite flavor for so many people.
“Garlic is the perfect ingredient. It makes anything that much more flavorful and the flavors linger on your tongue. It can be a subtle undercurrent or right in your face. I love, love, love garlic,” she said.
Her Stacked Steak Napoleon layered with garlic paper won first place in 2011.
STEAK NAPOLEON ON GARLIC PAPER
Hands on: 40 minutes Total time: 1 hour, 20 minutes Serves: 6
This recipe is adapted from the 2011 winner created by Jamie Brown-Miller of Napa, Calif. The original included radicchio as an additional vegetable and topped the napoleons with crumbles of Stilton.
- 8 egg whites
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 12 cloves garlic, crushed, divided
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon stone ground mustard
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon hot sauce
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 ½ pounds beef tenderloin, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 36 shiitake mushrooms, stems removed
- 1 tablespoon truffle oil
- 36 asparagus tips
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil or a silicone baking sheet and spray with cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar until the mixture forms stiff peaks. Fold in 8 crushed cloves of garlic and spread the mixture evenly on the foil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and bake 40 minutes or until light gold in color. Turn oven off, partially open door and let cool for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and break into 12 squares. Set aside.
- While the garlic paper cooks, make marinade for steak. In a medium bowl, combine mustard, honey, hot sauce, remaining 4 crushed cloves of garlic and Worcestershire sauce. Toss the steak with the mixture and refrigerate until ready to cook.
- When garlic paper is done and resting, cook vegetables. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat and stir in shiitakes. Reduce heat to medium-low and cover pan. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste for seasoning and stir in truffle oil. Keep warm.
- While mushrooms are cooking, in a medium bowl, toss asparagus tips with lemon juice, vinegar and olive oil. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and cook asparagus until just tender and lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Keep warm.
- When ready to serve, put one piece of garlic paper on each of six serving plates. Divide asparagus between serving plates.
- In a large skillet, heat remaining tablespoon olive oil over high heat. Sear beef slices until browned on both sides, about 1 minute per side.
- Layer half the beef slices over asparagus and top with a garlic paper square. Divide remaining beef slices between serving plates and top with mushrooms. Serve immediately.
Per serving: 556 calories (percent of calories from fat, 29), 38 grams protein, 68 grams carbohydrates, 10 grams fiber, 19 grams fat (6 grams saturated), 70 milligrams cholesterol, 211 milligrams sodium.