Star Anise vs Anise
Star Anise Anise
Despite the similar name, Anise is not related to Star Anise. They come from different plants. Anise is a category term that loosely classifies this similar group of spice even though they do not share any other botanical ties.
A LITTLE ABOUT BOTH:
Star Anise is the star shaped fruit of a tree that is a member of the magnolia family. It has a similar licorice flavor as Common Anise but the flavor is stronger and more potent. It is most often used in Asian cooking and is the main ingredient in the Chinese spice blend "Five-spice" powder.
Common Anise (Aniseed) comes from the plant Pimpinella Anisum. This spice is botanically related to dill, cumin, fennel and caraway. Aniseed is often used in liquors such as Sambuca and Ouzio. The seeds, in both ground and whole form, are also used in bread-making and to prepare herbal teas and infusions. It is also used as a substitute for licorice in candy-making.
NOTE: They can be used interchangeably when ground. Keep in mind that Star Anise has a much stronger flavor when compared to Anise. When replacing Star Anise with Anise, use twice the amount of Aniseed.
COOKING WITH WINE & FOODS
Beans Red Wine Add 1 tbsp wine per cup after veggies are cooked
Mushrooms Marsala (or dry Sherry) The same
BLACK GARLIC BULBS/CLOVES BLACK GARLIC POWDER BLACK GARLIC PUREE
The mystery of Black Garlic is not really a mystery. It is just coming into its own.
Black Garlic has a murky history. A garlic farmer in the United Kingdom claimed in 2009 he used a 4,000 year-old Korean recipe to make it. The origin of Black Garlic did start in Korea. It possesses a caramelized (actually it is created through a maillard reaction), savory richness that will make your mouth feel like it is eating a date. That is because it is sweet and mild and it is hard to believe you are eating garlic.
It is centuries old and was originally introduced as a health product. It does have 3 times the amount of antioxidants and Amino acids of regular garlic. It is garlic that has been fermented. During the process the garlic maintains a constant humidity and a temperature of around 150 degrees for 7 to 10 days, depending on the method of fermentation. Reducing it to a powder requires a rest period and dehydration before grinding to a fine powder. It entered the mainstream food community in 2008 with top restaurant chefs and TV chefs seeking its complex, sweet and savory flavor. It is believed to increase a person's longevity.
BLACK GARLIC AIOLI
6 black garlic cloves
2 regular garlic cloves
1 whole egg
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp of salt
white pepper to taste
3/4 cup olive oil
Put everything except the olive oil in the bowl of the food processor (use steel blade).
Process at high speed for 2 minutes.
While the machine is running, pour the olive oil into the pierced food pusher - do it in parts if it's too small to accept the entire cup of oil at once.
Just let it drip in. In about 2 minutes more, open the food processor and behold your aioli!
Spoon over vegetables, or use as a dipping sauce
Try it over grilled salmon or other fish or chicken.
Spread it over bread.
Use Aioli instead of plain mayo next time you make egg or tuna salad.
SPICY BAKED POTATOES
Spray Teflon roast pan with vegetable oil. Mix in the pan 2 tbsp Dijon mustard, 1 tsp of paprika, 1/2 tsp cumin and a 1/2 tsp chili powder. Sprinkle in some cayenne. Cut 8 small red potatoes in half and prick them with a fork. Add them to the mix and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes until tender.