In case you still have your Arizona Republic newspaper from today (May 23rd), check out page 4 of the D section. If you don’t get or don’t still have the paper, you can see the same thing at this link from AZCentral.com
We attended a wonderful college graduation party on Saturday for my dear friend Laura’s daughter Megan. Laura and I have been friends since high school, we were in each others’ weddings, and are godmothers to each others’ children. Laura’s two sisters, Mary and Shawna, are like my sisters, they are my second family, so there was plenty of reminiscing going on all afternoon. One of the many things that came up was food (of course!) and one of those foods was these wonderful little garlic bread balls served at a restaurant at the Venice Pier in Marina Del Rey, California, C & O Trattoria. They are called “Killer Garlic Balls” for good reason – they are free, brought to the table throughout the meal, and are amazingly addictive. If you think the endless chips and salsa at Mexican restaurants are bad…
Here is a picture of the Killer Garlic Balls from the C & O website. Although the picture of mine don’t look as browned, it’s honestly just the poor quality of my photo verses the high quality of their photo, mine are nicely browned too.
At the request of Laura, Mary, and Megan, I’ve done my best to duplicate those little gems. I think I got pretty close, I’ll let my ladies be the judges… and congratulations, Megan, you’ll knock ‘em out in Austin! xoxo
Garlic Knots (C & O Killer Garlic Balls Knockoff)
1 3/4 cups warm water
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons yeast
41/2 to 5 cups flour
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/4 cup finely minced fresh Italian parsley
Sea salt to taste
Dough: In the bowl of a standing mixer, combine water, olive oil, salt, sugar, and yeast in a large bowl. Let stand for 10 minutes to proof the yeast.
Add flour, one cup at a time, until completely incorporated; knead well then return to bowl, cover, and set in a warm spot to proof until doubled in volume, about 1 hour. Once the dough has risen, refrigerate the dough for about an hour, this makes it easier to handle while knotting. (The dough will keep refrigerated for several days if you want to make ahead of time)
When ready to roll out, oil a large wooden cutting board and a rolling pin liberally with olive oil. Line 2 baking sheets with silpat mats or parchment paper and set aside. Oil your hands to help keep dough from sticking to them. Take half of the dough and slap it onto the oiled board several times to flatten. Using the rolling pin, roll out into a 5-inch x 16-inch rectangle that is 1/2-inch thick. Use a pizza cutter or sharp knife to slice the rectangle into about twenty 3/4-inch x 5-inch strips.
Sprinkle the dough strips and the board with flour. Taking the strip nearest to you, roll it back and forth to create an even rope. Tie into a knot (over, under, and through) and place on the lined baking sheet. Place knots about 1 1/2-inches apart. Flour your hand, the dough, and the board as needed to help keep the dough from sticking to itself while forming the knots.
Continue making the remaining knots with the second half of the dough. Once each baking sheet fills up, cover with a dry kitchen towel, and place in a warm, draft-free spot to rise, doubling in size, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. After knots have risen, remove towels and place in the oven. Bake for 12 minutes, or until lightly golden.
While knots are baking, make garlic coating. Gently warm olive oil, butter, garlic, and Italian seasoning in a small saucepan. Remove from heat, stir in parsley and set aside in a warm spot.
After removing knots from oven, while still warm, pour coating into a large bowl, add knots and toss with garlic coating. Season with sea salt to taste.
Makes about 40