Which I have used several times from my cousin Bonggamom.
Tips for making the perfect Lebanese Garlic Sauce
|photo: KCET Los Angeles|
Our first batch ended up an oily, soupy mess. It turns out that there's more to making toum than just throwing things together (my preferred method of making just about anything). to making sure this sauce emulsifies properly (i.e. doesn't separate into oils and solids).
Here are a few things to keep in mind when making Lebanese Garlic Sauce:
1) Pour the liquids into the food processor SLOWLY.
I can't emphasize this enough! Don't just dump everything in. Drizzle the oil and lemon juice slowly, in a thin, steady stream, in equal parts, over a total time of 10 minutes. Make sure the liquid is incorporating nicely before pouring more.
2) Use a good food processor.
Ten minutes is a looooong time when you're running a food processor. My food processor is a fairly decent brand (Cuisinart), and after ten minutes of constant churning, the motor was hooooooooot. I can easily imagine a cheap food processor's motor burning out!
3) Use a large capacity food processor.
The recipe I used calls for 4 cups of oil, 1/4 cup lemon juice, and 1 cup garlic. I didn't think about the fact that my food processor only holds about 4 cups of liquid.
4) Measure exact amounts
I'm the kind of cook who always likes to throw in an extra pinch of cinnamon, an extra splash of vanilla, and extra shake of curry powder. I was way too generous when measuring out my garlic, so our first batch was so garlicky, our skin was exuding garlic for hours after our meal! Remember, this is raw garlic, so don't be tempted to pile your 1 cup of garlic too high, like I did.
Recipe: Lebanese Garlic Sauce (Toum)
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There are lots of different methods for making garlic sauce. "Toum" literally means garlic in Arabic, and the simplest recipes call for lots of fresh garlic cloves and oil, pounded with a mortar and pestle (or a food processor) to form a paste. Some cooks include additional ingredients like egg whites, cornstarch, potatoes, yogurt, lemon juice, or citric acid. I like the simplicity of the recipe below, which uses garlic, salt, lemon juice, and oil. (My go-to oil is grapeseed oil from Trader Joe's. It's inexpensive, neutral tasting, light bodied, and expeller pressed without chemicals.)
In order for the sauce to emulsify properly in the food processor, it requires a rather large volume of garlic and oil. Fortunately, this keeps for quite a few weeks in the fridge, or you can spread the joy and give a jar to all your garlic-loving friends.
Lebanese Garlic Sauce (Toum)
Makes about 4 cups
1 cup peeled garlic cloves
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups neutral oil such as grapeseed or sunflower
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice