Wednesday, January 19, 2011

"Garlick maketh a man wynke, drynke, and stynke." - Thomas Nash

Salem's LotThe very first Stephen King book I ever read was Salems’ Lot.  I was twelve years old and the book scared the bahjoobies out of me . . . don’t ask me what a bahjooby is, I wouldn’t know since I lost mine when I was a little kid.   Anyhoo, I’ve been terrified of vampires ever since. Not to mention, a rabid Stephen King fan. 

As a young girl, I remember many a night lying in bed with my eyes pinched tightly shut and the bed covers firmly tucked around my neck trying desperately not to think of anything that might be misconstrued as a potential invitation to any vampires who might be lurking about.  Laugh if you want but it’s true.  I was horrified by the possibility of vicious throat shredding, blood drinking terrors ravaging me.


Of course, had I read about Anne Rice's fierce, beautiful, sensual vampires first then maybe things might have been different . . . ravage away hot stuff!  Hubba hubba!

I digress . . . maybe we never had garlic around the house or maybe I never thought of it but I never used it against blood suckers.  Odd, now that I think about it, since I’m sure it was mentioned in the Lot.

Garlic has been used in for centuries to ward off evil . . . specifically, vampires.  It was believed that the undead feared the pungent but tasty bulb.  Perhaps it’s the overwhelming odor, but apparently malevolent beings don’t like it.  Unimaginable, but possibly they’ve never had Aglio E Olio . . . yummers!

I’m sure that you’ve heard of the marvelous health benefits of garlic and not just as a protective measure hanging from your doorway and smeared along your window sill.  

Garlic actually does fend off bad stuff; it’s scientifically proven.  When consumed, the sulfuric compounds in garlic pass through your digestive tract and into you bloodstream unchanged. The sulfides in garlic are responsible for that strong, pungent odor in the breath and the sweat of garlic lovers.  That’s why you smell of garlic after eating lots of garlic the night before . . . repulsive, eh?  Actually, it IS repulsive to the nasties invading your body.  Say there’s a gaggle of foul viruses frolicking around your body.  Get it?  Gaggle?  Fowl?  Oh, nevermind.  Anyhoo, if the viruses that are bopping about encounter garlic it turns tail and takes off.  It’s been proven that viruses are repelled by the smell of the garlic.

Now, for the sake of argument, say that vampires are real and that vampirism results from being infected with honest and for true cooties . . . a virus as it were.   Would it not stand to reason that this sickness could be cured or staved off by consuming copious quantities of the odoriferous cloves? Just something to think about. 


Aglio E Olio y Pollo (Pasta With Garlic & Oil with Chicken)
  • 2 1/2 Teaspoons Salt, Divided
  • 1 Pound Spaghetti
  • 1/2 Cup Pasta Cooking Water
  • 6 Tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, Divided
  • 4 Tablespoons Minced Garlic, Divided
  • 3/4 Teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1/4 Cup Parsley, Finely Chopped
  • 2 Teaspoons Lemon Juice
  • 1/3 Cup Parmesan Cheese, Grated
  • 2 Chicken Breasts, slice thinly
  • 1 Egg, Beaten
Bring 5 quarts water to a rolling boil in a large pot. Add 2 teaspoons salt and pasta to boiling water, stirring to separate strands. Use the lowest package cooking time as a beginning point. Taste for tenderness and continue cooking if necessary. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta cooking water and set aside. Drain pasta.

Start sauce when water is put on to boil. In a 9- or 10-inch nonstick skillet, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium-low heat. Dip chicken slices in egg and saute until lightly browned and cooked through.  Remove chicken from skillet and keep warm.
Add 3 tablespoons garlic and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring often, until garlic is straw-colored, about 5 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in remaining tablespoon garlic, crushed pepper flakes, parsley, lemon juice and 2 tablespoons pasta cooking water.
Transfer drained pasta to warm serving bowl. Toss with remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil and remaining cooking water. Add garlic mixture & chicken, tossing well to combine. 
Serve immediately with some grated cheese on the side.

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