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Posted by on Aug 28, 2011 in Kitchen Tools, On the Basics | 0 comments

Garlic Manifesto

Photo from BigOven.com

I love garlic. By now, you should know.

Here’s what I know about garlic.

It’s sticky. If you use a garlic press, wash it out immediately or you may never get out what’s left after the press. (Sorry to Mr. J for all of the times that I have not done this.) If you chop by hand, little pieces of garlic will be stuck to your knife, to you, and to your board. I’ve found that introducing a little water to the area where you’re chopping helps to keep this problem to a minimum. I really want to try out one of those little garlic-choppy-things with wheels. Seems like it would be like the best of both worlds, kind of like a Slap Chop dedicated to garlic. Chopping garlic with a knife seems to take forever to me.

Raw garlic is hot. If you want to add garlic flavor to something you’re not going to cook or mix with vinegar, add a small amount of water and cook in the microwave for 30 seconds. If the water will mess up whatever you’re cooking, pour it off before you add it into the recipe. If you don’t add water, the garlic might explode or at least pop like popcorn all over the microwave. If you’re working with garlic and vinegar, mix the two together sooner rather than later. The vinegar will “pickle” the garlic and knock off the strong/hot flavor present in raw garlic.

The whole shebang is called a bulb. Each individual piece of garlic that makes up the bulb is a clove. To use, peel away the papery layers, and break off a few cloves. Remove the end where it was attached and peel the outer covering off. Handy little tubes make this process quicker.

Photo from BrickOvenBaker.com

Mashing the garlic and chopping it with a knife gives you stronger flavor. I don’t know why. Alton, can you help me out here? I’m guessing there must be some good flavor in what is left behind after the press.

I didn’t think it could be done, but you CAN have too much garlic. Most recipes are good with 2-4 cloves depending on size. If you want more pronounced garlic flavor, add it at the end of the cooking process. If you want less, add it toward the beginning.

Typically, if the garlic is beginning to sprout, it will have a very strong flavor. You can cut the clove in half and remove the stem, if needed.

Roasted garlic is more hype than it’s worth. I didn’t have good luck with it. I also didn’t have good luck adding garlic to mashed potatoes. Maybe I should put roasted garlic in mashed potatoes?

Don’t give garlic to your dog(s).

Anything I’m missing?

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