Monday, June 1, 2009

Cooking with Fresh Garlic

In honor of my newest category of posts (Helpful Tips), I've decided to share with you a brief lesson that changed the way I cook. Fresh garlic can transform many meals, and it's so easy to use. I, too, once used the minced garlic that comes in a jar because I didn't know any better. That stuff is way too pricy and lacks some serious flavor. Fresh garlic is the way to go. I usually keep 2-3 garlic bulbs on hand at all times. They last for weeks without spoiling.

If you've never used fresh garlic, here's a quick and easy tutorial.

1. Take a look at the bulb. There's a flatter end and a pointed end. Cut the pointed end off about 1/4" past where the pointed end begins to spread into the bulb. This will expose the cloves.

2. Pull the cloves out of the bulb, separating each of them. They will have some peel on them. Remove any large / loose pieces, but don't worry about removing all of the peel yet.

3. Once you've separated all of the cloves, place on clove down on the cutting board and place the flat edge of a large knife on top of it.

the side angle

and from the top
4. Place your hand on top of the blade and push down with a swift motion to "crack" the clove. Cracking it will split the peel on the clove and make it much easier to remove.

5. Repeat this for all of the cloves, or for as many as you need for your recipe. The rest can be saved in the fridge in an air-tight container. Once all the cloves have been "cracked," peel away the excess pieces of peel and discard.

6. Once you have all your cloves, place them together on the cutting board and chop as finely as you desire for your recipe. If you need the cloves to be really fine, you can always toss them in a small food processor to mince them.

7. Once the garlic is chopped, feel free to use it in marinades, dressings, sauces, on garlic bread, or in a variety of other recipes.

Bon Appetit!
The FoodWhore

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