Friday, June 29, 2012
In the world of cooking, garlic is ubiquitous. This flavorful little bulb is used in cuisines throughout the world and has a history dating back thousands of years. Many praise the ingredient for its medicinal value. There's enough information out there to write a book on garlic, but we're not going to do that today. Instead, we'll share five handy tips you can use whenever you cook with this amazing ingredient. If you're reluctant to use garlic in your cooking because of its overpowering taste and smell, give these tips a try and garlic just might become your new BFF.
1. Slice Garlic Instead of Crushing It
Instead of mincing or crushing garlic, try slicing it. When you crush garlic, a molecule named alliin comes into contact with an enzyme known as alliinase. The strong odor associated with garlic is released when alliin and allinase come in contact with each other. If you slice garlic, you'll get the wonderful flavor without the bad breath.
If you want to be a total gangster, you can whip out a razor blade and slice your garlic like in Goodfellas. Otherwise, a sharp knife or a truffle shaver will do just fine.
2. Smash Garlic Cloves Inside a Plastic Bag
If you need to crush garlic and don't have a press, place some cloves inside a resealable plastic bag and crush with the back of a knife. You'll keep your cutting board and your hands from smelling like garlic.
3. Microwave Garlic Cloves to Make Peeling Easy
Peeling cloves of garlic can be a complete pain. The next time you need to peel a bunch of garlic, microwave the unpeeled cloves for 15 seconds. The skin will then come off quite easily. If you want to shell out $7, OXO makes a silicon garlic peeler. It's absolutely amazing.
4. Rub Your Hands on Stainless Steel
To get the garlic smell out of your hands, rub them vigorously on some stainless steel for about 20-30 seconds. A metal spoon or the edge of your sink will do just fine. If you want to get fancy, you can even buy a metal "soap bar" made specifically for this purpose. This also works for onions too.
5. Buy Fresh Garlic
Always use fresh garlic. If your garlic cloves have been sitting around for a while or have green shoots growing in the center, toss them. Fresh garlic has a "sweet" flavor to it. Old garlic is bitter. Also, you should *never* buy the bottled garlic available at supermarkets. It might save you a few minutes in the kitchen, but it's overpriced and tastes awful. This stuff is nothing like fresh garlic.
The next time you're cooking with garlic, be sure to try these 5 tips and you'll make the most of this mighty little vegetable.
Posted by FoodPair at 8:30 PM