Wednesday, July 11, 2007

WFMW: Working With Garlic

Works for Me Wednesday is hosted by Shannon at Rocks in my Dryer ... Be sure to head over and check out all the neat tips and tricks!

I love to cook, and over the past few years, I've discovered some very simple tips to help you when working with Garlic.

First, when buying garlic, choose garlic that is plump and firm, and has dry skin. Never purchase garlic if it has begun to sprout, because it will be bitter to the taste. I have been frustrated in the past, because many of the markets sell really hard garlic (which was developed for longer shelf life). Some are so hard that they have actually broken a cast-metal garlic press I use!!! So, if you are a die-hard garlic fan, and love the flavor of fresh garlic, try getting it at a farmers market, or at a "common-market" that carries organic foods. FYI: A neighbor of mine once gave me a garlic plant, and it was the best garlic I have ever had ... it was mild, and sweet, and delicious, and she assured me it was easy to grow ... I'm just to lazy to look up how to do it

Next, I have found a couple ways to easily remove the skin from garlic. The first method is by just giving it a strong whack with the flat side of my knife. It pops the garlic, and bursts the skin, enabling me to pull it off easily. The second method is one of my preferred methods. It requires a bit more work, but it leaves me with my garlic bulb intact ... I cut off both ends of the piece of garlic I'm using. That releases the skin, and it slides or peels off easily.

I love this next tip ... If you use garlic frequently, then you know that it tends to stick to the knife when you slice, chop, or mince it... so, when I've peeled my garlic, and I'm ready to chop it, I will either spritz a tiny bit of no-stick spray onto my knife, or I will get a paper towel and wipe a little bit of oil over my knife. The garlic chops and minces beautifully, without sticking to the knife

I store my garlic in a dark, cool place. Unfortunately, it does begin to "sprout" little green shoots. The garlic is still good to use at this point, but you will want to cut off, and discard all of the green shoots before you use the garlic. It tastes very, very bitter ... trust me on this one ... I found out the hard way

Finally, if I want crushed garlic, I turn to my trusty Pampered Chef garlic press. Honestly, I have purchase many a garlic press in my life time, both expensive and inexpensive, and I have found this press to be the very best. It is a molded metal that has been made into a fine tool, and it will crush garlic with or without the peel. I will usually cut the ends off of each side of the garlic bulb before I place it in the press so that it will squeeze out as much flesh as possible. I LOVE this tool, and it totally lives up to its reputation and cost.

Well ... That's all I have this week ... but it sure works for me!!!


Kara said...

I have that garlic press too and love it :) Fresh garlic is so much better than garlic seasonings.

Stacey said...

I've tried using fresh garlic before but for some reason it never works Well, I'll have to try these ideas and see if they work better for me! Thanks for the tips!!

Jana (sidetrack'd) said...

Spraying the knife before mincing is a great idea; garlic clinging to my knife during chopping makes me crazy! I have the PC garlic press as well, and I agree that it is a wonderful product.

Did you know that rubbing your hand on stainless steel after handling garlic or onions helps remove the odor from your skin?

Nikki said...

I totally love garlic! Great WFMW tips. Thanks!

summershine said...

I too absolutely love that garlic press. We use garlic in nearly all of our cooking. Love the stuff!

Susanne said...

That's my garlic press too! I use it all the time!

Shalee said...

Now I've a hankering for some garlic with... anything.

And my favorite advice was spraying the knife. That's brilliant!

Jen said...

I LOVE Garlic

Barb said...

Oh yes ma'am. I have that Pampered Chef garlic press too. :-)

Carol said...

Love garlic! Great tips, too!

Sandy Coughlin said...

Love this post. Love my garlic press! I use to sell PC and I did 160 kitchen shows (a Looonnng time ago) :)
My garlic press is one of my favorite tools :)
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