Saturday, February 12, 2011

Garlic??? Yes Please!

A Wicked How-To for Garlic

If you are like many others, the idea of using fresh garlic entirely befuddles you.
Don't worry its not as difficult as it looks. Let's start at the beginning...

This is a bulb of garlic:

A bulb of garlic is made up of several cloves.  In order to get a clove you need to break through nature's protective layers and break the clove free.

Your next step is to remove the protective layers from the garlic clove.  I've found the best way of doing this is to use the flat end of a knife and press down on the clove of garlic. I like to use any knife with a decent amount of surface area.

Please excuse my 100 yr old knife.
Now it will be simple to remove the outside layer.  Your clove should be smooth and slightly shiny and now ready to use.

Most recipes call for minced garlic.  It simply means to cut very finely.

Troubleshooting for Garlic:
Sprouting: Unfortunately, garlic is harvested best in June or July but is wonderful year round, especially in those cold months.  When garlic sits around for too long it begins to sprout.  There are 2 ways to handle this 1) you can plant it or 2) you can work around it.  Some people choose to leave the sprouts in but it tends to make the garlic a bit more bitter than I like.  So to remove your sprouts, slice down the middle of your garlic the long ways and open it up.  Now all you have to do is pull it out and discard.  Your garlic should be just fine to use from here.
Stinky hands: Whenever you use any ingredient that makes your hands stink I whip out the fresh lemon.  If you don't have access to fresh lemon, lemon juice or citrus juice is the next best thing.  Rinse your hands with the juices, let it sit for a couple seconds and rinse.

Fragrant Facts:
Garlic is freshest typically in June or July but is available all year round.
Garlic is part of the onion family.
Garlic's actual name is Allium sativum.
The leaves and flower of the plant are also edible just less pungent and not often used.
Garlic has been used for centuries medicinally.
Garlic is a tasty way to keep your vampire friends away.


Amy said...

To get the garlic off of your hands, rub them on stainless steel. They sell a gadget or you can just rub them on a soap dispenser or bowl. Whatever you have.

Wicked Chef # 1 - Linds said...

Great suggestion! Thank you for sharing. I love hearing what works for other people!