Top 10 Garlic Cooking Tips
1. When purchasing garlic look for bulbs that have plump, firm cloves with the papery outer sheath intact. Avoid garlic that is soft, spongy or shrivelled
2. Keep the bulbs in a cool, dry place. Do not refrigerate. Garlic needs air circulation so don’t store in a plastic bag, keep it on your shelves or window sill (out of the sun)
3. To separate the cloves from the bulb, place the bulb on a solid surface, place both hands on top and apply pressure. You will hear the crack as they start to separate.
4. To peel a large number of cloves, drop them into a pan of boiling water for 10 – 20 seconds (known as blanching), drain and plunge into iced water, (known as refreshing), drain and the skins should just easily slip off
5. To peel a small amount; place the blade of a large knife on top and smack the blade with your fist, the peel is then easily removed and you will have partly crushed the clove
6. The smaller the garlic pieces, the stronger the flavour that is imparted into the foods
• if you want a nice mild flavour, lightly perfumed food, even a sweetness use whole, unbroken garlic cloves (they may even be left with the peel on)
• if a slightly stronger nuance is required thinly slice it
• for a fuller flavour, finely chop it (also known as minced garlic )
• if it’s a full on, in your face, vampires wont come near taste you want then crush the bulbs to a pulp
7. To crush the garlic with a knife, first lightly chop it, sprinkle on a big pinch of salt (which releases the garlic juices) and then by rub the flat of your knife back and forth over it
8. The longer you cook garlic, the less astringent it becomes and the flavour will soften. When sautéing garlic, be careful not to burn it, burnt garlic has an unpleasant bitter taste
9. To remove garlic odour from your hands, rinse your hands with fresh lemon juice or scrub with a bit of salt, then rinse with cool water.
10. To freshen your breath after eating garlic, chew on a sprig of fresh parsley
I hope this demystifies and explains garlic use a little better for you?