We all love garlic, but what are some of the best ways to store, prepare and use this ingredient we love so much? Have you ever wondered how to get the strongest flavour from it, or how you can get stubborn garlic smell off your hands? We’ve all of this covered and more with our ten tips for cooking with garlic.
1. How to store your garlic
The ideal conditions for storing garlic are a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Do not put garlic in the fridge because it can go soft and mouldy quickly. Some people like to use a garlic keeper, which is a small pot which is designed to stay cool and which has holes to let air circulate as garlic needs to breathe.
2. How to remove skins from cloves in seconds
Place the garlic cloves in a glass jar and shake vigorously. The skins will fall of the cloves leaving you with bare naked ones – simple! You can also microwave individual cloves for 15 seconds in the microwave to make the skins fall off much more easily.
3. How to dictate the intensity of the flavour
The intensity of the flavour of fresh garlic depends on how it is prepared. Whole garlic cloves provide a mild flavour. Sliced a slightly stronger flavour, but still very mild. Chopping the cloves intensifies this flavour more, releasing more of the oils and mincing or smashing the cloves provides for the strongest flavour as much more of the juices and oils are released.
4. How to ensure you don’t burn the garlic
You need to be very careful not to burn your garlic and this will depend on what you use to fry it. Butter will burn much faster than an oil for example. When garlic has been cooked too long, or at too high a temperature it can be bitter.
5. When to add the garlic
Garlic mellows the longer it is cooked, so add it to the end of cooking to give a stronger taste. Or add it early if you want this taste to be mellow. You can also add parsley to recipes to make the garlic flavour less intense.
6. How to store peeled and minced garlic
You can keep peeled and minced garlic fresh by placing it in small jar and pouring enough olive oil over it to cover the garlic and then place it in the refrigerator. It will stay fresh for around one week.
7. How to remove the smell of garlic from your hands
All you need to do it rub your hands with something made from stainless steel, such as a spoon or a pot, or even a stainless steel soap bar. These are available from most ‘cook shops’ or online in places like Amazon.
8. How to removing the smell of garlic from your breath
Chewing raw fresh parsley is reputed to help assist with unpleasant smelling breath from garlic, so it is good to keep this at hand after a particularly pungent meal!
9. How to prepare the garlic before cooking
This brings out the full flavour of the garlic, so it is always best to leave the crushed or chopped garlic sit for a period before you use it.
10. How to tell when your garlic has gone off
The garlic will be well past its prime, so it is best to just throw it out. It is always best when it is fresh.
What’s your top tip for cooking with garlic?