Sunday, January 8, 2017


The Stinking Rose
How do I use thee? Let me count the ways. Actually, I couldn't count the ways. It would take too much time. I use garlic in some form or another in just about everything I cook except for desserts. And not just fresh. I’ve also got garlic powder; dried minced garlic; a roasted garlic/herb spice blend; garlic flavored olive oil; frozen crushed garlic cubes; and homemade frozen garlic cloves. And, yes, I use each kind.

Too much garlic? I think not!
Garlic powder is used in rubs. Dried minced gets used in making broth/stock. Mrs. Dash roasted garlic blend is wonderful sprinkled on chicken before roasting or tossed with cooked, buttered vegetables. The garlic oil makes a great finishing touch for vegetables and soup. It’s also good for a quick saute. The Dorot garlic cubes are perfect for stews and braises of any kind, especially if I’m in a hurry to get everything started cooking. And the homemade frozen cloves are quick, convenient, tasty and can be used in just about any application.

Yup, I love garlic. But I absolutely HATE peeling garlic cloves! I’ve tried all kinds of methods and gadgets, but haven't found anything that makes the job more acceptable to me. I usually relied on the famous “bang the clove with the side of a knife” routine. It worked fine, but…

A few years ago I read about freezing the whole, peeled fresh garlic cloves that are available now in most grocery store produce sections. I gave it a try and liked it. For me, it’s a great option ‒ no peeling but with a taste close to fresh. And it couldn’t be simpler.

Ready for freezing
Just plop the fresh, peeled and separated garlic cloves on a plastic wrap lined baking sheet. Freeze. Then dump into a plastic bag for storage in the freezer. Whenever I want some garlic, I retrieve some frozen cloves. By the time I’m ready to use them, they’re partially or fully thawed. Run them through my trusty garlic press, and I’m good to go. No fuss and not much muss. The resulting flavor is a bit milder than fresh (not much bite), but that’s a trade-off I’m willing to live with.

I think I’ve got all my garlic needs covered right now. But you never know. There may be another “must-have” garlic product out there.

Garlic is a low acid vegetable, so please follow the latest safety guidelines for storing and preserving it. Do not attempt DIY garlic oil or chopped garlic in oil. For information on how to safely store and preserve garlic, please read THIS article from UC Davis and THIS article from Idaho University.

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