Tuesday's Tip: Garlic without the Gadgets - FamilyEducation

Tuesday's Tip: Garlic without the Gadgets

March 22,2011
Sweet Pea Chef
Jessica Efird

Jessica, aka the Sweet Pea Chef, is a former U.S. Senate staffer/weekend gourmet turned full-time mom/family gourmet. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband and two sons.

Is there any cooking ingredient as ubiquitous as garlic?  Garlic is the basis of countless recipes from countless cuisines.  Except for sweet desserts, I seldom approach a recipe without considering garlic. 

Perhaps because cooking with garlic is so common, there seem to be a lot of items and gadgets that are marketed for garlic use.  Garlic peelers, garlic roasters, garlic storage, garlic presses, and garlic “stink” removers are just a few of the many garlic products on the market.

Certain kitchen gadgets can be a real help to cooks, but others just clutter your kitchen drawers.  I am convinced that the only garlic gadget that is helpful is a garlic press (and some professional chefs would no doubt argue that this is unnecessary too) and that any other gadgets are easily replaced with simple kitchen skills.  And with this in mind, I share the following quick tips for working with garlic:

*To peel garlic seamlessly, simply take the garlic clove and place it on a firm, flat surface, such as a cutting board:

*Take a large knife or other flat item (heck, you could use the bottom of a can of vegetables, a mallet or a pan) and pound it with a good firm, smash:

The garlic peel will literally fall off of the garlic clove:

*Once the garlic clove is peeled, you can mince it with your knife, use a garlic press or slice it however you choose.

*To remove the garlic smell from your hands, take any stainless steel kitchen utensil and rub your fingers on it as cold water runs over your fingers.  The smell with be gone!  Really.

So today’s Tuesday’s Tip is to think of your existing kitchen tools before you feel compelled to buy something new for your garlic cloves.  You less-cluttered drawers will thank you.

SPC