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Peeled Garlic


ojisan
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For those of you who don't like peeling garlic much try finding & buying elephant garlic. If its fresh and good it has the same kick as regular garlic, but you only have to peel 1/4 as much.

I remember reading somewhere that Elephant garlic isnt really garlic. It also doesnt have the same potency.

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This is the spec sheet on the product I've been buying:

http://www.christopherranch.com/products/P...zBAGPACKETS.pdf

... The garlic is grown in California, which is nice to know -- the fresh garlic in most markets doesn't seem to state a place of origin.

I buy a lot of my veggies at G Mart, a Korean store nearby. Last week loose garlic did not look that good, and the place of origin was not mentioned, all it said: garlic $1.25 a pound, while garlic in mesh jackets seemed much fresher and more fragrant. The tag said: "Organic Garlic" and in smaller size letters: "J&F(USA) INT'L TRADING INC. Brooklyn, NY." $.70 for 5 in a sleeve.

I did not discover until I got home that the other side of the tag clearly stated: "5 PSC 8 OZ PRODUCT OF CHINA."

Why does US import garlic from China?

Two more questions:

1. I seem to think that it was Julia who used to say that garlic looses pungency in the fridge and advised to use more garlic for dishes that would be refrigerated and served cold.

2. Did anybody bake or roast pre-prepared garlic. We use a lot of it for sandwiches, stews and salads.

Thanks. Skipper

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I remember reading somewhere that Elephant garlic isnt really garlic.  It also doesnt have the same potency.

Elephant Garlic certainly seems like garlic, but it's much milder than the garlic usually used as a seasoning. I remember when they first started marketing it, it was being sold as a vegetable that could be sliced raw into a salad.

Edited by David A. Goldfarb (log)
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I will sometimes buy elephant garlic when the regular heads look less than firm. For some reason the elephant garlic is always nice and I have never encountered an empty or squishy clove. It is pricey though. I like it in applications where it gets little or no heat since it seems to get lost (at least for me) in a stir fry or simmered dish.

The pre-peeled garlic that I have used has not been as juicy as straight from the head. That said, I think it was the ones from the Korean market. The ones in the many little mini packs inside the big pack from Christopher Ranch were moist but not something I wanted to use in a non-cooked application. They just had a bit of an off or chemical taste.

There is a certain feeling of abandon when I have lots of pre-peeled garlic and can spontaneously throw a few cups into olive oil over very low heat, tossing in some fresh herbs when the cloves are super tender. The cloves squeezed on bread, blanched or raw vegetables dipped in the oil- a perfect summer dinner, and the bonus of the leftover cloves and oil in the fridge. If I had to peel 10 plus heads, it would be more of a planned thing, and much more expensive.

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For garlic confit I bake whole unpeeled cloves with olive oil and a little thyme usually, let it cool, then pop the cloves out of the skins.

Never baked them before, usually stove top - on low for 45 min or until they're soft and can be easily pierced with a knife.

Going to have to give it a go, when I make my next batch.

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For garlic confit I bake whole unpeeled cloves with olive oil and a little thyme usually, let it cool, then pop the cloves out of the skins.

Never baked them before, usually stove top - on low for 45 min or until they're soft and can be easily pierced with a knife.

Going to have to give it a go, when I make my next batch.

I do it at 350F in a covered metal casserole for about a half hour. A little salt, too, I should have mentioned.

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Tonight, thanks to an abundance of zucchini from a friend's neighbor's garden, I prepared two batches of sauteed zucchini with garlic. For one batch I used Christopher Ranch pre-peeled garlic that has been in my refrigerator for a week, but from a new mini-pack within. For the other I used a few cloves of garlic off a head I bought in Chinatown about two weeks ago. As if on cue, the Chinatown garlic was some of the most stubborn-peeling garlic I've ever encountered. It was hard to judge strength and flavor raw but I ate a very small slice of each raw and the strength seemed comparable while the pre-peeled garlic was sweeter or at least less bitter/acrid. Cooked, I couldn't tell the difference at all. I'll need to repeat this on a much larger scale with multiple samples. This mini test doesn't really establish anything.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Tonight, thanks to an abundance of zucchini from a friend's neighbor's garden, I prepared two batches of sauteed zucchini with garlic. For one batch I used Christopher Ranch pre-peeled garlic that has been in my refrigerator for a week, but from a new mini-pack within. For the other I used a few cloves of garlic off a head I bought in Chinatown about two weeks ago. As if on cue, the Chinatown garlic was some of the most stubborn-peeling garlic I've ever encountered. It was hard to judge strength and flavor raw but I ate a very small slice of each raw and the strength seemed comparable while the pre-peeled garlic was sweeter or at least less bitter/acrid. Cooked, I couldn't tell the difference at all. I'll need to repeat this on a much larger scale with multiple samples. This mini test doesn't really establish anything.

This has been one extremely active thread. Who knew?

I think all eG garlic lovers should all meet at your house and have a proper tasting test.

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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I use the Roslé garlic press, which doesn't require peeling the cloves (and it's easy to clean). And the local Asian markets sell garlic cloves so cheap it's hard for me to justify buying anything else, even at Costco!

I recently listened to Bourdain's book Kitchen Confidential where he says one should never use a garlic press (instead, it should be very thinly sliced like in Goodfellas). He says the press destroys the flavor. Huh?

Obviously I have ignored his advice, but what are your thoughts on this?

Mark

My eG Food Blog

www.markiscooking.com

My T shirt site: Guy Bling

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For what it's worth, regarding buying the whole peeled cloves of garlic, the recipe testers at Cook's Illustrated/America's Test Kitchen also use this product in their recipes. They found the difference between this product and fresh peeled garlic in cooked/baked dishes was negligible.

...I recently listened to Bourdain's book Kitchen Confidential where he says one should never use a garlic press (instead, it should be very thinly sliced like in Goodfellas).  He says the press destroys the flavor.  Huh?

Obviously I have ignored his advice, but what are your thoughts on this?

It depends on who you listen to. According to Alton Brown, crushing the garlic breaks down more of the cells walls allowing for a stronger more intense garlic flavor. The smaller the pieces the more garlic flavor.

See the Good Eats "The Bulb of the Night" show transcript by clicking here. Scene 6 details the chemical reaction taking place.

edited to add quote and link

Edited by Toliver (log)

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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Regarding the garlic press, I don't believe it destroys the flavor or that somehow you lose all the good stuff in the press as some people seem to believe, but even a garlic press that's relatively easy to clean is enough of a pain to clean that I prefer to use a knife unless I need to crush a lot of garlic.

Some time in the late 1970s my father got a spritz of garlic juice in his eye from a garlic press and I don't think he's ever used one again, but ever since then I put my hand over the back of the plunger when I squeeze just in case.

Edited by David A. Goldfarb (log)
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I recently listened to Bourdain's book Kitchen Confidential where he says one should never use a garlic press (instead, it should be very thinly sliced like in Goodfellas).  He says the press destroys the flavor.  Huh?

I was told that the garlic press, by crushing the garlic, releases bitter flavors. I was told to always chop garlic.

That said, I've seen any number of good chefs and cooks smash garlic with the flat of a knife (equivalent to a garlic press, I'm thinking).

I like to chop garlic, but if I'm in a hurry, I just smash it with a knife.

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I've on very rare occasion used pre-peeled garlic, usually when I needed somewhere on the order of 20 cloves of garlic. Unless comparing to hardneck garlic or fresh green garlic from the greenmarket, I think the flavor difference is minor.

I did find that, in the jar, the cloves tended to get funky after around a week or so. Perhaps I could have taken measures to mitigate this, or perhaps I could have bought cloves that were packaged in smaller numbers of cloves rather than a gigantic jar.

My main objection to them over simply buying heads of garlic is that the convenience win is minor unless you really need to use a lot of garlic. But, more importantly to me, I think it creates unnecessary plastic waste. This is an issue people are thinking about increasingly and, frankly, our need to think about ways to reduce unnecessary plastic waste is only going to increase.

--

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A recent issue of Cook's Illustrated looked at peeled garlic. They tested and concluded that peeled is fine for dishes which will use garlic as a cooked ingredient either whole or almost so.

I never use peeled garlic for dishes a la minute. But, I love to roast (caramelize) a bunch of garlic in my slow cooker, and then it takes forever to peel enough to fill the cooker. Just today I bought two jars, about a pound total, of refrigerated peeled garlic from my local Stop & Shop. I popped it into the small slow cooker with some olive oil, and a few hours later I had roasted garlic which is NO DIFFERENT from the batches when I peeled it all myself. So I am convinced (and very happy) that the peeled stuff works for some things.

Ray

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I hate to tell you this but I live about 1/2 hour from Christopher Ranch. In August, Sept, and October I wake up to the scent of roasting garlic. They are the largest producer of garlic in the US. That being said, all of the garlic I buy is California grown.

My process for garlic is to chop two heads then pour olive oil over it and refridgerate. I do this about once a week. The garlic stays moist and the olive oil goes into what ever I am cooking.

Trader Joes carries a frozen product called Dorot made on a Kabutz in Israel. It is packaged in individual cubes, you just pop out the number of cubes that you need an put the back in the freezer. You can get garlic, cilantro, and basil. I use these when I am out of fresh and espeically like it in my Chimichuri sauce.

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Some time in the late 1970s my father got a spritz of garlic juice in his eye from a garlic press and I don't think he's ever used one again, but ever since then I put my hand over the back of the plunger when I squeeze just in case.

When I was a kid, I was making a vinaigrette dressing for that evening's dinner salad, a frequent chore for me. I wedged a peeled garlic clove into the press as usual, squeezed and--the clove somehow shot off into space, and disappeared. I looked all over for that damn clove, with visions of it rotting and turning nasty somewhere behind the fridge. We never found it. It became the stuff of (humorous) family legend--The Clove That Never Returned.

Otherwise, I loved our family garlic press--but it did seem to make some really acrid garlic flavor. I remember going "ah-HA!" when watching that episode of Good Eats that gave a rationale why.

I confess I had viewed all that pre-peeled garlic in the markets with suspicion, due to iffy encounters with previous-generation products in which the peeled garlic cloves were bottled in a preservative solution that left a noticeable aftertaste. Indeed, I squinted hard at that datasheet from Christopher Ranch, not quite believing that those things weren't packaged in some kind of preservative liquid. Assured that there isn't any, I'd say that if I had some future cooking project where I was making a dish with a whole lotta garlic and/or for a large group of people, I'd probably happily resort to the pre-peeled stuff. But for my everyday use, I've gotten fast enough with the smash-clove-pop-peel method that I don't feel the need.

I should add that, yeah, I'm another one of those danged Californians who has regular access to good quality fresh garlic.

Edited to add: According to Wikipedia, elephant garlic is in fact not a true garlic, but a relative in the onion genus, a species variant of the leek--though tasting more more like mild garlic than leeks.

Edited by mizducky (log)
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Does any anyone use a microplane to grate the garlic?  Its takes seconds and its closer to a puree than grated garlic. Really usefull for dressings etc...

Let's see... one second to squeeze my garlic press versus "seconds" with a microplane. Subtract my unscratched fingers, add that all my garlic is processed and...I win!

Ray

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You win. You the man. If we ever get into a garlic pissing contest I'm sure you'll be shooting cloves at the moon ;)

But consider cooking when an asian dish with garlic and ginger, the microplane shreds through both quickly and leaves one item to wash up.

I'm drinkin beer, your still trying to get that last bit out of the press ;)

Cheers...

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Ginger cut into disks mashes nicely with side of heavy knife or bottom of pan, although it can fly terrific distances if hit at the wrong angle...

I'm generally of the smash (w/knife) and grab garlic school, but the favorable take on peeled garlic makes me think it might be worth it, if just to avoid the "I just swept the floor!"/"How do you expect me to cook without making a mess!" argument that always seems to arise when the fragments of garlic skin go everywhere....

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I've been trying for some time to determine whether the case against the garlic press is real or imagined. Some of what I have observed:

The hard-to-clean objection is not valid. The Oxo garlic press is quite easy to clean.

Using a garlic press on unpeeled cloves greatly reduces yield, in my experience, and seems to impart some off flavors.

After testing many times, I don't think I can tell the difference between pressed garlic and garlic chopped with a knife until it reaches nearly a puree consistency. Of course, pressed garlic is not the same as sliced or roughly chopped garlic. I haven't noticed any off flavors due to use of a garlic press. Has anybody else, or is it just something we've read?

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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You win. You the man. If we ever get into a garlic pissing contest I'm sure you'll be shooting cloves at the moon ;)

But consider cooking when an asian dish with garlic and ginger, the microplane shreds through both quickly and leaves one item to wash up.

I'm drinkin beer, your still trying to get that last bit out of the press ;)

Cheers...

I don't try to get "that last bit out of the press" because I have a press which cleans itself out, simply by flipping the handle. I ditched the plunger style press long ago. I would rather develop the Jacques Pepin method of simply using the same chef knife to both smash, peel, and mince the bejeesus out of several cloves at once, but I haven't mastered that yet. Until then HE'S the man.

Ray

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simply using the same chef knife to both smash, peel, and mince the bejeesus out of several cloves at once

I'm no Jaques Pepin, but this must have been one of the first things I learned to do with a chef's knife, perhaps because my father was good at it, and it seemed at the time like this was the main purpose of a chef's knife, since that was his flashiest knife skill.

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