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Regarding garlic


Margaret Pilgrim
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Garlic has a checkered reputation depending on your taste and personal history.

 

I've been cooking with garlic for some 50 years, segueing though powder and various presses and hand chopping.   But most recently, mostly due to laziness, I have been shaving cloves as thinly as possible and adding them as large flakes to whatever I'm cooking.   The result is a sweet and clean garlic flavor that has escaped me with finer crushes.   A revelation and new love affair with garlic.

 

HOWEVER, I am a fanatic in selecting garlic.   Fresh, young and plump yield an almost, if possible, subtle flavor.    When I find it, I stock up and use with gay abandon.   When  only aged heads are available, I'm careful.  

 

What's your preferences, prep,  usage?   

 

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Paulie was shaving garlic in Goodfellas, and I have been for about as long.


With longer cooks, I’ll braise or stew whole or half cloves.

 

For good garlic flavor w/o the sometimes unpleasantness of too strong or too old garlic, I’ll steep chopped garlic in lemon juice and just use the juice (like for hummus).

 

I use garlic powder or garlic salt when making old school stuff, like ranch dressing.

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Great topic.

 

My big garlic issue is DONT  BURN IT.  So it goes in last and with moisture. Don't want any color on it unless I want that crappy Chinese take out flavor...which I haven't yet

 

I'm divided on whether I want to find pieces of garlic in a dish. Usually I dont.  So I'll press it for the finest prep or smash it and fish out the chunks before serving.

This changes how much garlic one needs. Garlic presses rupture more cells and give more flavor out of a clove than sliced garlic. 

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2 hours ago, Margaret Pilgrim said:

Garlic has a checkered reputation depending on your taste and personal history.

 

I've been cooking with garlic for some 50 years, segueing though powder and various presses and hand chopping.   But most recently, mostly due to laziness, I have been shaving cloves as thinly as possible and adding them as large flakes to whatever I'm cooking.   The result is a sweet and clean garlic flavor that has escaped me with finer crushes.   A revelation and new love affair with garlic.

 

HOWEVER, I am a fanatic in selecting garlic.   Fresh, young and plump yield an almost, if possible, subtle flavor.    When I find it, I stock up and use with gay abandon.   When  only aged heads are available, I'm careful.  

 

What's your preferences, prep,  usage?   

 

 

I am a garlic lover.  I bought a bulb yesterday.  Once at an Italian restaurant*, about age ten, I ordered pasta (probably linguini) with oil and garlic.  The proprietor presented the pasta but said that's probably not very exciting, and added a scoop of tomato sauce on top.  The establishment's tomato sauce was indeed very, very good, but in my eyes what would have improved my oil and garlic pasta was simply more garlic.

 

What most informed my palate as a young cook in the 1960's was the concept of a clove of garlic.  With a copy of Joy of Cooking in my hand I confused a garlic clove with a garlic bulb.

 

These days I chop, press, or slice garlic according to the intended application.  I don't turn up my nose at garlic powder either.

 

 

*with genuine 1950's lava lamp decor I can fondly envision to this day.

 

 

 

 

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For me, it varies depending on what I'm cooking and how. I use whole cloves, halved cloves. I mince it, crush it, pound it to a paste. I slice it thickly, thinly, more thinly. I grate it.

 

Mincing it is my go to for most dishes.

 

I also pickle it and sometimes have it raw.

 

I buy both regular bulbs and, more often, single-headed garlic.

 

I have never used or even seen garlic powder. That seems to be an American thing.

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Windrose farm out of Paso Robles comes down to the Santa Monica farmers market usually had at least a  couple types. I really think hardneck garlic varieties or what ever non commercial varieties you can find make the biggest difference. I picked up a couple heads of a Russian variety i can't remember the name of but the cloves are big and easy to peel. So good

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44 minutes ago, AAQuesada said:

Windrose farm out of Paso Robles comes down to the Santa Monica farmers market usually had at least a  couple types. I really think hardneck garlic varieties or what ever non commercial varieties you can find make the biggest difference. I picked up a couple heads of a Russian variety i can't remember the name of but the cloves are big and easy to peel. So good

i have not been able to go in some time but yes - lovely garlic. Relegated to supermarket I just go for firm and plump. A bit off-sides is my love of the young green garlic. Looks like fat scallions, pungent. My favorite in a fresh tomato salsa. Usually only find in Latin markets or farmers market. The scapes - piled tower high are nice too at Korean markets.

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