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Garlic: Tips and Troubleshooting, Selecting, Storing, Recipes, Safety


Kim WB
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Something that has always been and will always be one of my top 10 favorite dishes is just up your alley- linguine (or spaghetti) aglio e olio (with garlic and oil). Some consider the anchovies and red pepper flakes optional, but to me they're essential (along with lots and lots of garlic). Nothing could be better.

I make that once or twice a week (no anchovies). Some minced fresh peperoncino is a nice alternative to the dried flakes. Chopped Italian parsely adds color & a flavor counterpoint, also helps reduce post-prandial garlic breath.

Freshly grated pecorino is the final touch.

Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? How did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea!

- Sydney Smith, English clergyman & essayist, 1771-1845

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I'd also love some recipes in which garlic is the star attraction, perhaps more than just a flavoring or seasoning ingredient. Any ideas?

shel

If you like Mexican flavors, try shrimp (fish, zucchini, etc.) with garlic and lime - see camarones al mojo de ajo. If you like Thai food, there are tons of garlic-laden dishes such as stir-fried chicken with holy basil - see gai pad grapao. If Korean food appeals to you, perhaps Doddie or Peter Green could chime in with some ultra-garlicky recommendations.

We routinely go through two or three garlic cloves when cooking a Mexican or Asian dinner. :wub:

On the Korean side, I'm happy with just having a handful (or two) of fresh garlic cloves tossed onto the grill.

One we really liked recently was a recipe for potatoes from Salt & Pepper by Sandra Cook.

Boil halved lemons (she says slices, but I change this), garlic cloves, and potatoes in water until not quite soft.

Transfer the potatoes to a roasting pan, take the lemons and stuff the lemon halves with the garlic cloves. Drizzle everything with good olive oil and hit it with some salt.

Stuffing the garlic into the olives is something we tried. This way, you get that beautiful creamy garlic, but with a nice citrus twist. I can't say the potatoes pick up much of the garlic, but boiling them in lemon water does help a lot!

Or, if you're less partial, just go ahead and forget the potatoes and pack olives for baking with garlic!

Another easy item to do is to crisp fry garlic flakes for use with tenderloin.

And, like Bruce says, there's a whole world of Thai recipes that'll do great things with garlic. One of my earliest memories of Chiang Mai is walking into a wall of garlic just coming off of a hot walk in one of the back sois.

And don't forget, you can always pickle it.

then transe

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I like to make very garlicky pesto, but that much raw garlic isn't for everyone.

My wife has a habit of easting 2 or 3 raw cloves of garlic with dinner. She is convinced of the health virtues of garlic, and she never gets sick so I can't argue with her. In fact, I have come to enjoy eating little bites of raw garlic between mouthfuls of grilled meats. I admit it does seem to boost your immune system. But I also have to say, it makes for some very garlicky bedtime kisses. :raz:

"There's nothing like a pork belly to steady the nerves."

Fergus Henderson

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What other preparation techniques might there be? I'd also love some recipes in which garlic is the star attraction, perhaps more than just a flavoring or seasoning ingredient. Any ideas?

shel

One of my favorite cookbooks is the "The Garlic Lovers Cookbook" published in 1980 by the Celestial Arts in Millbrae, California. I doubt if it is still in print as a quick search on Amazon did not find it. The ISBN # is 0-89087-272-4.

It has more than 200 recipes using garlic as a main ingredient. One of my favorites is the "Forty Clove Chicken Filice". It literally uses 40 cloves of fresh garlic!

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One further thought........."Gilroy is the only town in America where you can marinate a steak just by hanging it out on a clothesline"...Will Rogers  :biggrin:

I've been to Gilroy, where they specialize in such items as garlic perfume and garlic ice cream. Garlic permeates everything. I walked into the Gilroy town store once and asked the counter girl working their and selling all these garlic products "You must really love garlic, huh?" She just looked at me sadly and said "I can't STAND garlic". One of life's little ironies.

I like the cookbook "Garlic, Garlic, Garlic: More than 200 Exceptional Recipes for the World's Most Indispensable Ingredient". It's written by two James Beard award winning authors, by Linda and Fred Griffith. It's full of interesting garlic trivia, but much more than that, the recipes are well designed. Try making the brandade or the Castilian garlic soup.

"There's nothing like a pork belly to steady the nerves."

Fergus Henderson

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One of my favorite ways to use garlic is to simmer it until very soft (if you are going for a more pronounced garlic flavor, use a very little bit of water -- a milder flavor, use more water and perhaps change the water a few times), and then use the puree with, well, lots of things...

Half blanched garlic puree, half avocado, salt to taste, is really really good.

about 1/4 puree, 3/4 potato is pretty nice...

All puree, a bit of water, a bit of cream, a bit of fresh herb, is a great soup

etc etc.

Just another idea, along the 'confit' lines mentioned above...

jk

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Upthread I mentioned the "Garlic Lover's Cookbook". I have found innumerable copies at www.Abebooks.com. This is a great source for out of print books and the cost is negligible. About $1-$3 for the book and the same for shipping

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Upthread I mentioned the "Garlic Lover's Cookbook".  I have found innumerable copies at www.Abebooks.com.  This is a great source for out of print books and the cost is negligible.  About $1-$3 for the book and the same for shipping

Ebay is a good place for these cookbooks too.

Braised garlic chicken: brown chicken, saute' 20+ cloves of garlic along with 4 sprigs of fresh thyme, deglaze with white wine, put chicken back in and add more wine. Cook until falling off the bone. Reduce wine/juices and thicken. OMG.

Also, I've roasted lots of garlic and infused olive oil with it. Great flavor.

My Photography: Bob Worthington Photography

 

My music: Coronado Big Band
 

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  • 2 weeks later...

So my local grocer is selling off packs of about 30 heads of garlic for, like, two bucks. It's still good, but has to be used pretty soon. I figured I'd roast the lot of it, and keep it handy for adding to soups, sauces, or to smear on bread. Two questions: what is the fastest way to peel that much garlic? Secondly, if I refrigerate the roasted cloves in a bit of olive oil, how long will they last?

Laura Fauman

Vancouver Magazine

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Shel_B have you ever tried skordalia when dining on Greek food? I love it, but you really, really have to love garlic. There are many different variations on the recipe for it. Basically it's a bunch of raw garlic cloves (I guess you could poach them to mute the effect), olive oil, either lemon juice or vinegar (I've seen a recipe where both were used), cooked, peeled potatoes and/or white Italian style bread (bread has to be soaked in water first, then squeezed), salt and pepper. These ingredients are just brought together in a blender. There are many recipes for it on the internet and I'm sure there are several people here who have recipes for it.

lauraf I've heard on numerous occasions that it can actually be dangerous to store garlic in olive oil or any oil; something about an anaerobic environment encouraging bacterial growth. Maybe someone here can give a better explanation. Storing in the vinegar or pickling is not a problem however.

Edited to add: Many years ago on a cooking show I saw what looked like a piece of corrugated tubing used to peel garlic cloves for a 50 cloves of garlic recipe (smooth on the outside, corrugated on the inside). The guy doing it peeled all of them in seconds.

Edited by divalasvegas (log)

Inside me there is a thin woman screaming to get out, but I can usually keep the Bitch quiet: with CHOCOLATE!!!

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So my local grocer is selling off packs of about 30 heads of garlic for, like, two bucks.  It's still good, but has to be used pretty soon.  I figured I'd roast the lot of it, and keep it handy for adding to soups, sauces, or to smear on bread.  Two questions: what is the fastest way to peel that much garlic?  Secondly, if I refrigerate the roasted cloves in a bit of olive oil, how long will they last?

WOW I envy you! One of the easiest ways I was taught was to soak the whole heads of garlic in water for 8 hours or overnight. The peels/skin comes off much easier. We do this when making huge batches of kimchi.

I have never frozen roasted garlic but peeled and minced in freezer bags lasts a couple of months.

Garlic is great grilled, pickled, roasted mmm. Also thinly sliced raw garlic is delicious dipped in gochujang a red bean pepper paste.

edited for spelling

Edited by milgwimper (log)
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...about 30 heads of garlic ... what is the fastest way to peel that much garlic?

Don't! :smile:

Just slice the stem end off the head, like a little hat. Drizzle a little oil in, maybe throw in a sprig of herb, pop the hat back on and place the head into a foil packet. Depending on the width of your foil you might get the whole lot into three foil bundles, like garlic bread [without the bread] to look at, if you follow me.

Once the garlic is baked the individual cloves will pop out of the papery shell at the merest poke with the handle end of a teaspoon or similar implement.

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Thanks for all the ideas - soe look wonderful! Sorry for not participating in this thread until now - been dealing with some medical problems.

Kind regards and thanks to everyone!

shel

 ... Shel


 

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This is a culinary homicide, but years ago when I was sick, a friend told me about something he referred to as a "Peruvian Garlic Blaster." He said you take a few cloves of garlic, mince them finely, add the juice of a few lemons, top off with cayenne and slam it back. Supposed to knock the sick out of you.

I tried it, and I think it worked.

Years later, I came down with something awful on the eve of an important weekend I had no intention of missing. So I upped the ante. I ran a head of garlic, two fresh serrano chiles and a good knob of ginger through a juicer, then added two lemons' worth of juice.

Again, I slammed it back -- and instantly fell to my knees. It burned instantly and the impact on my stomach felt like a pint of molten lead. My head spun, I fought bravely and brutally to hold it down, kicking and crying spasmodically on the bathroom floor. Perhaps I blacked out, but I don't recall whether my battle was successful.

Incidentally, I did get better really quickly. But I do not recommend this.

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...about 30 heads of garlic ... what is the fastest way to peel that much garlic?

Don't! :smile:

Just slice the stem end off the head, like a little hat. Drizzle a little oil in, maybe throw in a sprig of herb, pop the hat back on and place the head into a foil packet. Depending on the width of your foil you might get the whole lot into three foil bundles, like garlic bread [without the bread] to look at, if you follow me.

Once the garlic is baked the individual cloves will pop out of the papery shell at the merest poke with the handle end of a teaspoon or similar implement.

Thanks! I'll try it. I seem to remember the last time I baked the garlic whole, I lost a lot of the clove pulp when I squeezed them out.

Has anyone frozen whole roasted garlic cloves? Are they really soggy/mushy when thawed?

Laura Fauman

Vancouver Magazine

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  • 2 months later...

I mean, LOTS of garlic, almost 2 pounds of it. I've had it long enough that it's starting to get pungent. I need to store it, either cooked or uncooked, and I want to do it safely. Can I chop/process it and freeze? Roasting it sounds good too, but I know I'll drive my husband out of the house when I do. (Good time to make onion confit, I guess.)

I need suggestions about how to store or what to do with it. Chicken with 40 cloves of garlic is out, since hubby won't eat chicken. Or garlic, for that matter. :hmmm:

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I once had a 1 kg sack of garlic bulbs - I peeled the cloves and froze them on a cooking sheet like people do for berries. Into a resealable freezer bag they went for frozen garlic on demand. It worked out well enough but the garlic was a little mushy after defrosting.

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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As long as you store the garlic preserved in oil in the fridge, you'll be fine. Clostridium botulinum bacteria won't grow and/or produce toxin at refrigerator temperatures. If you roasted a bunch of it and left it covered in oil in the fridge that'd make a great on hand ingredient for cooking. Pickled garlic would be a good option to do, the simplest way would just be a simple vinegar/sugar solution like:

1.5 cups vinegar

1.25-1.5 cups white sugar (to taste)

1 Tbsp salt

1/2 cup water

Simply dissolve all that together, immerse the garlic in it, and leave it the fridge for 3 days or more before using.

You might be surprised how much garlic you can use when cooking. I often use 6-10 cloves garlic to stir fry a pound of veggies, and no one has ever complained to me about excessive garlic.

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I buy a ton of garlic at once...pre-peeled from the local middle eastern produce store. I slice it thinly, using my Cuisinart, and then cook it slowly in enough olive oil to cover. You have to stir it every few minutes and make sure that it doesn't brown too quickly. This gives you nice, sweet "roasted" garlic. I freeze it in small amounts and then pull it out to thaw as needed. I use it as you would roasted garlic...I make a lot of roasted garlic bread!

Margy

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