What's the Best Way to Cook with Garlic?

Garlic How much thought do you typically give to the question of what's the best way to cook with garlic?  Do you fully understand and appreciate that garlic isn't just for scaring away for vampires or giving certain foods that immediately...


How much thought do you typically give to the question of what's the best way to cook with garlic?  Do you fully understand and appreciate that garlic isn't just for scaring away for vampires or giving certain foods that immediately definable specific sense of Italian cooking? You do?

Okay, but did you know that no less authoritative and trustworthy an organization than the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health recommends it for its potential to reduce your risk of developing several different types of cancer? Garlic is therefore an excellent addition to any meal not just for its flavoring properties, but because of its nutritional value to maintaining good health. But if you plan on utilizing it to its fullest effect, you need to know some of the tricks of the trade.

Easy Peel Garlic Bulbs

Fresh bulbs are the ideal choice when you choose to use garlic.  Of course, using the bulbs rather than something from the spice rack means peeling the skin and if your only familiarity with garlic is in powder form, then you need to know that occasionally bulbs can be difficult to peel. Unless, that is, you run the bulbs under the hottest water your skin can stand for a few minutes. After the rinse, the skin should peel away much easier. If your menu requires many bulbs to peel, just soak the garlic in a bowl of hot water before peeling.

Because it is Bitter and Because it is My Garlic

Point of fact: very few aromas you can produce in the kitchen have quite the delicately enticing sensation as perfectly sauteed garlic. But here's another point of fact: scorched garlic can quickly move from aroma to odor. And any food to which you add the now-brownish garlic is going to taste bitter. The lesson to be learned is that garlic is fabulous when you saute it very quickly over a low heat.

Golden brown sliced garlic in a pan
Golden brown sliced garlic in a pan

Storing Garlic

The first rule of garlic club: never buy more than you honestly think you can use within three months. Make sure that the area in which you store fresh unbroken garlic bulbs for no more than three months is as cool, dark and dry as possible. If your kitchen remains relatively dark and dry and cool, you can make it both useful and decorative by braiding the bulbs and hanging them from kitchen fixtures. Storage of garlic is vitally important for maximum nutritional benefit. Storage areas that are too warm, too humid, too cold or too well-lit can all impact the freshness  which in turns reduces those health benefits.

Toasted Garlic Bread

Okay, here's the thing about making your own garlic bread. As previously stated, fresh bulbs are preferable to the powder, not to mention cheaper. On the other hand, the bulbs also require a lot more work than garlic powder. One place where the work simply isn't worth it is when you want to make garlic bread really quickly. In which case, get the smallest quantity of the highest quality of garlic power you can afford. Butter your bread and generously sprinkle the powder over it and then place into the oven. If you prefer crispy crusts on your toasted garlic bread, use your oven's broiler setting rather than the baking setting. Just make sure you are there to keep close tabs because the broiler turns bread into toast much more quickly.

Garlic Bread
Garlic Bread

Garlic Fingers

Garlic fingers does not refer to some sort of recipe that puts the taste of garlic into finger food form. Rather it refers to the seemingly inescapable scent of that permeates into your skin when you have been handling fresh garlic during meal preparation. Garlic has a wonderfully resonant bouquet, but by the time you've finished eating and are ready to settle in for the night, that bouquet may not still be quite so wonderful. Fortunately, several options are available for ridding yourself of garlic fingers. You may see advice to run your finger across the blade of a stainless steel knife, but such advice seems dangerously misleading. What is meant by that advice is to rub your fingers back and forth across the broad side of a knife blade while keeping a safe distance from the sharp edge. For some reason, stainless steel supposedly has the power to remove certain scents. A much safer way to deal with garlic fingers is to create a mash of salt and lemon in a bowl and then rub the mash all over your hands and then clean the mash off with soap.

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