|Fresh Garlic Cloves. Mmm... :)|
By Madeleine Dee
As a personal chef, I have worked in A LOT of different home kitchens, but I've seen certain trends across the board as far as what people do and don't typically keep on hand.
I've recently noticed that garlic powder is a very common pantry staple.
There are two reasons for this:
1 - Garlic powder is easy to use.
2 - Garlic powder is inexpensive and doesn't expire.
Fresh garlic, however, is cheap (especially if bought in bulk) and can actually stay in good shape for several weeks, but once you learn this trick, yours won't last that long!
Here's my simple secret for using fresh garlic...
Get yourself a Microplane.
It will be your new best friend in the kitchen.
(I use a Premium Classic Zester/Grater. It was about $12, and definitely one of the smartest purchases I've ever made. Been using it for 3 years, and it's not even remotely dull yet.)
Professional chefs actually spend a great deal of time chopping garlic, then rubbing it into a paste with salt to get a similar effect. You will be ahead of the curve with delicious, smooth garlic paste in mere seconds. Plus, grating the garlic is fun. :)
The garlic will be in such tiny pieces that it will literally melt into your sauces, soups, stews, and stir-fries, bringing an incredible depth of flavor to your dishes!
Here's what you do:
(It's total rocket science.)
1. Rest the Microplane over your pot, hold the garlic cloves by the brown stem ends, and grate them back and forth until all you have left is what's between your fingers.
Saute the garlic with a little salt and some onions, or whatever vegetables you please. Because it is so fine, it will burn more quickly than normal garlic, but that just means that you have to keep an eye on it and keep it moving! For this reason, I don't recommend sauteeing it without onions or something similar (carrots, celery...). Your garlic needs vegetables to hug. Peace and love, man. :)
The flavor difference is outstanding.