Friday, December 19, 2008

I found out that when you use a garlic press or crush the garlic cloves, you get a stronger flavor than when you mince it fine with a knife. This is only noticeable when using the garlic raw. It can be used as a pest repellent to repel aphids. And the small bulbs of garlic can be as much as 20 times as strong as larger bulbs.

Garlic-in-oil should be made fresh and stored in the refrigerator at 40°F or lower for no more than 7 days. It may be frozen for long term storage for up to several months. Package in glass freezer jars or plastic freezer boxes, leaving ½-inch head space. Label, date and freeze.

Cooking/Baking:

Cooking garlic decreases the strength of its flavor making it much milder. The longer it is cooked, the more mild it tastes. But be careful not to sauté garlic too long at a high temperature, it will brown very quickly and can become bitter.

To bake garlic, place whole, unpeeled bulbs rounded side down in a shallow baking dish, drizzle with oil, cover with foil and bake for 1 1/2 hours at 325ºF

Uses:

Garlic can be used to flavor soups and stews, roast with meats or poultry, chop finely for salad dressings, bake whole heads until softened; pop out the soft flesh from cloves and spread on bread., and to put minced garlic on a loaf of bread to make an authentic tasting garlic bread!

Availability, Selection, and Storage:

Garlic is available year-round frozen or fresh. When buying fresh garlic, choose from plump, dry heads that feel firm. Avoid soft, mushy or shriveled cloves. American garlic should be white to off-white.

Garlic should be stored in an open container, away from other foods and in a cool, dark place for up to two months. Once broken from the bulb, individual cloves will stay fresh for three to 10 days before drying out.

Preparation:

To remove individual garlic cloves, peel outer layers from the bulb and snap out each clove from the base. Cloves can than be peeled very easily. For a more mild flavor, whole cloves can be added to food while it cooks or marinates and than discarded before serving the meal. Another trick for imparting a mild garlic flavor in your dish is to spear a garlic clove with a fork and stir your dish with it — discarding the garlic when stirring is complete.

For a stronger flavor, used chopped, crushed, pressed or pureed garlic in dishes. The more finely garlic is chopped, the stronger its flavor will be. To chop garlic, cut in half lengthwise. Make several lengthwise cuts and than cut crosswise. A garlic press can be used also though these can be a bit tricky to clean.
To remove garlic odor from hands, use salt or lemon juice and then wash your hands with soap

Image courtesy of Piyachok Thawornmat / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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