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How to Store and Cook Fresh Cloves Garlic Vegetable

How to Store and Prepare Fresh Cloves Garlic:


Most experts store their fresh clove garlic in a dry, dark, well-ventilated container rather than in the refrigerator. The temperature of the refrigerator doesn't seem to injure the garlic, but the moisture will speed up the tendency to mold, so it will spoil faster than in a dry container at room temperature. If you are not in the habit of using a great deal of garlic, it is probably wisest to buy it in small quantities more frequently, rather than to stock up at a time. True garlic lovers can buy several heads at a time and keep it for several weeks, or longer, in a basket or in one of the commercial clay garlic jars with holes in the sides. I keep mine in a small basket away from drafts and light, and it always seems to be gone before it suffers any adverse effects.

Garlic needs little preparation. The fresh cloves can be separated from the head in any quantity needed. If you must peel a lot of garlic at one time for a recipe, the cloves can be parboiled for 3 to 4 minutes, drained and cooled slightly. The skins should slip off without much trouble. If a little green sprout has begun to develop in the middle of the clove, halve the clove lengthwise and pop the sprout out with the point of a knife. The sprout can be a little bitter, but some people don't mind the taste and there is no reason not to include it in the dish if you like. In fact, in China, these sprouts are pried out whole to add to salads or cooked dishes or are allowed to develop into full-fledged shoots. These shoots are often sold in bunches much as we sell green onions, to be cut up and used in stir-fries and other dishes.

If the garlic is to be chopped for a given recipe, there is an easy way to peel it. Place the unpeeled cloves on a chopping board and smack them with the flat side of a large chef's knife or a Japanese or Chinese cleaver. The peel will separate from the flesh and can be easily slipped off and discarded.

Once the cloves are peeled, sprinkle a little salt on them and chop as finely as you like. The salt helps to hold the chopped garlic together and keeps it from sticking to the knife. Be sure to subtract the amount of salt you used during chopping fro the salt called for in the recipe.

Note: some cooks feel that putting garlic through a press results in a strong, somewhat bitter paste and they advocate mincing garlic as finely as possible, mashing it a little with the flat side of the knife. I agree that pressed garlic can be strong if it is incorporated into uncooked dishes, but if the dish or sauce is going to be cooked for any length of time, pressing is an easy way to process garlic leaving no discernible pieces. The new self-cleaning garlic presses are strong enough to press garlic cloves with the skin still on, although this method sometimes results in garlic spurting all over the presser rather than down into the cup or bowl. You can easily remove the odor of garlic from utensils and hands by rubbing them with the cut side of a lemon.

More about Cooking with Garlic

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