Adding fresh garlic to a recipe is a great way to amp up flavor–but a lot of novice cooks are stumped as to how you get from a papery clove of garlic to tiny bits of flavor in the pan. In today’s Kitchen Techniques tutorial, we’ll be talking about mincing garlic. Let’s get to it!
Separate the Cloves from the Bulb
The big white hunk of garlic you buy at the grocery store is a head, or bulb. If you gently break up the bulb with your fingers, the cloves will separate. Pull as many as your recipe calls for. Discard the outer skin, which has a papery consistency.
Peel the Cloves
Each clove is wrapped in a tight skin that needs to be removed prior to mincing. There are a couple of ways to do this:
- Peel it: Slice the hard, flat side of the clove off and gently apply pressure until the clove squeezes out of the opening.
- Smash it: Give the clove a gentle smash by taking the flat side of your knife and smacking it with the heel of your hand.
Do the Initial Cut
Thinly slice the garlic lengthwise, and then crosswise to make small slices. Sprinkle the garlic with salt so it doesn’t stick to the knife, and then repeatedly run your knife through the garlic until it’s the size and consistency you want it.
Need a visual? Check out this one-minute tutorial!
1-Minute Tip: How to Mince Garlic from The Kitchn on Vimeo.
Not sure what to do with the kohlrabi from your CSA share? Run out of ideas for using mason jars? Pregnant and need something to go with your ice cream?
One word: Pickles.
While some pickling recipes are quite complex and require exotic ingredients and more time than anyone actually has, pickling can be as simple as combining vinegar, salt, herbs and spices, and any vegetable (or even fruit!) in a sealed jar, and letting it sit in the fridge overnight.
Many experts recommend heating the brine first, letting it cool to room temperature, and then adding it to the soon-to-be-pickled item of your choice. Heating the brine speeds up the pickling process, bringing the sharp, tart taste you crave faster, but it is a step you can skip, especially if you are a raw foodist.
It’s a new year, and we bet that your resolutions don’t have too much to do with the time you’re spending in the kitchen. But if you’re like the majority of Americans, vowing to save money by eating in, or to cook more and eat healthier, there are some basic kitchen skills you need to acquire.
We’re making it easy for you. Put these five essential kitchen and cooking skills on your list for 2014, and by the end of the year, you’ll be a pro.