Peeling garlic can be tedious and messy. One day, while contemplating the daunting task of peeling two heads of garlic for a recipe that needed 40 whole cloves, I recalled a commercial for a garlic peeler I had seen on TV. They were peddling a tube made of rubber that you put the garlic into, roll, and voila! Out came the peeled garlic cloves all pretty and naked!
Well, I’m not a fan of gadgets and I’m kind of a kitchen minimalist. I’m not a big fan of single task tools, (unless I use them quite regularly) which is why I have never thought to buy one.
It dawned on me however, that the rubber gizmo was made from material no different than my Silpat mat. I grabbed my baking mat (You can find off brand non-stick baking mats but the original is called a Silpat) and gave it a whirl:
Simply lay the cloves in a line parallel to the edge, and then ‘roll’ them gently, pushing down slightly while you roll. Use the palm of your hand to roll and keep the pressure firm but light as you feel the cloves turn under your hand.
I found I could process quite a few at a time if I kept them about the same size. I would remove the ones that were peeled and if needed, rub a couple more times to remove the stubborn skins.
This may sound almost simplistic, but trust me, it works. It saved me a good chunk of time and more than a few pennies for a product that I would have to store and only use once in awhile. And clean up is a breeze! Simply wipe down your mat with a damp cloth and let dry. If the garlic was juicy and you pressed too hard, you might need a bit of soap, but still…what a breeze!
I use this method for large quantities of garlic. You can use it for one or two cloves, also. I have an amazing garlic press which I use for one or two cloves which ‘minces’ the garlic and leaves the skin behind. Not the same result as whole cloves, but a tool I found worth the investment for minced garlic. That tip might be for another post.
Or maybe I should start a product review category?