Domestic Goddess Tip: Peeling Garlic

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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?

Your thoughts?

 


Domestic Goddess Tip : Cookware

Domestic Goddess Tip : Cookware

Making my morning eggs (today I fried leftover arroz con gandules with an egg) reminded me to share a cookware tip I learned from one of my favorite cooking magazines.

When it comes to non-stick cookware, don’t invest a lot of money. The non-stick does not remain non-stick forever. In fact with regular use, it will only last about a year. Armed with that knowledge buy a pan that is heavier metal and hopefully cladded (metals pressed together into a disc that provides even heating). In current pricing, that price range should be under $40. Target and HomeGoods are favorite shops I find good quality, low priced non-stick in. HomeGoods typically has nice pans for $20 or under.

I use my 6 & 8 inch non-sticks daily, definitely on a regular basis, but I only use them for foods that are liable to stick, like eggs do. Many will use them for low-fat cooking, but I find them to not brown food as well as a traditional pan. So in my kitchen, they are limited to the sticky food cooking. For a pan sautéed chicken breast, I will use my traditional pan, because I want the flavor packed fond that is created by the Maillard Reaction. (click photo to have Maillard Reaction explained)

So my tip of the day is to check your pans. If they are older than a year, it’s time to pitch it and pick up a new one.

Note: If you have purchased a non-stick brand like All-Clad, they have a lifetime warranty. Contact the customer service to see if you qualify. Personally, I find that whole process a hassle, that is why I stick to inexpensive and disposable.