Confessions of an Unintentional Domestic Goddess

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Allium Sativum, How I love Thee….

on June 18, 2012

Y’all already know of my passionate affair with Allium Sativum, that’s the scientific name for garlic. It’s a wonderful thing that I’ve brought my husband along to enjoy. Well, I kinda have to, you know, how gross is it when your date/friend/spouse/partner has just consumed what smells like an entire head of garlic and starts talking/laughing/singing to you? Blech. Sick. My thought is if I have company in what I’m eating, we’re both pungent and no one cares! Make sense? Well, it does to me! Almost like drinking alone, it’s just not the same. Hmm, I don’t know that I can say that either, I don’t mind having a glass of wine by myself. Preferably in a hot bath with a good book.

Back to my garlic. I really should try to grow my own, since I eat it like an apple. Ha ha! Just kidding, I seriously do NOT eat garlic like an apple. Have you ever sampled a raw fresh garlic clove? It’s spicy, like raw onion spicy.

It’s been a while since I shared about garlic, and since I’ve got some new friends, how about a little refresher? Garlic is fantastic in many ways, besides chasing off those pesky vampires! It’s really good for your heart and circulatory system, your immune system, and even though they say it doesn’t act as a mosquito repellent, I totally think it does b/c when I eat a lot of it, they don’t come near me!

How about I just break it down into bullet points?

  • Fresh will always be best over jarred. When it’s processed, it starts to lose it’s potency and flavor.
  • Besides, storing/peeling/using fresh garlic couldn’t be easier, really. Start off by choosing a head (that’s the whole thing) that’s white in color and the cloves (the little pieces that you break off to use) are nice and held tightly together (remember “White and tight”). The ‘head’ of garlic breaks into ‘cloves’. I remember reading about someone who was a newlywed and trying a new recipe, ’20 garlic clove spaghetti’ and mistakenly thought the whole head was a single clove! She put 20 WHOLE HEADS of garlic in her pasta sauce! And being a sweet husband, he ate it and didn’t complain, although she didn’t make it again!
  • Store garlic in a dark cool space, I keep my in my pantry. Do not put it in the fridge, it will lose it’s flavor, besides, it’s not necessary to store there.
  • To peel a clove of garlic, break off the clove from the head.  Place the clove on a cutting board/hard surface and lay knife flat over the clove with the blade pointing away from you, use the heel of your hand and hit the flat part of the knife blade to kind of crush the clove. Then  you can easily peel the clove and do what you wish with it.
  • another method to peel multiple cloves, I saw on YouTube, break the head apart into individual cloves, and with two bowls of the same size, place the garlic in one bowl and put the other bowl on top going the opposite direction (top to top), hold it together and shake back and forth vigorously. I’ve tried it and been sort of successful.
  • If you really want to release more of the garlicky goodness, use a garlic press. They are fantastic little gadgets and you don’t even have to peel the garlic before squeezing it where you want it! I got mine from The Pampered Chef ages ago. It’s super easy to use. I love it when I really want a strong taste, by squeezing it, you release more of the oils, hence flavor. If you want the flavor of garlic, but not an overpowering level, you can mince it on your cutting board.
  • If you’re afraid of garlic, or don’t really care for the stronger taste, try it roasted. Roasting the head of garlic will make it soft, a tiny bit sweet, and spreadable. One of our favorite restaurants serves roasted head of garlic with crusty fresh-baked bread. MMMM who needs an entrée when I have that?

Are you hungry yet? I’m thinking garlic chicken stir fry or some fresh bruschetta. Or maybe some roasted garlic smeared on crusty bread. And a side of mouthwash!

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