The Garlic’s A-Peeling!

Have I mentioned lately how much I love garlic? Apparently I have!

Several friends, knowing of my love for garlic, suggested that I try this technique for How To Peel A Head Of Garlic In Less Then 10 Seconds. I read the instructions, watched the video, cocked my head and made the dubious face, and decided to give it a try anyway. But, lemme tell you folks something…I know garlic. I lived at a Quaker retreat center, called Pendle Hill, for most of the last year, and I spent 3-5 hours a week peeling garlic. That is a lot of hours to know that garlic peels are a hell of a lot more tenacious than even a dickens-shaking like that. If your garlic peels that easily, I’m sorry to say, you’ve got some wimpy garlic on your hands.

Besides, I like peeling garlic. It’s one of my favorite basic cooking tasks, up there with green-bean snapping and walnut toasting. It’s the fun part!

But, what can I say? I gave it a go. I got out a head of garlic and gave it a good smash.

It didn’t budge.

Chuckling to myself, I got out a big heavy measuring cup and gave the garlic a good few bashes. A few fluttery bits of garlic paper flipped up into my face, as if to mock me. Yeah, okay. I get it. I separated the garlic cloves from the head the old fashioned way.

Not quite ready to give up yet, however, I then put the cloves in a sealable, shakable container. Lacking any large metal bowls, or in fact, any two large enough bowls of the same size, I put the garlic in the heftiest tupperware I could find and, as instructed, shook the dickens out of it.

Opening the container, I found that exactly one of my garlic cloves had successfully removed its outergarments. The other 15 or so, while perhaps slightly easier to peel than they would have been before they got all shook up, needed to be peeled as normal. So much for that idea.

So now I had a sizable handful of peeled garlic. Now what? I flipped through Vegan Soul Kitchen (ask your local independent bookstore or library to order it if they don’t have it!) and found instructions for garlic oil. It said to cook the garlic in the oil for about 30 minutes, but when I checked it at 5 it was getting pretty intense in that pot, and I pulled it off the heat at 8 because there was just no way it would not burn if I left it any longer. So: garlic oil, 8 minutes tops, is my suggestion.

Tomorrow I will tell you about the awesome sauce I made with my garlic oil, also inspired by a Vegan Soul Kitchen recipe. Oh, it’s so awesome. I’m eating it right now.

This entry was posted in food, Uncategorized, VeganMoFo 2011 and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to The Garlic’s A-Peeling!

  1. Leah Houtman says:

    Did you have the heat up too high? I have found that cooking garlic oil at a very low heat (the lowest setting my stove can go) for 30 min makes the best.

    Also, I have never heard that shaking garlic makes it easier to peel, but it sounds pretty silly to me, too. 😉

    • choirqueer says:

      Mine was at the lowest setting the stove could go, too. I think my stove may burn hotter than normal, but 8 minutes is still a lot less than 30 and it would have been terrible if I had let it go any longer than that!

  2. Phoebe says:

    I’m so glad you tried this so I don’t have to waste an entire bulb of garlic. I was in a professional kitchen the other day, presented with 8 bulbs of garlic, and the nagging voice saying ‘just get two metal bowls!’ wouldn’t go away.

  3. Karhma Dent says:

    Green bean snapping is Satan’s busywork. It’s the lone reason why I don’t eat them more. I rememebr a very hot Pennsylvania summer day forced to pick, snap, & cut them for my Grandma so she could can them. About 6 hours of torture.

  4. Luciana says:

    I’ve been eying that video. My health food store sells peeled garlic (I know, but sometimes I’m lazy and hungry), and I have one of those tubes of silicone that actually do work to peel garlic. Maybe that person in the video had secret steel plates embedded in their hands?

    • choirqueer says:

      Nyuh-uh! I’ve tried those tubey things! They don’t peel garlic for crap! My dedicated team of testers unanimously agreed to ditch them.

  5. Kathy says:

    Yum, I love garlic. I like Vegan Soul Kitchen too. I recently checked that book out at the library and got some delicious recipes out of it.

  6. Pingback: Pink Sauce, Green Beans, Black Mystery Food: Adventures in Color Coordination and Confusion | rainbow soup

  7. bad1788 says:

    Damn, I was so hoping that bearded man has the answer to my garlicy salvation.

  8. Adrian says:

    I disagree on both counts! The tubey things (I recall them at Pendle Hill) work GREAT, as well as smashing cloves with a flat of a knife. I have never had a problem peeling garlic either way–except if I was too gentle with the cloves (or they are the itty-bitty kind that come from our garden, but those are difficult because sometimes I lose them between my fingernails). You gotta really smash them. I never worry about breaking the clove itself ’cause it’s gonna get chopped anyway.

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