Don't want to mince or press garlic every time I cook - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 29 Old 05-14-2010, 05:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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How can I prep garlic in a way that I can keep it in the fridge and not need to mince or press it several times a week? If I prep a bunch, will it keep for a week? What are your tricks?

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#2 of 29 Old 05-14-2010, 06:52 AM
 
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Prep as much garlic as you want, then put it into those ice cube trays for the freezer. When you need garlic, just take a "garlic cube" out of the freezer, ready to use! I got this tip from a Korean cooking magazine years back and it has been the most useful tip ever!

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#3 of 29 Old 05-14-2010, 06:57 AM
 
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I wouldn't do it. The best way to store it is in oil, but garlic in oil is the perfect environment for botulism, even at lower (fridge and freezer) temps. Usually the recommendation is that you keep it in oil in the fridge only 2 - 3 days. The commercially canned garlic is acidulated and also heated in non-reactive containers (glass) when processed. The USDA also recommends that you don't use it in home canning. Keeping it outside of oil, it will dry out and lose all of its flavor very quickly.

If you want to play it safe, I would recommend you to buy the pre-minced stuff at the store.
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#4 of 29 Old 05-14-2010, 11:35 AM
 
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I know you are trying to avoid pressing garlic each time you use it, but I found that buying myself a better garlic press made it a whole lot easier. I now have one that doesn't require me to peel the garlic first and it has a little doodad for cleaning out the holes easily. It is so much easier that I don't mind as much as I used to. I pop in the cloves, clean it out, rinse it off or toss it in the dishwasher, and it doesn't take any more time than getting a bottle out of the fridge or a tray out of the freezer. The press cost a little more than I have spent on a garlic press before but it has been worth every penny. Garlic tastes best when it is freshly pressed!

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#5 of 29 Old 05-14-2010, 12:14 PM
 
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We don't own a garlic press. Depending on the recipe or how we plan to eat the end result, we adjust how small the pieces need to be. DD (age 9) pulls the number of cloves off the head and peels them with her fingers. DH or I will slice in half and remove the green stem (if applicable). From there, it depends on the dish. Last night, I made a quiche and I chopped it up pretty fine. Most of the time, though, I leave it in halves. If it is cooked enough, it can easily be mashed with the back of a spoon and stirred around in the cooking process. In soups and other dishes where one isn't necessarily manipulating the food much, we leave them as is and just eat the pieces larger than usual.

Fresh garlic is so yummy!

If we are truly in a hurry, we use granulated garlic from the bulk bins at the hfs.

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#6 of 29 Old 05-14-2010, 01:35 PM
 
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I'm with velochic. I wouldn't do it. I know any number of people who suggest/use frozen chopped garlic/onions, but the volatile compounds that make garlic/onions so flavorful/aromatic evaporate, and they come out of the freezer a shadow of their flavorful selves - same with the fridge.

What you could do is chop a handful of garlic with salt - something like a gremolata. That will keep 2-3 days in the fridge and not present a breeding ground for botulism, but you've got to like that much salt.

I do agree with shantimama about getting a better press. Baby's grandma was using one of those at Easter - it has the built in press cleaner, and you can load all your cloves unpeeled. That made dinner go so much faster (we were using something like 2 heads of garlic).

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#7 of 29 Old 05-14-2010, 01:55 PM
 
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it works ok to freeze it but the flavor isn't as intense.

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#8 of 29 Old 05-14-2010, 03:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks! Okay, for now I'll just press the garlic as needed. Hadn't even thought of food safety issues with garlic so thanks for bringing those to my attention. I don't want everything in my freezer tasting like garlic so, plus I want that incredible flavor the fresh pressed has.

Shantimama, care to share your wonderful garlic press? Maybe an Amazon link?

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#9 of 29 Old 05-14-2010, 03:27 PM
 
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I mostly just use the minced stuff in jars. Not very crunchy MDC of me... but it's easy

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#10 of 29 Old 05-14-2010, 03:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by rhiOrion View Post
I mostly just use the minced stuff in jars. Not very crunchy MDC of me... but it's easy
Believe me, no qualms here about that! That's what I've been using for ages and I do still have some as backup. So much easier!

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#11 of 29 Old 05-14-2010, 03:43 PM
 
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I agree with the others. I have a pampered chef garlic press and use it quite a lot. I wouldn't want to refrigerate or freeze my garlic for the flavor/freshness issues and also b/c if you get garlic smell infused into your fridge or freezer, it will NEVER go away, never. DH is korean, every fridge that has ever had kimchi in it basically is infused with stink from the garlic.
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#12 of 29 Old 05-14-2010, 03:49 PM
 
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Originally Posted by rhiOrion View Post
I mostly just use the minced stuff in jars. Not very crunchy MDC of me... but it's easy
That's what I do. I used to buy garlic and chop it every time I cooked until dh asked me a few weeks ago why I didn't just buy the preminced stuff. I didn't even know it existed! I love it.
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#13 of 29 Old 05-14-2010, 04:53 PM
 
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Can someone link to one of these presses with the built-in cleaner so you don't have to peel the clove? I never heard of those, they sound great.

I don't mind squishing the garlic (I do it with a mortar and pestle, takes 2 seconds) but peeling it is killing me - plus I hate that my fingers always smell like garlic.

I don't want to buy the pre-peeled bc I think the flavor dies a little when the cloves dry out and because it seems like a silly expense.

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#14 of 29 Old 05-14-2010, 04:57 PM
 
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I bought mine at a Pampered Chef party. There was a special when I bought mine and it came with a garlic peeler (a silicon tube that you roll the garlic in and the skin slips off) that I use if I want whole or sliced cloves instead of minced garlic.
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#15 of 29 Old 05-14-2010, 06:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm so glad I asked the question because the answers are helping me and other people! I decided to get a better garlic press next month. It will enable me to use fresh garlic without a hassle, and I can still keep a jar of the pre-minced stuff in the fridge as backup. For now I'll just keep using my crummy press or might mince it by hand.

Here is the link to the Pampered Chef garlic press. Not sure if I'll get that one or something through Amazon. I hadn't ever gone to the Pampered Chef site so was drooling over all their wonderful stuff!

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#16 of 29 Old 05-14-2010, 06:12 PM
 
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A good garlic press helps.

I use prepared garlic from a large tub purchased at Sam's Club. I used to mince/press it myself, but it's something I was willing to sacrifice quality for time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mags View Post
I agree with the others. I have a pampered chef garlic press and use it quite a lot. I wouldn't want to refrigerate or freeze my garlic for the flavor/freshness issues and also b/c if you get garlic smell infused into your fridge or freezer, it will NEVER go away, never. DH is korean, every fridge that has ever had kimchi in it basically is infused with stink from the garlic.
My Korean friend minces her garlic in massive quantities and presses it between plastic wrap in a very thin sheet. Freezes and puts it into ziplocs. If it is frozen thinly enough, you can break off the sized piece that you want for your dish.

We keep the large garlic container in the garage fridge and put small quantities in a small glass in the house fridge. The outside fridge does smell garlicky, but it gets cleaned once a year and it's not overpowering.

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#17 of 29 Old 05-14-2010, 07:40 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Arianwen1174 View Post
Here is the link to the Pampered Chef garlic press. Not sure if I'll get that one or something through Amazon. I hadn't ever gone to the Pampered Chef site so was drooling over all their wonderful stuff!
I have that garlic press, and had no idea you could press garlic in it without peeling!!! I will have to give it a try, too bad I didn't read this *before* making the hummus I just finished!!!

I have no idea what happened to the little clean out tool, though. Now I am curious and may have to go look for it in the back of my drawer.
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#18 of 29 Old 05-14-2010, 07:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have that garlic press, and had no idea you could press garlic in it without peeling!!! I will have to give it a try, too bad I didn't read this *before* making the hummus I just finished!!!

I have no idea what happened to the little clean out tool, though. Now I am curious and may have to go look for it in the back of my drawer.
Sorry, but . Sounds like something I'd do!

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#19 of 29 Old 05-14-2010, 07:51 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Arianwen1174 View Post

Here is the link to the Pampered Chef garlic press.
I'll have to see if you can get one of those in the uk. i usually just grate it on the smallest side of the cheese grater and have on more than one occasion caught my finger while doing this *ouch*

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#20 of 29 Old 05-14-2010, 07:52 PM
 
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if your hands smell like garlic, rub them on something stainless steel. it will take away the smell.

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#21 of 29 Old 05-14-2010, 08:22 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Magelet View Post
if your hands smell like garlic, rub them on something stainless steel. it will take away the smell.
Yes, good tip! I just use my bathroom faucet (the one in the kitchen isn't SS).
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#22 of 29 Old 05-15-2010, 12:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'll have to see if you can get one of those in the uk. i usually just grate it on the smallest side of the cheese grater and have on more than one occasion caught my finger while doing this *ouch*
Ouch is right!

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if your hands smell like garlic, rub them on something stainless steel. it will take away the smell.
I love this trick! It really does work.

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#23 of 29 Old 05-15-2010, 07:58 AM
 
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I'll also add a recommendation for the pampered chef garlic press! I love mine. It does great with the peels still on and it can handle pretty large cloves. Plus, the cleaner tool makes it super easy to clean. I've had mine for years and it's held up great. We definitely started using a lot more garlic in our cooking after I got it since it makes it so easy and less messy.

(I'm not a pampered chef seller or anything, I just really love that garlic press!)

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#24 of 29 Old 05-15-2010, 10:47 AM
 
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Oooh, fancy smancy... that garlic press may just be another b-day present to myself... fancy smancy!! I have a 'sushi' garlic press that works pretty well, but that... well, that just looks *WONDERFUL*!! AND it does ginger!!! How freaking cool!!
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#25 of 29 Old 05-15-2010, 11:04 AM
 
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A lot of garlic presses have the cleaner as part of the press. If you have one close by, Le Gourmet Chef has a good selection at decent prices.

For peeling, lay the clove on the cutting board and smash it with the broad side of your knife. Skin pops right off.
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#26 of 29 Old 05-15-2010, 11:40 AM
 
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For peeling, lay the clove on the cutting board and smash it with the broad side of your knife. Skin pops right off.
That is what I do. I tried using my pampered chef garlic press without peeling yesterday, and I think it is easier to peel this way, then press. It was harder to press with the skin on, and I think there was more garlic still in the press when I was done...
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#27 of 29 Old 05-16-2010, 02:59 AM
 
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I pre-peel garlic and keep it in a glass jar, but I don't press or mince it until I'm ready to use it.
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#28 of 29 Old 05-16-2010, 03:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I pre-peel garlic and keep it in a glass jar, but I don't press or mince it until I'm ready to use it.
How long do you keep it? That sounds like something I might do until I get a better garlic press. Would definitely save time without compromising my garlic.

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#29 of 29 Old 05-17-2010, 02:50 AM
 
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Dr Mercola recently stressed in one of his articles that we should crush or chop garlic just before consuming it otherwise the active compound in garlic loses potency rapidly and will all but disappear within about an hour of chopping!
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