Now you never have to chop another clove of garlic again
What if we told you that everything you knew about garlic was a lie? The vampires. The mincing. Well, just those two things really. Cooking chopped garlic is a frustrating pursuit. The smaller pieces brown before the slightly larger ones, making it all taste somehow both burnt and raw. Is all that concentration for one tiny ingredient really worth it? Senior food editor Chris Morocco says there is a better way. It's time to start cooking smashed garlic whole to get it extra soft and extra flavorful.
Peel the garlic by using the flat side of a knife to press down on the clove to crack it open. It should still be in a single piece, just a flatter, smushed piece. Getting little pockets and crevices for the oil to get into is key. Then, start browning them on medium heat in a hefty pour of olive oil (the cloves should be about halfway covered), until they're soft and have a little bit of color.
RELATED: Baked Garlic Cheesy Rolls
Side Effects May Include
This technique produces consistently cooked cloves. The texture of the smashed garlic will be somewhat creamy after soaking up all that fat; the longer you cook it, the more paste-like it becomes. As it browns and softens, the flavor mellows and deepens. Just make sure you don't get too much color on them.
After you've cooked the garlic, there are a few ways to break it up. A knife will move through it easily and the garlic won't stick to everything. But come on. You didn't do this just to slice your garlic. We like to smash the garlic one more time with a knife. Since it's so soft, the garlic becomes almost paste-like, which will dissolve into pastas, soups, and braises, leaving behind a big hit of garlic flavor.
Don't Forget That Oil
When you cooked that garlic in oil, you created something beautiful: super flavor-charged garlic oil. You can use it to add a hit of flavor to anything else you might be making for dinner, like roasted vegetables, grilled meats, sautéed greens, or drizzled on toast. You can even mash the garlic directly into the oil and use it for a bit of pasta sauce. Unfortunately, this method still doesn't get rid of garlic breath. Still trying to figure that one out.
Need that garlic fix now? Whip up some Anchovy Pasta with Garlic Breadcrumbs.
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