Garlic is one of my favorite flavors to add to almost any dish at any meal. It's sweet and spicy flavors with it's sticky, pungent smell start my mouth watering any and every time. Fresh chopped garlic can be so simple to create and the flavor profile of your meal will skyrocket, just follow these simple steps.
Step 1: Getting Started
- Kitchen or Chefs Knife
- Cutting Board
- A Head of Garlic
Step 2: Separate Garlic Cloves
Step 3: Remove the Garlic Skin
1. Place the flat side of your kitchen or chefs knife on top of a single clove while holding the handle of the knife.
2. Place the heel of your free hand on top of the knife. Make sure your fingers are out of the way by raising them upward.
3. Apply pressure with the heel of your hand. Apply just enough force for the clove to begin to be crushed under your weight.
That's it! Place your newly crushed clove (skin potentially still loosely intact). Repeat for all of your cloves before removing the loosely bound paper skins. This will keep your hands sticky-free for as long as possible!
Step 4: Cut Off Root End
Step 5: Slicing Your Garlic
1. Align all of your freshly peeled cloves.
2. Make sure your fingers are tucked and out of the way so that you don't chop them with the garlic.
3. Start with the point of your knife blade on the surface of the cutting board and use a gentle rocking motion to slice the cloves.
4. Slice the garlic into 5-7 slices. If you are going for sliced garlic, stop here!
In this Instructable I sliced the garlic crosswise. You may also slice the garlic lengthwise.
A special note: The green portion of the garlic towards the tip of the blade does NOT mean that the clove has gone bad. It does signal that the clove is getting older however. As each clove ages, the taste and smell of the garlic can become sharper. You can remove the sprout, and continue to use the clove as normal if you would prefer to lessen the sharpness. If it is still sharper than your taste buds like, try to using cloves that haven't sprouted yet. In general, garlic has not gone bad until it is rotten, moldy, or dried out.
Step 6: Chopping
1. Rotate the slices of cloves you just made 90 degrees.
2. Using the same rocking motion with your knife, make 5-7 more passes moving along your slices.
3. Once you have made it across your pile of garlic, you should have uniform pieces of chopped garlic. If they are not to the size you would prefer, you can continue chopping until that size is obtained.
If you need to, you can rest your free hand flat on top of the blade, taking care to keep your fingers out of the way. This will give you more control while you are chopping.
Step 7: Minced Garlic
Since you are doing a fair amount of chopping in this step, you can lightly sprinkle your garlic pile with salt which will help it not stick to the knife as you are chopping. Be careful however, not to over salt as it will affect the saltiness your food.
Step 8: Whole, Crushed, Sliced, Chopped, Minced?
Besides the obvious size difference, the amount of chopping is directly related to the amount of sulfur released from each clove of garlic. Garlic, like other members of the onion family, contain several sulfur containing compounds which are in turn responsible for the taste and smell of garlic. Increased chopping, releases more of the sulfuric compounds, leading to an increase in garlic flavor and smell. Therefore, minced garlic or garlic paste should have the strongest flavor and aroma, while whole or crushed cloves will have less.