Love garlic? These recipes are perfect for anyone who wants to add some delicious and easy garlic dishes to their repertoire.
Knowing how to use garlic in soups, stews or sauces can turn ordinary foods into gourmet meals.
Although many cookbooks using garlic continue to be published, many experienced cooks rely on Garlic Garlic Garlic that was published over a decade ago. It contains more than 200 easy-to-make recipes with information about ways to use the various varieties.
Types of Garlic
There are two basic kinds of garlic–softneck and hardneck. The softnecks can be used for garlic braiding and are most often found in supermarkets. They are mostly grown in California. The hardneck, although more flavorsome, it is more perishable and costly in price.
Included among the varieties:
Designer garlic is more expensive because raising it is more difficult. Many of the varieties come from foreign countries, such as the southern region of Russia. Some of these have red or red-striped skins or mottled blue skins. The flavors are different than those with white skins.
Garlic chives are flat-leafed stalks. They have a delicate flavor and fragrance. Some have thick, gray-green leaves while others are a bright green.
Elephant garlic has a mild flavor and is often roasted to be eaten separately rather than used in cooking.
Green garlic is thicker than chives and has a tiny bulb at the bottom. When the leaves are young and tender, it has a gentle and sweet flavor.
Buying and Storing Garlic
When buying garlic, it should feel very firm. If it shows signs of sprouting, it will have a bitter flavor and soon will become soft and bitter tasting.
Garlic should be kept in a cool, dry, dark place. If it is kept where it is too cold and moist, it will lose its flavor. Freezing garlic can destroy its taste.
Authors Linda and Fred Griffith provide instructions in Garlic Garlic Garlic for the many ways that it can be prepared. These include:
Breaking the garlic head into cloves
Peeling a clove
Chopping or mincing
Using a garlic press
Garlic that is cooked on a stove requires using olive oil and low heat. Sauteing should be done quickly in either a covered or uncovered pan. Other methods include:
Boiling for about 20 minutes
Oven roasted in foil
Getting the Best Results from Garlic Garlic Garlic
There are recipes, from appetizers to desserts along with suggestions about getting the best results. These include using:
Organic ingredients when ever possible
Fresh herbs instead of dried if available
Stone-ground flours, grains and beans
Extra-virgin olive oil
Experimenting Using Garlic
How much garlic to use depends upon how little or how much of its flavor is desired. The more garlic used, the stronger its taste will be evident. However, just the addition of a small amount of garlic can often turn a flat tasting dish into a culinary masterpiece.
To be grown in the home, garlic can be raised in flower pots that provide easy draining and in rich, good soil with organic matter. It may need fertilizer such as phosphorus and nitrogen. The pot should be kept in the sun for a good part of the day.