Oct 272011

Believe it or not, one raw fresh garlic clove, finely minced or pressed releases more flavor than a dozen cooked whole cloves. When you bake garlic or cook whole cloves of garlic, the flavor mellows into a sweet, almost nutty flavor that hardly resembles any form of pungency. The smaller you cut garlic, the stronger the flavor. Mincing a fresh garlic bulb and/or pressing a clove exposes more surfaces to the air, causing a chemical reaction to

produce that strong aroma and potent flavor  (I love my garlic press – see top product picks).  When cooking with garlic, remove any green shoots beforehand. The green shoots on the whole cloves contain bitter-tasting compounds that remain even after cooking. Store garlic away from direct sunlight in a cool dark location. Fresh garlic also needs to “breathe” and allowing the correct air circulation will extend its shelf life. When buying fresh garlic, look for a garlic bulb that is heavy for its size, enclosed in dry, papery layers.

Want the perfect Garlic Press.

Jun 282011

Want to know the secret to keeping onions fresh for future use? Your freezer! Frozen onions are easy to prepare. Just chop and place the minced onion on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze for about an hour.  Transfer the frozen onions to a freezer-safe bag or container for up to a year. Frozen onions are best used in soups, sauces and casseroles and should not be defrosted before use. Keep reading to see how to remove the onion odor.

Storing Onions:

Sweet onions are high in water and sugar content so they require more care when storing; treat them gently to avoid bruising. Store away from potatoes because they’ll absorb water. Generally, sweet onions will keep for 4 to 6 weeks or longer. Cut onions should be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerated. Favorite ways to store “sweets”:

In the refrigerator: Store in a single layer in the vegetable bin on paper towels. Or, for longer storage, wrap in foil.

In pantyhose: Take a leg from a pair of clean, sheer pantyhose, drop an onion into the foot, tie a knot and repeat as necessary. Hang in a cool, dry, well-ventilated area. Cut above the knot when ready to use.

On racks or screens: Place on elevated racks or screens, not touching, in a cool area.

In the freezer: For long-term storage, sweet onions can be frozen, but their texture changes so frozen onions should be used only for cooking. Chop and place on a cookie sheet and place in the freezer. When frozen, place in freezer containers or bags. To store whole onions, peel, wash, core and freeze in a freezer-proof container or bag.

Drying: Chop and dry in the oven, using the lowest setting. Remove when thoroughly dry but not brown. Store at room temperature in airtight containers.

One large onion = about one (1) cup chopped onion.

One medium onion = about 3/4 cup chopped onion.

It is so hard to remove the smell of onions, garlic or fish from your hands. One household tip for removing the blade of a stainless steel knife. Well I prefer to use a spoon or the stainless steel faucet. In fact, you can even buy stainless steel ‘soaps’, which are just hunks of stainless steel that are about the same shape and size as a bar of normal soap. See stainless soap