I love the sound and smell sizzling garlic, but tossing it straight into a hot pan can take the delicious alum from “perfectly fragrant and golden” to “burnt and acrid” in a matter of seconds. This problem has an easy fix: start with a cold pan.
Photo by Crispin Semmens.
According to Adina Steiman at Epicurious, starting your garlic in a cold pan results in a gentler, more easily-controlled cooking process:
It's a trick I learned from the wise words of Italian food legend Marcella Hazan. Instead of hurling your garlic into hot oil, start cooking your garlic and oil in a cold pan. Turn on the heat, and wait a minute or two. Within 10 or 20 seconds, the garlic will start to percolate, gently bubbling and releasing its flavour into the oil. You'll start stirring it, and it will cook slowly, steadily, to the exact shade of pale gold you want to make the perfect tomato sauce. Or drizzle over broccoli. Or use to make garlic bread.
Or stirred into mashed potatoes. Or tossed into pasta. There is really no shortage of uses for perfectly-cooked garlic.
The Trick You Should Use Every Time You Cook Garlic [Epicurious]