Video: Charmaine Johnise may be best known for VH1's Black Ink Crew: Chicago, but she also knows her way around the kitchen (as well as the tattoo parlour). She stopped by to show us an ingenious method for peeling garlic that takes just seconds, and doesn’t even get your hands dirty.
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Garlic bread is not a complicated concept; it’s bread with garlic on it. But, within those two ingredients alone, there is a lot of room for variation. I’ve tinkered around with both the bread and garlic portions of the pungent carb (butter, however is nonnegotiable), and I have arrived at what I believe to be quite an ideal situation.
There are many "clever" ways to peel garlic, but I have always been a fan of crushing the clove with the flat of my knife rather than trying to hold two bowls together while flailing about, even if I have a whole head to peel. I wasn't particularly looking to improve upon the method, until I eyed a spatula whilst making red sauce.
Tips and tricks come at you when you least at expect them. Just last week, I was unwinding from a hard day of hacking food with an episode of the new Queer Eye, when food expert/T-shirt aficionado/new Ted Allen Antoni Porowski told whatever straight dude he was working on (they all blend together) that a little coconut oil would de-stink even the most garlicky hands.
This is the season when we send our kids off to school with shiny new backpacks, and every year, they bring home the same thing: The first round of back-to-school colds. In our house, with a two-year-old intent on drooling on everyone he touches and a six-year-old still perfecting her personal hygiene practices, pathogens are passed out like hugs, and it's only a matter of time before the whole family is sick.
A fried allium is the perfect finishing touch. Whether on top of a medium-rare steak, a creamy potato soup, or a gooey bowl of macaroni and cheese (or like, a salad or something), fried onions, leeks, garlic and the like provide crispy texture and salty, umami-rich, slightly pungent flavour. In short, they are desirable. They also just got a bit more convenient, thanks to this microwave method from Cook's Illustrated.
Garlic is great in all of its many forms but, like most plant parts, it is at its absolute best when roasted. Roasting garlic mellows its pungency and tempers its aggressive bite, but it also intensifies its sweetness and creates new, deeper flavours through that lovely little Maillard reaction. It's also a freaking cinch to make.