Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Tip: Grate Garlic and Store it in the Freezer!

This is one of the best tips I've come across so far, and I can't even take credit for it! My good friend Drew, who is not only a fabulous cook, but runs a successful cooking school called "Curry Cuisine", told me about this when she was conducting a class for me and my friends a few weeks back. She had brought with her some garlic and ginger that she had pre-grated to use in our recipes. I mentioned I hate buying that pre-grated stuff in the grocery stores, but when I do it myself, it always seems to go bad before I use it all! She then told me when she does a large batch, she will often freeze it after she grates instead of storing it in the fridge. This way, she doesn't have to worry about it going bad if it's not all used right away. Brilliant! This was something I never even thought of, and all of sudden I was really eager to try it! So I did.

When at the grocery next I found a large bag of garlic heads - about 25 or so for a very reasonable price. The most time consuming part of this process was certainly peeling each glove, but I did find I got into a bit of a grove. Plus, though I'm not going to go into the exact science of peeling garlic as everyone has their own "system", crushing the cloves slightly with the back of a large chef's knife did help to dislodge the skins, and the fact I bruised the cloves was a non-issue as they where going right into the processor anyway. Once I was done I was able to whiz all my efforts into one large batch of grated garlic. From there, onto the cookie sheet in mounds about the size of one heaping teaspoon (I figure about 2 gloves worth), and into the freezer for a quick freeze before loading into resealable plastic bags.

And voila! Now, when I need a couple of gloves of garlic, there they are, in the freezer, ready to be popped into sauces or soups, stir-frys or curries. I love it. I did the exact same thing the next day with ginger which was a little less time consuming, thanks to the fact that ginger doesn't come in cloves! Yes, getting them in the freezer takes a little time, but it's worth it in my opinion. It's cheaper than buying that pre-grated stuff in the grocery stores (not to mention what do they put in it to make it last so long?), yet you still get the convenience of grated garlic right at your fingertips - especially on those weeknights when even peeling 2 or 3 gloves of garlic seems too daunting and not worth the effort!


The Duo Dishes said...

Great, great idea! This makes it easy to grab and go. Tip for you: Soak garlic cloves in water for 25-30 minutes. Peeling should be much easier!

gail said...

omg! This is fantastic!!! Sometimes I have so much energy for the "grunt" work, and other times... no time! Great idea!

Bread and Jam said...

I had no idea this could be done. What a great idea! Thank you for sharing.

Lexie said...

This is an awesome idea! I love garlic so much I could eat it in almost everything, but sometimes just don't feel like peeling it. Great tip!