Mincing garlic can be done in a variety of ways; it depends on whether or not you want to mince garlic entirely by hand or if you want to use a few shortcuts. Read on to find out more about either strategy. Garlic is a universal ingredient found in many dishes throughout different cultures and styles of cooking. It adds excellent flavor and has is a key component of healthy eating as well.
Purists maintain that the best garlic flavoring for your dish comes from a fresh garlic clove that is minced by hand. The flavor will be impacted by how fresh the head of garlic is. Look for garlic that is very white in coloring and the individual cloves are still bunched tightly together. If the garlic has started to turn yellow or the individual cloves are loosening, do not purchase this product. Garlic has a fairly long shelf life, so chances are it has been sitting in the grocery store for quite a while. Fresh garlic will keep well at home, so if you do not need all of the cloves you will have a fresh supply that will last you through several dishes.
Mincing garlic simply means to chop it up into tiny but even pieces. Garlic can also be sliced or roughly chopped, but mincing leads to an even level of flavor throughout the dish. Depending upon the amount used, this can be subtle flavoring or very noticeable. Before you can get to mincing, you will need to separate out the cloves and peel the individual cloves.
Separate the cloves by placing the garlic on the cutting board. Apply strong pressure with the flat of your hand for several seconds until the cloves separate. The flat edge of a large chopping knife can also be used. If you are using the knife method, whack the garlic hard once or twice with the knife and it should split. Break the head into individual cloves; peel only the cloves you want to use. Keep the outer skin layers on the cloves not being used for this dish; it will help retain a fresh flavor for your next dish. There are many layers to peel, the final clove should be very smooth and releasing a small amount of oil that leaves the surface feeling slightly sticky.
Remove all the skin from the cutting board and leave just the garlic you want to mince. Cut each clove into slices. Push the slices into small piles with the side of the knife. Slice these piles in both a horizontal and vertical direction. Gather the small pieces in a uniform pile again and rock the blade of knife through the garlic to mince it into even smaller pieces. Some cooks prefer to chop the pile instead but the rocking motion, but rocking can bring out more of the flavor since the garlic is being slightly smashed as well. Make sure to include any pieces that are being missed since they are stuck to the knife or the edges of a pile. Once this is done, you are ready to add minced garlic as one of the base ingredients of your dish!
Depending on how often you use minced garlic and what your personal cooking philosophies are, you can buy fully minced garlic directly from the store. This product needs to be refrigerated after it is opened and you should check the expiration date on the container. Garlic is also available broken into individual cloves and peeled; this allows you to move directly to chopping and then mincing. There are also garlic presses. This kitchen gadget can mince a clove in very little time.
Whether you mince garlic completely by hand or decide another method is right for you, minced garlic will add a tasty note to many of your dishes.