This almost seems so basic that I was initially hesitant to write about it. But then I realized how essential it is in my kitchen and how since I learned it from my sister 2 years ago it has cut down my time in the kitchen so significantly.
My sister Wanda, as I mentioned before is the owner of a beachside restaurant Salsa Brava in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica. When she comes to visit me here in Westport my kitchen gets transformed into a Caribbean food mecca with wonderful aromas of coconut, turmeric, and ginger. At one point she very seriously told me “I am going to teach me one of the tricks that we use in the restaurant’s kitchen that will be a game-changer for you.” OK, this sounded a little serious for kitchen tip, but now I actually understand the solemnity of what she was going to tell me.
Basically, it is just taking a head of garlic peeling it and chopping in your Cuisinart. Then place it in a jar and cover it with olive oil, lots of olive oil That is it! Now let me tell you why this is so important. Now for ANY dish that requires garlic (which in my world is just about every savory dish), you will never have to peel another garlic again. If you are like me this is EVERYTHING because I hate peeling garlic. Actually the only thing I hate more than peeling garlic is peeling ginger or onions!
The beauty of this is that you can adjust your garlic amount by either grabbing a teaspoon filled with the garlic or just the oil on top for lighter dishes like salads and dips. All you have to do is keep adding oil as you use it. And you can use it any dish you make. Garlic butter, frying vegetables, for marinades, a quick top off your pastas, sauces, etc. Anywhere where your recipe asks for garlic you can use it.
You can leave it outside and depending on usage a batch can last anywhere from 7-10 days.
You can also make a second batch with chili flakes and there you have the Italian favorite. This would be great on pizzas, pasta, chicken and steaks. She also taught me to make a version with chopped parsley but that will not last as long but is wonderful on fish and with a little salt is a great dipping sauce.
Please try it and you will see how this simple trick truly is a game-changer!