amysarah is a trusted home cook.
Whack their sides with the flat side of a chef's knife. The peel will practically fall off.
Or, pop into a microwave for about 5 seconds and the peel will slip off with no effort.
Chris is a trusted source on General Cooking
Or put them all in a covered pan and shake hard.
Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.
I smash several at a time with the flat side of a bench scraper. The skin slips off, and the cloves are ready to mince quickly.
Here's a video on using two bowls to peel garlic. : http://www.youtube.com...
Shortcut #1 Buy peeled garlic stored in oil, then you have garlic oil to use once the garlic is finished.
Shortcut #2 Remove the loose outer layers, wrap in a sachet/spice bag and use the whole head. This works better if you're making soups, stocks etc.
Shortcut #3 Again remove loose outer layers, cut off at the top and use the whole head, especially good when roasting. Then they're a soft buttery consistency you can squeeze out of their casings
Shortcut #4 Rub w/a little oil and roast whole @ 350, then see above
If you're just doing a few at a time, and you don't want to wake the neighbors banging around garlic between two bowls the easiest and cheapest and safest method is to get a piece of that tacky drawer liner, you know that rubbery stuff you keep mats and rugs from sliding around, and cut it into a 5x5inch square. When you need to peel some garlic place the clove in the middle of the mat, fold over one side and using the palm of your hand, roll the clove in between the mat. It takes off the skin in a jiff and it very cheap and easy. And you feel smart. The smash method is quick, but sometimes you do not want to have a flatten clove of garlic. I have also read and heard horror stories about people cleaving their hand when attempting the smash. Its also hard on your knives.
Amanda and Merrill did a video on this - short and to the point and easy to do! http://www.food52.com/blog...
I use a good garlic press sometimes, and the whole clove with the peel goes in, with garlic puree coming out. Otherwise I use the 'flat side of the knife, smash' technique -- and you can control how smashed it gets. Next time I have a fresh head of garlic, I will try the two bowl/10 second technique. That was listed on the food52 "top 52" article -- http://www.food52.com/blog.... Looks like fun!
Look for bags of fresh peeled garlic at your ethnic markets. Use what you need now, roast and mash some for use later and then drop the rest into warm olive oil and store in the fridge for 2 weeks. They will soften up and mellow over time,
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Well played. You deserve a cookie.
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