Saturday, May 7, 2011

Storing Fresh Garlic

By now you noticed that I use garlic for almost anything. Pretty much all recipes I posted so far had garlic and onions.
If you also like garlic and have trouble keeping it fresh, this post is about preparing and freezing garlic that can be stored and used anytime you need, and will taste just like fresh.
I have tried few methods to store garlic with limited success. If you just keep then on the counter, they will sprout and have a short life. You can also keep the cloves in the fridge, it will last longer but it can grow mold and go bad as well. I tried once to just freeze the peeled cloves, whole, but noticed that they become mushy once you defrost then.
Finally, I found the right way to prepare the garlic for freezing, shown on this post.

You will need a meat grinder. I have an attachment to a kitchen aid mixer that is pretty cool. You can use a hand powered grinder also, it will work just fine.
Here's the peeled garlic I buy at Costco, 3lb bag.
I Grind the garlic using the bigger size plate on my grinder, about 3/8" size holes.
Here's the whole 3lb already ground.
Get a big tray, aluminum or any metal tray, and cover with oil.
Dump the ground garlic.
And spread to form a layer of about 1/4" thick.
Here's the finished layer

Using a pizza cutter, cut into square sizes that you feel you could use, once at a time. I usually cut into 1.5" squares. If you use lots of garlic on a recipe, cut it bigger or make the layer thicker.

With a knife, finish the ends close to the borders, where the roller couldn't cut properly.
Cover with plastic film.
Into the freezer for 4 hours or more.
Scrape the tablets off with a spatula. You will notice that it is not solid, but hard enough to keep their shape until you move then back to the freezer.
Set about 10 pieces at a time in ziplock bags and store in the freezer.

Anytime you need to use garlic on a recipe, just get a tablet, worm it in the microwave for 15s and you will get fresh like garlic in a snap, and it will be already chopped and ready to use.
I keep then frozen for several weeks without any problems.

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