Growing up, I loved watching The Food Network. At any given moment, you could catch me on the couch, in the kitchen, or even just in my room with The Food Network playing on the TV. I learned so much from watching all of the celebrity chefs and absorbed as many of their tips and tricks as I could. While each chef had their own unique style and flavors, one thing I noticed they all had in common was their "trick" to peel garlic quickly. I, along with millions of others, watched as these chefs told us to smash the garlic clove against our cutting boards with the back of your knife. It's honestly not a bad trick - it definitely got the job done and seemed a lot easier than having to deal with the finicky garlic peels and fumbling with the tiny garlic clove. It wasn't until years later that I'd come to realize how wrong we all had been.
When you're peeling a lot of garlic, this method ends up being very messy!! Garlic juice gets spewed across the cutting board, which gets incredibly sticky and all over your fingers, knife and cutting board. The garlic peels then get stuck to EVERYTHING and eventually you start contemplating all of the mistakes you've made. There has to be a better way! The answer is actually quite simple...go back to basics. Turns out, the great French chefs that created the cooking techniques we use today knew what they were talking about! All you need is a paring knife and little bit of patience.
To easily peel garlic with a paring knife, remove a garlic clove from the bulb and locate the tough root of the clove. Holding the clove in the air with your hands the whole time, place your thumb on one side of the root. Use your other fingers to glide the paring knife through the root just before you meet your thumb on the other side. Use caution when doing this - you don't want to wield the knife quickly through the root without looking at what you're doing. Once the knife is not quite through the root, pull the knife back to lift off the peel. A big chunk should come right off if you're doing it correctly. Remove any excess skin using the same technique. If you're peeling a ton of garlic, do this process over a bowl to catch all of the garlic peels. Now you have a nice, whole clove ready to prep in whatever recipe you'll be tackling that night!
I will most likely be doing a tutorial on this technique soon so keep an eye out on my social media accounts for that!
Until next time,