Vegetable Preparation – Peel and Cut Garlic

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 26,627
    Chef Robert Nassar from Dinner Done demonstrates how to peel and cut garlic.

    Robert Nasser

    Robert Nasser is the owner of Dinner Done's Centreville, VA store. Robert has been involved in the kitchen in one form or another from age 6. A past owner of 2 restaurants in Venezuela, he knows what good food is made of: great ingredients and great recipes. Concern for the way our eating habits are changing, especially since more and more households are extremely busy places, played a big part in his decision to license a Dinner Done store in Virginia from his brother and sister in law in Florida. Filling the need for healthy meals, while getting families back around the dinner table is a major reason for Dinner Done's success. His international background and love of travel have given Robert a unique perspective on foods and ingredients, and how best to marry them to obtain new tastes and flavors. When coming up with new recipes for his customers, Robert can draw upon this experience to enable them to try new ideas without sacrificing taste or nutrition. A self confessed recipe book addict, he has accumulated over 50 cookbooks in 3 languages. These rarely stay on a shelf, as he uses them almost daily!

    Hello, Im Robert Nassar from Dinner Done in Centerville, Virginia. Weve been talking about basic vegetable prep. Now, were going to show you how to peel and cut garlic without making a huge mess. You can always of course buy the garlic thats already been peeled for you and is sitting in the refrigerated case in your grocery store, but I like to keep some garlic on hand because I think its a lot fresher than the peeled stuff that you get or Heaven forbid, the already chopped garlic. Take your head of garlic and break it up into individual cloves. Dont take more than youre going to use. So, lets say youre going to use four cloves for whatever you need. Lay the cloves individually on your cutting board, and taking a relatively wide knife lay the flat of the knife onto the piece of garlic and gently smash it down, skinning off. Now, the garlic will come right out of its shell, no need to spend some time trying to peel it with a knife. I always also cut off the hard end here, because I really dont want it. Now, by doing this youre actually doing yourself a favor. Garlic will not release all of its pungency and all of its flavor into the food unless you crush it. Crushing it breaks the cells, the internal cells, that make up the garlic and allow all the juice with all the flavor out. If you simply took a whole peeled clove of garlic and chopped it up, you wouldnt get the same amount of flavor than you would by first crushing it. So, once youve crushed it, you want to give it another little crush first or second again, thats fine, then proceed to chop it, again, by resting your knife on your knuckles, and keeping your fingertips back so you dont get cut. Chop it as fine as you want. Now, after youve done quite a few cloves, youre going to end up with a lot of garlic juice on your hands. If you dont wash this right away, you may end up smelling like garlic for the next couple of days. There are two things you can do about this. First, using warm water and soap, go immediately over to the sink, wash your hands very well, or my personal favorite. I take a little bowl with white vinegar, just regular white vinegar in it, lightly soak my fingers and move them around. The vinegar will take care of all the garlic oil and your fingers wont smell like garlic for the rest of the week. That is how you peel and cut garlic.