Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Garlic Press

I've been watching some more America's Test Kitchen lately and have seen them using a garlic press for mincing. It looked pretty effective. It's been a while since I've tried it, over 10 years, but I've been carrying mine (a gift at some point, I think) around for a long, long time. So, in making my ersatz ratatouille, I decided to give it a shot and literally dug mine out of the bottom of a storage box.

Okay, granted, I've got one of the ubiquitous aluminum ones everyone had a while back, but, boy, this sucked. With average-sized cloves, at least 1/2 of each one would be stuck in the "bowl" of the device. I'd have to dig them out and then re-seat everything, getting that sticky garlic juice all over my hands anyway.

Maybe the design of the one they use on ATC is better (it certainly looks fancier), but I have to give this one an "F." I'll stick with my new-found method of grinding it into a paste with kosher salt using the back of a knife.


raw said...

I remember some cooking show from an age ago insisting that garlic should be smashed (with the flat of a knife blade) or minced, but never pressed. I think for things like a sauce this is irrelevant.

We have a good, old-fashioned Zyliss press. Works just fine, though you do really have to press to get the majority of the clove through. What's left inside is mostly fibrous. (Of course, you did *peel* the clove first, right? And know the trick about first crushing it lightly with your knife to break the skin?)

So, for a clove or two I might go for mincing by hand. Otherwise I'll likely reach for the press.

And one note on the finish of a Zyliss: if you run it through the dishwasher it will discolor, lose its sheen. Doesn't affect its functionality but makes it look mega-used immediately. :-)


Hal Shipman said...

"Of course, you did *peel* the clove first, right? And know the trick about first crushing it lightly with your knife to break the skin?"

Are you serious? Of course. I'm anal enough that I even trim off the hard bit at the base of the clove. Actually, I often use my pastry scraper for smashing skins off. It's nice, big and flat and I cut myself often enough that I occasionally get paranoid when bringing my fist down near a sharp edge.

Also, when digging around for the press I found one of those rubber garlic skinning tubes, which I just saw Martha Stewart use (disclaimer: it was on the TV at the gym). I think it was a stocking stuffer or something a while back. Anyway, I need to throw that out.

raw said...

Sorry, no dis intended. :-) I clip the clove heels, too....

My mom gave me a garlic dicer that has a matrix of blades set ~2mm apart plus a rotary blade. You open it, pop in the (peeled :-) clove(s), then screw down on it. The rotation pushes the cloves through the grid and rotates the other blade. The pitch of the screw is also ~2mm, so you get perfect little dice.

But it's a little fussy to use, so I don't often pull it out.