1.14.2011

Culinary School Trick: Garlic Paste

I just want to take a quick moment to devote some time to talking about the role my latest endeavor (culinary school) will have on my blog.  I just sort of jumped into it and now feel like I'm looking at the pieces of my blog like a puzzle, figuring out how everything will snap into place and be whole.  I'm also sensitive to the fact that while culinary school is now a big part of my life and I will talk about it (a lot) it won't be all that I talk about.  I want to remain true to my blog's mission: to provide my readers with stories from my adventure in my Small Boston Kitchen, talk about local food-type events, happenings and trends and also to use this as an outlet to talk about whatever I'm into at the moment or want to go on tangents about (this usually applies to cheese).

That being said, it would be silly of me (and kind of rude, I think) to hog all of the new and neat little tricks that I am soaking up at school.  So today I bring you one of the easiest and most delicious things that I have ever learned to do with garlic; turn it into garlic paste.  It's something that is so simple and yet so amazing, it will completely change the way you use garlic (at least for me it has!).  Essentially, turning garlic into a paste will make for a smooth consistent garlic taste, without being stuck with strong chunks of it in your meal.  Below I've provided step-by-step instructions on how to make your own homemade garlic paste.

Homemade Garlic Paste
To make garlic paste, it's very simple.  First, start out with a head of garlic and then smash it to pull out some of the cloves.


Then, take the flat part of your knife and smash the garlic clove to help loosen up the papery skin.  Separate the garlic from the skin and cut off any bits of the root.



Mince up the garlic.


Pour a generous amount of sea salt onto the pile on minced garlic and chop it again, incorporating the garlic and the salt.


Using the flat part of your knife, drag it across the garlic so that you are smearing it into the cutting board.


Repeat a couple times and then stack the garlic into a neat pile and chop it again.  Then drag and smear again.


Repeat this a couple of times until the garlic releases a lot of moisture and a paste forms. (At this point your cutting board should be visibly wet.)


This paste is best used in dressings and sauces or in situations when you don't want lots of chunks of garlic but still want the flavor of it.  I personally think this is fantastic on bread.  Using my Homemade Whole Wheat English Muffin Bread, I toasted it up and spread some butter and then spread a thin layer of the garlic paste on top and toasted it all up.  At the last second, I added a couple pinches of crushed rosemary and then toasted it a bit more just to bring out all the flavors.  Then I ate it right out of the oven when it was still warm and delightfully crispy. Oh my....garlic is amazing.

Homemade English Muffin Bread with Garlic Paste and Dried Rosemary

20 comments:

Kathy said...

OK, Take 2 Go! I can see why you were looking to get anti-garlicked the other evening! THis looks awesome, I usually use a mortar and pestle to get a garlic paste but I'm thinkign I should give this a shot! Sounds like Culinary School is going super! Can't believe you've been there a week already!

Emily @ A Cambridge Story said...

You had me at garlic! I've seen this 'trick' on Food Network a lot. As a garlic fiend, I should be doing more of it!

Fun and Fearless in Beantown said...

I use garlic paste to make my garlic bread all the time! I have no idea where I learned this from - maybe my mother? - but I've been doing this for years!

Meghan@travelwinedine said...

This is awesome! I am looking forward to learning from you as you learn.

Boston Food Diary said...

YAY! I was soooo hoping you would teach us your culinary school tricks! Mmmmmmmm garlic....mmmm spreadable garlic- Love it!

Daisy said...

You are learning so much and i am so glad you are sharing! I actually learned this not to long ago from Jody Adams at a Rialto cooking class! Even the restaurant chefs are doing it, go figure!

Renee {Eat.Live.Blog} said...

I love this! Any idea if the paste would keep at all?

Meesh said...

Please keep sharing all your culinary school tips! So useful and fun for those of us still stick in an office all day!

Jen said...

Hubby is going to love you for posting this recipe. He LOVES garlic. I def agree it would be rude for you not to share these nuggets of knowledge that you're learning! That way we can all learn with you!

Megan said...

Love garlic! Great tip. I usually mince some, mix it with olive oil, rosemary, and salt and pepper, and toss small potatoes in it before roasting them.

Karen Covey said...

I've been doing this for years and love using garlic this way. It's perfect on garlic bread

The Hungry Crafter said...

Very cool -- I learned that when I took the recreational "Back to Basics" series at Cambridge Culinary, but had forgotten about it... thanks for the reminder!

Mostly I just wanted to say that if your blog DID turn into a blow-by-blow account of every day at culinary school...I wouldn't mind one bit! :) I LOVE hearing about it -- it lets me live vicariously through you, and I love seeing how excited you are about the whole experience.

But who doesn't love a good cheese tangent?

Lizzy said...

I always cheat and buy the garlic already pre-minced. But I know it tastes so much better and fresher this way!!! I love hearing all your new lessons from school- keep them coming!

Kerstin said...

Great tip! I always buy garlic paste at Indian markets cause I'm too lazy to make my own, but you make it look easy :)

Alicia said...

Great tip -- I actually learned this from Rafe and his sister - its part of the secret to their guac!! I don't do it often myself.....

I usually make rafe do it :)

kitchenmisfit said...

Such a great tip! Can't wait to learn more!

Shannon said...

i'll have to use this one! and love that last photo, has me drooling :)

Melissa said...

Nice tip, I just need a fancy knife like yours and I'll be ready to go. For an easy garlic fix, I sprinkle garlic powder on buttered toasted bread.

Sarah @ Semi-Sweet said...

Late to the garlic party - but YUM! This is making me drool.....

Sara said...

Thanks for the tip! Can't wait to try.

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