Garlic is a bulb that grows underneath the ground and is related to onions, shallots, and chives. The bulbs, or the head, contain numerous cloves within an inedible white, papery skin. Each head can contain anywhere from four to 60 cloves, depending on the variety.
HOW TO SELECT AND STORE
You can find garlic fresh or powered. Fresh garlic should be plump with unbroken skin. When pinched, it should be firm and not damp; size is not an indication of quality. Fresh garlic does not need to be refrigerated but can be stored in a cool, dark place away from heat or sunlight. When stored properly, it can last up to a month. If you buy a dried version, store it in a dark, coll, and dry place.
WHAT DO YOU GET FROM IT?
Besides keeping vampires away, garlic is known for its #antioxidants helping in the prevention of colds and the flu as well as being beneficial with controlling #cholesterol and blood pressure. It is also a source of Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, and #calcium.
Left with smelly hands from using garlic? Rub your hands on stainless steel.
HOW TO PREPARE AND COOK
Garlic heads and their cloves are both contained in a papery skin that needs to be removed before use. This can be quickly done by (carefully) smashing it on your cutting board with the flat side of a knife. If you roast it, keep them in their skin and the cloves can be easily squeezed out. Because of its powerful taste, it is rarely eaten raw since cooking helps mellow the flavor. It's commonly used as a flavoring ingredient, but can also be roasted to be used as a spread or condiment. Do not add it too soon to a hot pan, as it can burn quickly or become bitter. Garlic powder has a different taste than fresh #garlic, but if you need to use it as a sub, 1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder is equal to one fresh clove.
A LITTLE HERE, A LITTLE THERE
Rub cloves on sliced French #bread for quick garlic bread or flavored crostini
Saute in a pan with oil, #vegetables, and salt and pepper
Add to browned butter and herbs for a quick pasta sauce
Roast and puree with cooked #potatoes and butter for garlic mashed potatoes
Combine with diced tomatoes, bell peppers, and #onions for fresh salsa
GARLIC CHICKEN WITH MUSHROOMS
4 chicken Breasts
1 lb red potatoes, quartered
8 oz mushrooms, quartered
4 large garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon oil
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
Toss all ingredients together in a bowl to coat well. Transfer to a large baking dish sprayed with vegetable spray. Bake at 425 degrees for 30-40 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.