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Garlic Press?

 
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Ramon



Joined: 31 Oct 2007
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2007 7:10 pm    Post subject: Garlic Press? Reply with quote

I use garlic in most of my cooking, and I can't get enough of it. However, I was recently giving a tool to aid me in my ventures. A garlic press. My mother has used one for year, and I've always admired it. Now, I have my own to use. I love it! Speeds things up quite a bit, and works perfectly.

Anyone else use one? Why or why not?
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2007 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not in years. I've probably got half a drawer full of garlic related things and I no longer use any of them.

I peel garlic by squeezing a clove until I can hear the skin break. Then I pull off one piece and the rest pulls or rubs off with ease.

For cooking when a whole clove won't do a crushed or roughly chopped one surely will. Done in 3 secs. And for salad dressings I mash it. I put roughly chopped garlic on a rough surfaced cutting board. I sprinkle on kosher salt and freshly ground pepper plus whatever dry herbs I may be using. Then using the flat surface at the back of a paring or utility knife, I rub it all into the board until it's a paste. Takes 10 secs.

In soups or sauces once the garlic is cooked I can purée it with a small amount of liquid and the hand blender. If more texture is wanted, I do that before the things I want whole or in large chunks go in.

Clean up is a cutting board and a simple knife under blisteringly hot water or a pop into the dishwasher.
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sweetbabyjames



Joined: 05 May 2006
Posts: 357

PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2007 8:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm with Rainey - it's easy enough to wack it with a fat knife to loosen the skin, then wack it again and drag the blade across to get a quick mashed clove (tho I haven't tried adding salt - good idea). Wacking the garlic is one of the high points of preparing any dish, one I wouldn't want to substitute.
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2007 8:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I should add your garlic press is an excellent tool for getting all the flavorful pulp of fresh ginger without the fibers. Peel it — the bowl of an ordinary kitchen spoon will do the trick — then cut it into slices of about 1/4" and put it in the garlic press.
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mandysu



Joined: 23 May 2007
Posts: 18
Location: Seattle, WA

PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2007 11:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My Dad always used to buy garlic presses (not that he ever used them--he doesn't cook and doesn't understand that kitchen clutter is a pain). I never really liked them. Maybe it was that they were cheaper ones, but I always thought they made a bit of a mess, and weren't really worth the bother (like the bits that get stuck in the corners) unless you needed a *lot* of garlic.

I happily minced my garlic until last year, when I discovered the joys of a microplane grater. I use the medium-coarse one for garlic and ginger, and it efficiently reduces either to a pulp without fibers, irretrievable bits, or any more cleanup than washing a knife. The best part is that it's a good all around tool (as opposed to a garlic tool which can do a few other things--my apartment kitchen is small, so multitasking is essential).

(Darn, now I'm in the mood for garlic bread...)
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Nicki



Joined: 26 Jul 2006
Posts: 106
Location: England

PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2007 12:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

*Groans* garlic presses....as far as I'm concerned, the only thing they are good for is making strands of hair out of Play-Doh

I too favour the knife-whacking method (very technical) although I've never thought to add salt or smoosh into a paste on a chopping board. And mandysu is right, the microplane is fab too - throw it into hot oil and it just melts away (the garlic, not the grater)

I've got a metal soap which is supposed to take the odours off your hands. When I first used it after a garlic-fest, I was amazed! But then the effect seemed to wear off after an hour so. Having said that, I know plenty of people who think they work great. Maybe some people are effected more? I don't know
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nima



Joined: 28 Nov 2005
Posts: 93

PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2007 3:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use a garlic press often, because as I was saying about Rainey's korma recipe, a lot of curries need garlic that has pulverized or mashed to a paste, not just sliced or minced. When I don't feel like making the effort, the press does an adequate job. Considering how good it is for this purpose, it's surprising you don't find garlic presses in the Indian market. I keep buying them in the US and taking them back for friends and relatives in India.

But in India you get lemon presses (made only to fit tiny Indian lemons, which are about the size of American quarters), and this makes squeezing lemons so easy. I miss this when I'm outside of India. All in all, I'm a big fan of pressing implements, it seems. Very Happy
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Knifethrower



Joined: 29 Oct 2006
Posts: 218
Location: Heaven, actually.

PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2007 4:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have an eensy, weensy little dish-shaped grater with a metal plane screen on the bottom from the Asian grocery store- it is really for ginger, but better for garlic. I rub the clove in circles across the teeth (microfine ones) and it turns into a velvety, oily garlic paste that I drop into my food. One clove and all the spicy glory of garlic is mine... not for the faint-hearted, this baby makes some strong paste!!! You'll never go back to a cutting board, knife or a press ever again. I bought six of them, to make sure mine never run out (about three bucks a pop).
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KYHeirloomer



Joined: 21 Aug 2007
Posts: 552
Location: Central Kentucky

PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2007 1:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I've thought about them at all I've always thought of garlic presses as one of those unnecessary kitchen gadgets that actually makes more work, rather than less. Just one more thing that has to be cleaned.

I use lots of garlic, in many forms, and all of them---from crushed paste to slices to slightly bruised whole cloves---can be done with my knife in less time than using the press.
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David



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1855
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2007 4:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Over the years I've tried garlic presses a number of times and while they do a good job of producing small amounts of garlic paste I've always felt the clean up wasn't worth it. And if the garlic isn't really fresh and full of juice they don't work very well at all. fortunately I have a garlic farmer near me and buy 10 ounce jars of freshly ground garlic paste which sees me throught the winter nicely!
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jenyfari



Joined: 29 Jan 2007
Posts: 42

PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2007 4:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a garlic press and it works okay. It can be messy though and doesn't quite do the job I would really like it to do.

I noticed someone use a microplane on tv the other night so I am going to give that a try in the future. Looks a lot easier.
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KYHeirloomer



Joined: 21 Aug 2007
Posts: 552
Location: Central Kentucky

PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2007 1:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

a microplane can work well if grinding is what you need. However, be careful, especially the first time or two, or it you'll run into the same problem as a mandoline and you'll have fingertips mixed in with the garlic.
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Patric



Joined: 18 Nov 2007
Posts: 3
Location: Michigan USA

PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2007 4:44 pm    Post subject: Garlic: press versus chop Reply with quote

I have used presses and I have chopped.

I prefer chopping, but the press is certainly quicker and cleaner.

Both end products taste the same to me.

My only suggestion is to use fresh garlic and avoid anything else...like that stuff in jars. That includes peeled whole cloves.
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Julia P



Joined: 20 Sep 2006
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2007 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They do the job well but they're such a nightmare to clean I've given up on them.
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