For the chefs amongst you, garlic peeling

I may not be a cook myself, but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the cooking comments that have come through this blog.  In that spirit, Earl sent me an amazing video that purports to show cooks how to peel a whole head of garlic in a few seconds:

How to Peel a Head of Garlic in Less Than 10 Seconds from on Vimeo.

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    Thanks, Earl.
    Now, about those Orange-Sage Sweet Potatoes – they look great and we’ll all need the recipe by next month – Get crackin’ 😉  and post it here and I’ll just add a touch of ginger to it, since I can’t seem to leave well enough alone with recipes.

  • Duchess of Austin

    I am SO gonna try that.

  • Earl

    @ Sadie:  I can’t believe I forgot to put that up…..are you really sure?  :-)
    Anyhow, here it is:

    Orange-Sage Sweet Potatoes with Bacon
    Makes: 10 to 12 servings Prep: 15 minutes Cook: 5-6 hours (low) or 2 ½-3 hours (high)

    4  pounds  sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices, about 10 cups

    I did about 2 pounds, but didn’t cut the sauce – wonderful

    1/2  cup  frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed

    3  tablespoons  packed brown sugar

    1 1/2  teaspoons  salt

    1/2  teaspoon  dried leaf sage, crushed

    1/2  teaspoon  dried thyme, crushed

    2  tablespoons  butter, cut up

    4  slices  bacon, crisp-cooked and crumbled

    1. Place sweet potato slices in a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker. In a small bowl, stir together orange juice concentrate, brown sugar, salt, sage, and thyme. Pour over sweet potato slices; toss to coat. Dot with butter.
    2. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 5 to 6 hours or on high-heat setting for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Before serving, stir to coat with orange juice mixture and sprinkle with crumbled bacon.

  • Earl

    OH YEAH!!
    Just got a note from my sister-in-law (who’s REALLY quite the cook – she doesn’t think much of my Crock-pot!!) (that sounds a little denigrating, and I don’t mean it to be – in fact, I say prayers of thanksgiving the she and my brother found each other….she is just the BEST.  A little snobby about cooking, but we all have our faults, right?)
    Her message is:
    The real key is in the smash of the head of garlic at the beginning.  You gotta REALLY smash it.  You can get the same dramatic quick-peel effect if you just smash a single clove with the flat of your knife.  Smash, and the peel will come right off.  [I’ve done this for years, but if you have to smash the head with your hand as completely as one clove with the flat of a knife, I can’t see how this will be particularly useful….please post your experiences. EA]
    I tried the trick but didn’t smash very hard at the start, and it DIDN’T work; rather, only 2 or 3 cloves out of the 8 or 10 ended up peeled.  I shook them more (without smashing again) — same lack of peeling.  I then smashed the cloves individually (not too hard, with the flat of a big knife) and they all peeled.
    So — it will work, but only if you really smash the whole head of garlic.
    Smashingly —  Jana

  • Tonestaple

    I can’t see doing that degree of smashing without bruising my hand, but I’ll try it at least once.  Of course I’ve never found it to be that much of a burden to pull the cloves apart and put them a few at a time inside my plastick roller thingie which also smushes them just enough to make the peel come off.  This is what I need that much garlic at once for:
    Pasta with Sausage and Pumpkin Sauce
    ( serves 6-8)
    4 tbsp. olive oil
    1 lb. spicy Italian sausage, casing removed (“Vesuvius” sausage from Uli’s at the Pike Place Market highly recommended)
    1 c. chopped onion
    10 cloves garlic, thickly sliced
    3 tbsp. chopped fresh sage
    1/4 tsp. hot red pepper flakes
    1 1/4 c. white wine
    1 1/4 c. canned pumpkin puree
    2 c. chicken stock
    1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
    salt and pepper to taste
    1 lb. pasta (penne or rigatoni)
    6 tbsp. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
    1.  Heat 1 tbsp. in sauce pan over high heat.  Add sausage and cook about 3 minutes or until brown, breaking up the pieces with a spoon.  Remove from the heat and transfer meat to a bowl.
    2.  Reserve 1 tbsp. of fat from the sausage in the pot.  Discard the rest. 
    Add the remaining 3 tbsp. olive oil to the pot, heat over medium heat, and
    add the onion, garlic and sage.  Cook about 10 minutes until the onion and
    garlic start to brown.  Add the red pepper flakes and sausage and cook for 2
    minutes, stirring well.
    3.  Deglaze the pan with the wine and cook for about 8 minutes, stirring well
    to dislodge the brown bits on the bottom of the pan.  Add the pumpkin puree and cook for 2 minutes, stirring well.  Add the chicken stock and cinnamon.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
    4.  Cook the pasta in salted boiling water for time indicated on package.  Drain well.  Add to sauce and cook over medium heat for about 3 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Add Parmesan and serve.
    This freezes well and reheats well in the microwave and is also delicious cold, if you’re feeling really unmotivated.  (True about the freezing and microwaving, but my sister is the one who says it’s good cold – I’ve never tried that.)
    If you are feeling really ambitious and want to make this with fresh pumpkin, DO NOT use sugar pumpkins (suitable for pie) as it just doesn’t taste right.


    Looks wonderful. Another cut and paste into my online food folder. There will be no chance of me using fresh pumpkins 😉

  • Earl

    @Tonestaple: You can do this!  But not with your (or at least, my) hand!  I got a small cutting board out and whacked that garlic head, and it worked perfectly. 
    The cutting board doesn’t complain, and neither do my joints!!


    Cutting board requires two good hands – I place cloves between two pieces of wax paper on top of the cutting board and it’s whack whack whack with a hammer. If you use ‘elephant garlic’ that’s the garlic with the humongous cloves – you never had a problem separating the skin from the clove.

  • Tonestaple

    Brilliant, Earl.  Slightly embarrassed I didn’t think of that.

  • 11B40


    Is there a link to a version for kitchenphobics ??? 


    1-800-DINE-OUT 😉