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Sunday, 5 December 2010

Chopped Frozen Garlic! An Incredible Find!

One of the most incredible 'inventions' of modern times -- chopped frozen garlic!

Garlic -- whether you use lots or just that taste-enhancing smidgen -- is uber-healthy and really heightens the taste of many dishes. When things taste delicately delectable -- one feels satisfied with sensible portions, ergo, you eat APPROPRIATE amounts and don't feel the need to over-eat.

BUT, as you know -- the smell of garlic can be offensive and can linger -- on your breath, on your hands, on your clothes -- not just after eating something made with it, but, actually, after one has cooked with it.
It can really put you off from cooking with it and from eating food made with it. Shame!

BECAUSE, the important thing to note with garlic is that if you use FRESH, HIGH-QUALITY garlic -- that offensive, lingering odor is MUCH MUCH less, if not there AT ALL! It's the too-old, dried out, and brown garlic that reeks.

When choosing garlic, look for plump, unbruised, milky-white, heavy bulbs. If you don't use it that often, only buy a few bulbs instead of a whole braid. Even if a bulb is still whole, the longer it sits, the less fresh it becomes -- especially if it's not stored in a cool, dark place. I don't recommended keeping garlic bulbs for longer than 10 days.

Better yet -- look for FROZEN CHOPPED GARLIC. This stuff is AMAZING. You, as the cook, completely skip the whole step of chopping fresh garlic -- you know, the part where you walk around the rest of the day, if not week afterward, reeking of garlic. And you, as the 'diner' will enjoy whatever delicacy you're consuming without noticing the difference. When frozen garlic is produced, garlic from the height of the garlic season is used, so you can always count on getting the freshest, highest-quality garlic. I use it now all the time, mainly for my cooked dishes, but it CAN be used in instances where you need raw garlic. I'm not there, yet, though. I still feel it's best to do garlic the old-fashioned way for when I need it raw -- that is -- choosing a couple cloves from a FRESH bulb, whacking the skin off to release the milky clove and chopping.

If you SHOULD need to 'de-reek' yourself, here's some tips:

If you dip your fingers in some milk for a minute, and then rub them on a clean spoon for a few more minutes -- this often takes away the garlic smell. Also, if you sip some milk after you've eaten something intensely garlicky, this often removes garlic breath.

BUT, having said all that -- again, choose the freshest, highest- quality garlic you can find!

And now it's time for NUTRISH and DELISH!

Here's an EASY, QUICK, DELICIOUS, and HEALTHY dish using chopped, frozen garlic:

Garlic Shrimp Diablo


Fresh or frozen UNCOOKED jumbo shrimp (prawns) -- about 1 lb. (500 g)-- or however much you need, depending on servings you need, allowing about 6 large shrimp per person

2 T olive oil

1 small chili pepper, chopped or 1 teaspoon chopped dried chili pepper

3 T chopped fresh parsley

Baby pomodori or cherry tomatoes -- a punnet

1 can chopped or cherry tomatoes

2 cloves garlic or 1 rounded Tablespoon frozen, chopped garlic

1 medium chopped onion

1/2 cup white whine

Salt, pepper, oregano

Heat olive oil on medium heat in a large skillet. Add garlic and onions, and chili pepper and sautee` until soft, NOT brown. Add shrimp and cook through until they START to turn pink. Add chopped parsley while continuing to stir through shrimp. Next, add and stir through the fresh tomatoes. Lower heat and allow this mixture to meld together for just a couple minutes. Add canned tomatoes and let simmer through the mixture for about 5 minutes. Add white wine, salt, pepper, and oregano and let the whole mix simmer on low for another 10-15 minutes.

Serve over spaghetti with a fresh green salad.


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