Category : Hints, Tips and Tricks
FREEZING GARLIC and Storing
Garlic can be frozen in a number of ways.Chop the garlic, wrap it tightly in a plastic freezer bag or in plastic wrap, and freeze. To use, grate or break off the amount needed. Freeze the garlic unpeeled and remove cloves as needed. Peel the cloves and puree them with oil in a blender or food processor using 2 parts oil to 1 part garlic. The puree will stay soft enough in the freezer to scrape out parts to use in sautiing. Freeze this mixture immediately - do not store it at room temperature. The combination of the low-acid garlic, the exclusion of air (by mixing with oil), and room-temperature storage can support the growth of Clostridium botulinum.
Dry only fresh, firm garlic cloves with no bruises. To prepare, separate and peel the cloves. Cut in half lengthwise. No additional predrying treatment is necessary. Dry at 140 degrees for 2 hours, then reduce heat to 130 degrees until completely dry or crisp. If desired, garlic salt may be made from dried garlic. Powder dried garlic by processing in a blender or food processor until fine. Add 4 parts salt to 1 part garlic powder and blend 1 to 2 seconds. If blended longer, the salt will become too fine and cake together in clumps.
STORING GARLIC IN WINE OR VINEGAR
Peeled cloves may be submerged in wine or vinegar and stored in the refrigerator. A dry white or red wine is suggested; white or wine vinegars also work well. The garlic/liquid should be kept for about 4 months in the refrigerator. Discard both the cloves and the liquid if there are signs of mold or yeast growth on the surface of the wine or vinegar. The garlic-flavored liquid and the garlic cloves may be used to flavor dishes. Do not store the garlic/liquid mixture at room temperature because it will rapidly develop mold growth.
STORING GARLIC IN OIL
Extreme care must be taken when preparing flavored oils with garlic or when storing garlic in oil. Peeled garlic cloves may be submerged in oil and stored in the freezer for several months. Do not store garlic in oil at room temperature. Garlic-in-oil mixtures stored at room temperature provide perfect conditions for producing botulism toxin (low acidity, no free oxygen in the oil, and warm temperatures). The same hazard exists for roasted garlic stored in oil. At least three outbreaks of botulism associated with garlic-in-oil mixtures have been reported in North America.