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Tricks of the Trade

How to be top chef—and peel garlic, too!

Life is filled with mysteries. Take garlic for instance. I love to cook and to share a well-prepared meal with friends and family, or even just for me! But I'm the creative type, not the assembly line variety. I'm top chef, just like my chef's coat says embroidered right next to my heart. I don't peel garlic.

A sous chef, on the other hand, does all the prep work for the head chef. Sadly, I don't have a personal sous chef. I’m one and the same; I have to do it all. I enjoy mixing and matching ingredients like a wacky chemist. I don't like the grunt work.

One sous chef job I hate, despise and abhor is peeling garlic. I've tried many methods but nothing really does the job. I prefer to dice onions over peeling garlic.

One method of peeling garlic is the rubber roller. Looks like a micro log. You pop the garlic clove inside, roll it and it is supposed to help loosen the skin and then subsequent peeling is easier. It only works half the time.

Lucky for me, my better half likes to peel garlic! He finds it sends him into a contemplative Zen state. I'm way too type-A for that, so when he is available, I quickly proclaim him head Guru of the garlic clove.

And then came the breakthrough discovery that will forever change my cooking life and that of my Garlic Guru husband.

There was a piece on NPR about a chef who has the perfect method for peeling garlic. He even demonstrated on air because it is so amazing. Here’s how it goes:

You take two metal bowls. Put garlic in bowl 1. Cover with bowl 2. Shake with enthusiasm for a couple seconds. Remove bowl 2 and gaze upon the perfectly peeled garlic resting nakedly in bowl 1.

I had to try it myself. I was still a non-believer. I was making a quick stir fry and needed some garlic. No husband in sight so I went for it. It was a magical moment in my culinary life. It worked perfectly!! The garlic cloves shimmered in their new found nakedness. The aroma wafted up to my smiling nose as if to say, "smell me, how fresh and lovely I am."

So there you have it. The mystery solved. Pass it on. Share it on Facebook. Tell your friends and Tweet it. Write your congressman—well, maybe not...

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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