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Abe's Garlic Peeling Hints

Given that peeling garlic is one of the more tedious parts of prep. cooking, I’m often experimenting for a more efficient way to get it done. Lately I’ve settled on the following technique. Saving all the scraps from the garlic to add to your stock pot is part of what makes this technique so efficient.

Serves 6people
Garlic Bulb
Push as much of the thin loose skin off the cluster as possible with your thumbs, pushing from bottom towards the top (attachment point). Try to avoid breaking cloves free from the cluster.
If there is a stem sticking out the bottom of the cluster, pinch it and twist several times. Then pull it out with a quick snap.
Place garlic cluster on its side on a cutting board to cut off the bottoms of the cloves.
Grasp it with your finger tips and nails, with your knuckles against the knife blade. This technique will protect you against cutting your fingers if the knife should slip and should be used when cutting onions and other veggies.
Cut the bottoms off as many cloves as you can at once. Mainly focusing on the outer ring of cloves, the central ones are usually harder to get to. They are often small as well. I usually end up throwing them into the stock pile.
Hold the cluster in your hand and slice into each clove in an upward motion. Cutting ½ to ¾ through the cloves.
Place cluster on its side on cutting board again, to cut the top off the cluster.
Holding with your knuckles against the blade, cut the tops off the cloves. The stem where the cloves attach is pretty hard, so don’t bother trying to cut too close to it.
Don’t worry about trying to get every bit of garlic here. All the offcuts will just make your stock that much better.
At this point all the cloves will be separate. All the small cloves can be added to the stock pile after a couple quick chops.
The larger cloves should peel pretty easily at this point. Split them at the slice you made and pull them out of their skin.

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