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Veggie Tips

The easy way to take the skin off garlic

When I became a vegetarian, I started using fresh garlic in a lot of dishes. I grew to love the taste but I hated peeling the garlic and I didn't feel like buying a special garlic peeler just for this job. Then I learned the secret of garlic peeling in a cooking class.

Just put a garlic clove under the blade of your knife. The blade is now sitting on top of the garlic with the blade parallel to the cutting surface. For extra precaution, kind of point the sharp edge down and away from you a bit. Then just give the flat part of the blade a good tap with the bottom of your fist - a decent pop. Recover the garlic and you will see that the skin has cracked open. Grasp the skin at one end and pull - it will just lift right off. If it is still attached, pop it as described above one more time. But don't smash it too hard, if you do the garlic could shoot all over the place (as I learned all too well). And if you want to know how to cut garlic with ease, watch the t.v. show "Yan Can Cook". He purees the garlic with one blow of his Chinese chef knife - a trick I have tried to repeat with my thinner Japanese knife with decidedly less impressive results.

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