I love garlic. It is one of my favorite ingredients and I put it in everything. I love the way it smells in a hot pan. I love the way it kicks up a recipe. I love the way it keeps my house vampire free year-round. The one thing I don’t love about it is peeling off all that thin paper skin. I don’t like fighting with it when I am rushing to cook a quick dinner and I decide I need 5 cloves at the last minute.
My wife found these lovely little devices. They are like little flexible ice trays. I found that my local Asian grocery packages whole garlic cloves, already peeled for just $6/lb. That is cheaper than unpeeled garlic at my normal grocery chain.
I use a paring knife to nip off the little hard ends and then I pulse them in my food processor for long enough to be finely diced.
I put a small amount of olive oil on the bottom of each square. Then I fill the trays halfway to the top with garlic and top with a little more olive oil.
I cover with the lid and put them in the freezer. I got through a tray in about two months, but I suspect these would keep at least a year. The best thing about these is that they don’t lose potency, the way a store-bought jar of minced garlic does. These cubes can be used to replace an equal amount of fresh garlic and you won’t be able to tell the difference in the flavor.
I use these in a lot of applications. They work great for a quick garlic bread. Just melt the cube with an equal amount of butter and brush over a piece of sourdough and bake until it is toasted to your liking. They are fantastic in Italian dishes. Just use in place of olive oil to add a nice kick. I like to use them as a base for sautéing shrimp or mussels as these both do well with a heavy garlic flavor. For these, just add a little white wine and some salt and you’ve got a quick and elegant little dish. There are a million ways to use these and they are super convenient to have around.
Pro-tip: You can probably fit about 8 cloves of garlic into one square and that is tempting. If some is good, more is better, right? It is probably better to use a little discretion and make them in quantities that are usable as/is. These cubes are not impossible to cut, but it isn’t easy either. I think 3-4 garlic cloves is my most common usage, so I make these with a target of 4 cloves per cube. Then I don’t have to guess when I’m cooking.