You don't have to be a professional chef to know how to mince garlic. It doesn't require advanced knife skills — or technically a knife at all. Once you remove the skin, typically all you have to do is either put it through a garlic press or use a knife to make repeated chopping motions until the garlic is in tiny pieces. But despite the simplicity of the process, it can still be time-consuming, especially if you have a large number of cloves to get through.
If a recipe calls for a lot of garlic and you don't feel like mincing it the traditional way, your first thought might be to settle for buying the pre-minced kind that comes in a jar. But, while convenient, it often has added ingredients that change its flavor and texture. Luckily, there's another alternative to mincing garlic that's efficient yet still preserves the integrity of the ingredient. Instead of using a knife or garlic press, you'll want to grab a meat tenderizer, also known as a meat mallet, instead. Despite it being designed for breaking down the muscle fibers in meat, the tool works just as well on garlic to expedite the mincing process.
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How To Mince Garlic With A Meat Tenderizer
Mincing garlic with a meat tenderizer may seem self-explanatory, but it can be just as cumbersome, depending on your approach. For starters, there's no need to peel each clove one by one before using the meat tenderizer. Instead, you can simply give the garlic an initial smash with the skin on, which will allow for easier and faster removal.
Once the skin is removed, don't go straight into pounding the garlic, as this can easily result in the cloves flying off, especially if you laid out a ton of them on your chopping board. What you'll want to do instead is put the cloves in a Ziploc bag, or wrap them in some plastic wrap. This will allow you to pound the garlic until it's minced to your liking, and it'll be contained within the plastic the whole time. From there, you can proceed to cook with it or store it in the fridge for up to seven days, according to the USDA.
How A Meat Tenderizer Can Affect Garlic
Whenever garlic is minced, whether you use a knife or a meat tenderizer, it breaks down at a cellular level. This results in the production of allicin, a byproduct of two molecules called alliin and alliinase. The more heavily damaged the cells become, the more allicin gets produced, and allicin is what gives minced garlic its intense flavor and aroma. Smashing garlic with a meat tenderizer therefore will result in a stronger garlic taste compared to garlic that's been minced with a knife.
A more robust garlic flavor isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it can dominate the other flavors in a dish a lot easier. If you use a meat tenderizer, you may want to cut back on the amount of garlic you add to your recipe to prevent this from happening. It's worth noting that garlic that is more finely minced also burns faster, so make sure to keep an eye on the stove when you cook it. As long as you're mindful of these things, mincing garlic should always be a breeze.
Read the original article on Daily Meal.