Especially when it comes to prep work in a bustling kitchen, professional chefs and home cooks alike are constantly on the lookout for ingenious techniques to save time without compromising on quality. One of the biggest time-sucks is peeling the pesky, papery skins off of sticky garlic cloves, but you'd better believe there's a way to cut down on this speedbump of a task. The trick is using two stainless steel bowls to quickly peel large quantities of garlic cloves. This ingenious method, often attributed to the inventive minds of restaurant chefs and popular with Martha Stewart, has spread around the culinary world, promising efficiency and precision in garlic peeling.
Faced with the daunting task of peeling a sea of garlic cloves by hand, a chef can instead reach for two identical stainless steel bowls. The garlic cloves are placed in one bowl, and another — ideally of the same size — is used to cover the first, creating a tight seal from opening to opening. Now, the only thing left to do is to shake vigorously until the cloves slide effortlessly out of their papery skins, ready to be utilized in a delectable dish, and the discarded skins are left behind. This seemingly miraculous technique can leave you with perfectly peeled garlic in less than a minute.
Stainless Steel Is A Hero When It Comes To Garlic
The shaking method's effectiveness is no secret, but the exact science behind why it works so well remains something of a mystery. What makes two stainless steel bowls such a dynamic duo in the garlic-peeling world? It appears that abrasion is the key.
When garlic cloves are placed in the bowls and shaken vigorously, they collide with the sides of the metal bowls. This friction between the cloves and the stainless steel causes the papery skins to loosen and slip away. The process is what separates this technique from other methods, such as smashing the garlic with a knife or using dedicated garlic peelers.
But that's not all. Stainless steel has another remarkable quality that makes it the perfect material for this task: It's also an anti-garlic smell superhero. After you cut garlic, the pungent aroma can linger on your fingers, making it challenging to rid yourself of the scent. However, simply rubbing your fingers on a stainless steel surface, like a bowl or a sink, can help remove the garlic smell. Stainless steel's odor-neutralizing properties are attributed to its molecular structure, which can bind with the sulfur compounds responsible for the strong garlic smell and effectively neutralize them. This added bonus makes stainless steel an even more essential tool in the kitchen, especially when you're dealing with this aromatic ingredient — so keep those bowls around even after you've finished using them to peel your garlic.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.