Freezing Fresh Garlic by Blanching, Coating With Olive Oil
The best way to preserve garlic is to blanch the cloves, mince them, coat with little extra virgin olive oil and then freeze. This is better than freezing whole bulbs or cloves. The oil stops freezer burn, and reduces the odor in the freezer.
You can chop or mince the garlic as fine as you like, and add cloves is lessen the smell of garlic in your freezer. Making small blocks by freezing in ice cube trays or other small plastic containers is a great idea. You can simply grab one or two blocks for the dish you are preparing. They can generally be added straight into pasta sauces and curries.
Once frozen the cubes or blocks can be stored in plastic bags or in sealed plastic containers. Using oil on the garlic helps stop freezer burn and reduces the odor. The frozen garlic will last for months in the freezer.
This is an ideal way to buy your favorite gourmet garlic in bulk and preserve it for later use.
How to Prepare and Freeze Garlic in Oil
► Separate the garlic into individual cloves and peel. Bring a large pot of water to the boil and add the garlic cloves. Blanch the cloves by boiling for 10-15 seconds and then remove the cloves and plunge into cold water. Run cold water over the garlic cloves for a few minutes to quickly cool them.
► Chop or mince the garlic cloves into the size you want them.
► Transfer the chopped or minced garlic into a small bowl and add some Extra Virgin olive oil. Mix the garlic and add more oil until all the garlic pieces are coated with oil and appear shiny.
► Place the minced garlic into a bowl. Add a small amount of olive, or any other kind of oil, and stir to combine. Keep adding extra oil until all the garlic is shiny and lightly, but thoroughly coated with oil.
► Spoon the oiled garlic into the cavities of ice cube tray or other small containers. Fill each compartment to the top. Then press down firmly on each portion with the back of a spoon to exclude air bubbles and ensure an even size for the portions. Add extra oiled garlic as required until each compartment and container is packed full to the top with garlic.
► Place the trays or other containers in the freezer and leave until frozen (generally overnight). Note that because of the oil the blocks will not freeze solid. Nevertheless, the block will retain their shape when removed from the containers. Transfer the removed block to plastic bags or airtight containers for long term storage in the freezer.
► The garlic blocks can be used frozen in many dishes, or thawed and added to salad dressings and sauces.
► The frozen garlic will last for 6-12 months in the freezer
© 2013 Dr. John Anderson
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