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How to separate, peel & mince garlic cloves

Garlic adds so much to a dish, but its easy to get lazy and skimp on the garlic if you don't know how to quickly separate and peel garlic. Please, do not use pre-chopped jarred garlic or whole peeled garlic. They have no flavor, or worse, a nasty flavor.  Instead use these three time saving tricks to prepare fresh garlic:

To separate cloves from a head of garlic

Place on counter and whack with a heavy pot. The cloves will separate beautifully. This is kind of fun!

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To peel individual cloves

Pull off the loosened paper and put the cloves back on the counter top. Grab the pan again, and give the cloves another whack or two. The remaining paper will peel off easily. Now you are really having fun!

To mince garlic

Lay cloves on chopping block and sprinkle with salt. Alternate between chopping the garlic and pressing it with the side of your knife. The salt helps pulverize the garlic. Not as much fun, but you will have a great end-product. Or if you are mincing a large quantity of garlic throw all the cloves in a food processor and pulse.

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