Monday, October 8, 2012

Kitchen Tip: Make Chopping Garlic Easier

When you want to really chop the crap out of some garlic cloves so they form a paste or a fine mince, sprinkle the peeled cloves on the cutting board with some coarse salt. The grains will help break down the garlic and keep the bits from flying around the cutting board as you chop.

When I’m making a marinade with chipotle in adobo along with garlic, as I did tonight, I like to add the chipotle on top of the garlic/salt mix and mince it all together; again it makes the chopping easier to handle, and the flavors will become more mingled. It would be nice to be able to say that the salt serves as a buffer to keep your cutting board from getting stained by the chipotle, but alas, in my experience, any difference in the level of orange-tint saturation is of an almost imperceptible degree.

Shown above: Monday night, I added my chipotle-in-adobo/garlic mix (1 pepper/4 cloves respectively) to a capful of apple cider vinegar, a swirl of maple syrup, and a splash of olive oil to marinate four nice thick boneless pork chops. Alongside that I served asparagus drizzled with beer-cheese sauce left over from last week, plus a warm salad of black beans, diced red pepper and red onion, cilantro, lime juice…and some pineapple I had grabbed from a conference-room fruit plate on my way out of a meeting this afternoon, with the express purpose of smuggling them home (in Tupperware I'd brought yogurt in and washed out) to complement pork and black beans. Yeah, gentle reader, I keep it classy like that.

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