Roasted garlic: It's one of the most amazing flavors in the kitchen. Add it to soups and stews, whisk it into a vinaigrette or tomato sauce, brush it onto grilled steaks, use it to lend extra flavor to your secret recipe for mashed potatoes. Or simply rub it over toasted bread, like butter.
If you've never roasted garlic before, I can't stress enough how easy it is. Grab a whole head of garlic (or two, or three) next time you're at the market. Cut the top of the pointy tip off the garlic (no peeling necessary!), just enough to expose the tips of the cloves. Place the garlic on a small sheet of foil (just enough foil to wrap each head), with the cut end facing up. Drizzle a little olive oil over the cut end of the garlic head, and sprinkle a pinch each of salt and pepper. Wrap the garlic head in the foil. Place the garlic in the center of the oven (place the foil directly on the rack; you don't need to put it on a baking sheet) and roast the garlic at 325 degrees for about an hour, until the cloves have softened and that wonderful aroma is almost too much to bear. Voila.
Remove the roasted garlic from the oven and set it aside (still in the foil) to cool slightly. Then go crazy with it! If for some strange reason you don't plan to use it right away, squeeze the garlic from the head through the cut end (it's kind of like squeezing toothpaste). Wrap the roasted garlic pulp tightly and refrigerate for up to a week.
Cooking is fun — at least it should be! No matter how long you've been in the kitchen, there is always something new to learn, whether it's a simple twist on an old technique, or a handy tip to save time and energy. In this series of short videos, I demonstrate a variety of kitchen tips, including how to hold a chef's knife for maximum control and how to use a spoon to peel fresh ginger. If you have any gadgets, kitchen tips or questions you'd like me to explore, leave a comment or shoot me an email at noelle.carter@latimes.