There’s something I’ve been meaning to share with you for a while. It’s about my policy when it comes to freebies.
You see, as my blog readership has grown, so has the number of emails I get from PR and other companies offering to send me free samples of ingredients, books and kitchen equipment.
In the early days I’d accept on the proviso that I wouldn’t be obliged to write about the product on Stonesoup. This was OK but I found most of the time I didn’t appreciate the freebies and I would often end up donating them to charity or the garbage bin. So over the last few years I’ve changed my policy.
Why am I telling you this?
Because I want you to know that anything I recommend here on Stonesoup is something I’ve made the conscious decision to spend my hard earned cash on. Same goes for anything you see in my videos or the props I use in my photos.
OK so now I’ve got that off my chest…
Let’s talk garlic presses!
First, I’m not a fan of ‘single-tasking’ kitchen utensils. I got rid of my cheap old garlic crusher back when I was simplifying my kitchen and my life.
It wasn’t a tough decision. I’d read somewhere that crushing garlic can make the garlic taste bitter and that chopping by hand was the way forward.
Then I think it was in the Kitchen Diaries II, Nigel Slater (still my all time favourite food writer) spoke about his love for his garlic crusher. I was curious. Apparently the bitterness was a problem with old aluminium garlic crushes but not so with modern stainless steel.
I had been toying with the idea of finding a good quality garlic crusher. But hadn’t got around to it when my Irishman came back from a trip to Canberra with the beauty pictured above.
So is the ‘Dreamfarm Garject’ the best garlic press in the world?
It’s easily the best garlic press I’ve ever encountered.
My favourite feature is that there’s no need to peel the garlic. Just pop your clove in and squeeze. Garlic comes out. Skins stay inside. Brilliant!
This makes it so much quicker and easier to get garlic ready. As a result I’ve found myself adding garlic to my cooking far more often.
So yes the Dreamfarm garlic press has earned its place in my kitchen.
Here is one of my latest stir fry recipes that gives you a great chance to go a bit garlic crazy. Sorry vampires!
Crunchy Snow Pea & Garlic Stir Fry
This stir fry came about because I had a bag of snow peas lurking in the fridge and had been struggling for inspiration. So I thought I’d ‘use them up’ as a side dish to the Kung Pao Chicken my Irishman was making…
We were both blown away with how delicious the sweet crunchy veg were. The next week I gave it a whirl as a main course. Here it is!
Of course, if you don’t have a garlic press, just peel and chop finely with your knife.
Enough for 2
4 chicken thigh fillets or other protein (see below), sliced
2 really large handfuls snow peas (mange tout), topped
2-4 cloves garlic
3-4 tablespoons oyster sauce
large handful cashew nuts, to serve
1. Heat a little oil in a wok or large frying pan. Cook the chicken, stirring often for about 5 minutes or until the chicken is no longer pink when you cut into a piece.
2. Place chicken in a clean bowl.
3. Quickly add a little more oil to the pan. Add snow peas and cook, stirring often for about 2 minutes.
4. Crush garlic into the wok and keep cooking and stirring until the snow peas are a little charred but still crunchy.
5. Return chicken to the pan. Add oyster sauce. Taste and season with more sauce if needed.
6. Serve ASAP with cashews.
vegetarian – use vegetarian oyster sauce (it does exist) or replace with soy sauce. Skip the chicken and serve the stir fry with 2 fried eggs per person.
vegan – as above for the oyster sauce. And replace the chicken with firm tofu or a drained can of cannellini beans.
side dish – skip the chicken.
nut-free – replace cashews with finely chopped red capsicum (bell pepper) for colour and crunch.
garlic-free – just skip it or replace with finely chopped red chilli and/or ginger.
herby – serve with a few handfuls of coriander leaves (cilantro) or mint or basil.
hot! – add in a few chopped red chillies.
different protein – chicken breast, white fish fillets, salmon, fresh tuna, pork fillet, lamb back straps or lamb fillet, steak, beef fillet, any minced (ground) meat or poultry.
Video version of the recipe.