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[dropcap style=”font-size: 60px; color: #9b9b9b;”] T[/dropcap]here’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.
ps. My favourite tiny person turned 4 months on Monday!
Time sure flies.
This recipe sounds absolutely amazing. I will be making it, and am really looking forward to it when we get back from our trip. And Fergal sure is cute!
I’ve been meaning to ask you for a long time, Jules – rather than saying “mince” in regards to garlic in your recipes, you usually say “finely slice”. I’ve been dutifully “finely slicing” my garlic without chopping it into tiny bits, but it occurred to me recently that you might actually mean “mince,” and it’s just a language difference. Can you clarify? It might be a moot point if I get this garlic press, which sounds fantastic. Thanks!
Before I got my garlic press I did used to just finely slice my garlic (literally) because I find mincing (or I’d say finely chopping) takes too much time.
Hope that helps!
Is the garlic press easy to clean? I have a titanium one that is pretty good, but cleaning it is tricky so I prefer to instead thinly slice the garlic then crush it with a fork. Another problem with presses is they tend to put out a lot of the bitter juice but less of the flesh from the garlic.
This summer I bought a garlic grater plate (like this http://www.d-grater.com/) from our state fair and it’s been the best thing! It’s soo easy to use and the garlic is so much more fragrant when it’s grated on this plate! And it works with lots of other things too, ginger, hard cheese, chocolate etc. Just thought I’d share.
Absolutely obsessed with my garject. I think we’ve had the same one for about 3 years! Definitely one of my favourite kitchen utensils!
Thanks Jules on your opinion on garlic presses. I have an excellent one which I’ve had for many years. It’s made by Guzzini the Italian brand. It’s no longer in production from what I can gather. I will look out for the one you suggest if and when it will need replacing.
I have a question for you about mandolins. I would like to invest in one but have no idea which one to choose. Do you use one? Is there a brand you can recommend?
BTW your favourite little man is gorgeous. Congratulations.
I have a mandoline…I think it’s a ‘v-slicer’.. it’s plasticy but does the job! Dont have a brand I’d recommend but make sure you use the safety thingy… I nearly sliced off my thumb by not using it.
Didn’t realise how much press a garlic press would get… When I found out my microplane could do the job, that was one less thing I needed to invest in AND just made me love the grater even more!
I am a French person who enjoys all ways of cooking, preferably healthy but it does not always happen, my father used to say that you should watch what you eat on week days but not week end where we would go for fine delicious food. Using garlic I don’t like it crushed, I think it changes the taste, I always slice it very fine. I love your receipes, very creative. Kind regards Chris
How do you find your new press for cleaning? That was the main reason I ditched mine–it just took ages to get out the bits of garlic (and the dishwasher never got them completely either).
Thanks for sharing this delicious looking recipe! I will try it out :-)
I love your food advices and inspirational pictures. Cheers, Sonja
Since it’s Thanksgiving, I’m always looking for blogs that will give me plenty of ideas. My friend just told me about “Cooking With Mr. C.” on Facebook (also a blog). I just “Liked” his page. He dedicates November for all Thanksgiving ideas. I was hoping I may find some things on your blog this season too. Alana
i’m with kitty on this one.the microplane is how i like to fly or mince with a knife or just a splat with the back of it.i would have to say the microplane and the zester are the more useful tools in the kitchen than a garlic press.
btw alana i saw your exact same post on sundaysuppers.you not plugging him are you !!!!
This recipe is so nice to eat and really easy to cook.. I am and my family loving this one so much.. Thanks so much for sharing the same and must keep sharing further :)
Does this REALLY make a difference?
I skin the garlic and use a press thing.
WOW! I bought the garlic press – Oh My Gosh! How did I live without this for so long? I will be using more garlic in my cooking as this is the best/easiest way to chop garlic. No more messy cutting boards or knives. This does exactly what it says it will. I tested it with the recipe above (garlic snow pea and chicken stir fry), EXCELLENT! I’ll be following this blog for more recipes! Yummy! Thank you!