The $11 Costco Shortcut I’m Stocking in My Fridge This Fall
As The Kitchn’s resident Costco expert, I love to share smart shopping strategies to help you get the most out of your membership. Buying groceries at the bulk warehouse requires a different mindset than your standard supermarket run. You may have to plan recipes that require a degree of ingredient repetition or commit to storing items in a way that prolongs their shelf life. It might be easy to imagine using up a pair of Rao’s pasta sauces or even a four-and-a-half-pound bag of chocolate chips, but many members falter when it comes to perishable foods in the produce section.
If you are tempted to steer clear of the bulk bags of onions, giant containers of mushrooms, and big bags of little potatoes, I encourage you to take a chance this month. Buy that three-pound bag of Garland Organic peeled garlic and I’ll show you how to use every last clove without letting a single one go to waste.
What’s So Great About Garland Organic Peeled Garlic?
There’s no kitchen task I dread more than peeling fresh garlic. I’ve tried every trick, hack, and secret that’s come across social media in the past 15 years in the hopes of finding the very best method for peeling garlic. Unfortunately, no method ever sticks quite like the papery garlic skins do. When I spotted this bag of peeled garlic cloves at Costco last fall, I realized that I could skip the tedious task of peeling for good, and I’ve never looked back.
Find Garland Organic peeled garlic cloves in the refrigerated section near the dips and fresh tortelloni. The first thing I do before placing the peeled garlic in my cart is take a close look at the cloves. While there are bound to be some tiny cloves mixed in with oversized ones, find a package with mostly uniformly-sized garlic cloves. Check the expiration date and choose a package with a date far in the future. Finally, look at the cloves to make sure there aren’t any signs of spoilage: pink or white mold spots, bruised or wet-looking cloves, condensation on the interior of the package. There are always plenty of packages to choose from, so find the one that you like best.
What’s the Best Way to Use Garland Organic Peeled Garlic?
Now that you’ve brought home a three-pound bag of peeled fresh garlic cloves, take just a few minutes to prep what’s inside so you won’t have to worry about buying, peeling, or chopping garlic for the next few months. The freezer is garlic’s friend, so arrange a portion of the garlic cloves on a parchment-lined baking sheet and slide it directly into the freezer. Once the cloves have frozen solid, transfer them to a freezer-safe zip-top bag. Squeeze out all of the air and return to the freezer for up to six months.
You can use the frozen cloves exactly how you would use fresh. They thaw quickly, so you only need to wait until your knife slides easily through the garlic. To roast whole garlic cloves, wrap several cloves in foil and drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper, then roast in the oven until golden and sweet. Smash cloves and infuse oil for an elegant appetizer to serve with crusty bread. Pat yourself on the back when making Ina’s chicken with 40 cloves of garlic because you won’t have to peel a single clove.
Make your own frozen minced garlic in minutes: Place as many peeled cloves of garlic as you’d like in a food processor and pulse to desired consistency. I find that doing this in batches allows me to have more control over the consistency of the final minced garlic. Transfer the minced garlic to a gallon-sized freezer bag and press into an even layer, removing as much air as possible. Use a skewer to score the bag into small, clove-sized portions before freezing. Lay the bag flat to freeze, then anytime you need minced garlic for a recipe break off a square or two of your frozen minced garlic.
This fall, I’m adding frozen minced garlic directly to my favorite minestrone soup, and serving it with homemade cheesy garlic bread. Life-changing garlic butter chicken thighs are forever on my weekly meal plan as is this shrimp and broccoli stir-fry, and both are made easier with my premade minced garlic.
I always like to save a handful of peeled garlic cloves in the fridge for evenings when I don’t mind the ritual of chopping. Slide a dry paper towel into the resealable bag to absorb excess moisture and close the bag tightly.
Find it in stores: Garland Organic Peeled Garlic, $10.99 for 3 pounds
What fall staples are you buying in bulk at Costco? Tell us in the comments below.