Delay adding garlic to sauce to achieve most potent flavor


March 02, 1994|By Rita Calvert | Rita Calvert,Special to The Sun

Q: Even though I add an entire bulb (about 12 cloves) of garlic to my pasta sauce and then simmer it, the finished sauce does not taste as spicy as I would like. Should I add more garlic?

A: For a very robust red sauce for pasta, the amount of garlic you are using sounds sufficient, but you might change the technique a bit for optimum flavor. Try adding the garlic about 10 minutes before the sauce has finished cooking. The garlic will be more potent since it hasn't simmered for such a long time. Or you might want to add some of the garlic and herbs in the beginning and then stir in the remainder just before serving.

Q: Do you have any solutions for preventing uneaten tortilla chips from turning stale?

A: Always store the opened chips in their bag in an airtight container. If the chips are slightly stale, you can recrisp them by slow baking at a low temperature. Heat the oven to 200 degrees. Place the chips on a flat cookie sheet and spread to a single layer. Bake 20-30 minutes until they are crisp. Serve warm.

Q: When using a Reynold's oven bag, does the meat thermometer go inside or outside of the bag?

A: The Reynolds people advise anyone cooking with a Reynolds oven bag and a meat thermometer to put the thermometer through one of the six slits that are cut in the bag to allow air to escape. If you follow this method you will get a correct internal temperature and be able to read the dial as well.

We'd like to hear from you. Send your questions to: What's Cooking, c/o Food & Home, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278. Or leave your questions by phone by calling Sundial, The Sun's telephone information service, at (410) 783-1800 (268-7736 in Anne Arundel County, 836-5028 in Harford County, 848-0338 in Carroll County). Using a touch-tone phone, punch in the four-digit code 6180 after you hear the greeting.

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