Spice It Up and Make It New: Ginger-Garlic Paste

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We all have go-to recipes. You know, things we often turn to when we just don’t know what to fix for a meal or even a snack. Sometimes they’re healthy. Sometimes not. But they are things we like, so we have them a lot. Perhaps too often. At least in their usual forms.

So what’s wrong with that? I mean, if you like them, why not? On the whole, there’s nothing wrong with that. (Now here’s the “but” you knew was coming.) But the fact is we get bored. And what happens when we get bored? We give in to temptation. And sometimes that means we eat things we shouldn’t, especially if we’re tired and just don’t want to take time to cook something. So we stop at a drive-thru or stop by the store and pick up something already prepared or that we can stick in the microwave. Once in a while, that’s fine. But when it becomes the norm, we’re letting ourselves open to all kinds of problems, including health and financial issues.

But there is help to invigorate the tried and true, and make it something new.


Ginger-Garlic Paste

Herbs and spices are some of the easiest ways to change up a favorite dish. But again, we can become mired in the same old, same old. But trying them in a new form can make us think of them in new ways. Ginger and garlic are popular ingredients in Asian and Indian cuisines, among others. While there are times when dried versions are perfectly acceptable, I believe fresh is usually best. Of course, that means extra work, which is not exactly what you’re looking for when tired or pressed for time. Here is where ginger-garlic paste comes in.

The ingredient list is simple: equal parts peeled ginger and garlic. And fresher is better; my ginger was a little “old,” but it worked fine. Roughly chop and put into a blender or food processor. For smaller amounts, a blender will probably work better, especially if it’s a high-speed one. Add about a half-teaspoon of water to aid blending. You may need to add more, but start small. Then whir until it forms a paste. Store in the fridge or freezer in an airtight container.

So now that you have it, what do you do with it? Put it in anything calling for ginger and garlic. I like adding it to a stir-fry and soups. It adds a flavorful twist on a chicken soup, for example.

One word of caution. Ginger-garlic paste has a definite bite to it. Oh, it’s not objectionable, but it’s certainly noticeable. So if what you’re making calls for heat from another source, like crushed red pepper, you may want to go lightly when adding the paste or the pepper. It’s much easier to add more than take some out!


© Copyright 2018 Ida Walker, All rights Reserved. Written For: The Enabling Cook
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