Before you learn to use spices to make delicately seasoned dishes, you have to know your spice. There is a tendency in mainstream American spicing to throw a bunch of spices together and call it good. Many consumers feel others know better than them, but, you are the authority on your own palate.
Garlic grows as a bulb under the ground. It is related to onions and leeks. It has seasoned food and drink around the world, as well as treat a variety of conditions including infection and high cholesterol.
Garlic can be found as whole bulbs with multiple cloves, minced in olive oil, powdered and mixed with salt.
When you are first learning a spice try a dish with just that spice alone.
Start with a whole bulb. Peel away a bit of the thick fibrous dried stalk and root. Hold it in your hand and cup it to your nose, inhaling deeply the sweet odor with just a hint of spicy bite. Peel one clove off and make sure you have removed the paper thin peel. Smash it on a cutting board with the broad side of a large knife. Chop fine and once again inhale deeply noting the spicy bite has been augmented and the sweetness receded.
You are almost ready to spice, but before you do, take a tiny few bits of the garlic you have chopped and rub it gently between your fingers. Feel the slightly oily quality which will allow it to infuse the dish you will add it to.
Now try the recipe.
Visit the recipe page for Garlic Mashed Potatoes