What I Tried: The Garlic Zoom ($9.99 - Available here.)
The phone rang and my nephew Sam barked at me on the other end, “Uncle Monkey, have you ever seen the Garlic Zoom before, because I really want to test it out with you.” Sam’s inspiration in the kitchen at such a young age (he is 13) is pretty cool and his excitement for innovative kitchen gadgets is something that I relish.
Sam instructed me to head out to the Chef’n Web site to check out the Garlic Zoom, which is a little orb like apparatus with wheels on the outside that operate little blades on the inside. This product claims to make the process of mincing garlic simpler (and faster too). All you need to do is place a clove or two into the orb, close it up and roll it like a Matchbox car on the counter and voila, minced garlic.
What I Made:
Minced garlic, which went into a batch of marinara dressing.
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Four cloves of minced garlic
- 1 medium sweet onion, chopped
- ½ cup of dry vermouth
- 1 large can of diced tomatoes (I like using San Marzano tomatoes)
- 1 handful of parsley, chopped
- 1 tsp of lemon zest
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- ¼ cup of grated Parmesan cheese (I use Parmeggiano Reggiano, which is available at just about every grocery store or specialty gourmet shop)
Cover the bottom of a saucepan with the olive oil (about a ¼ cup or a little less should do) and turn the heat to medium. Sauté the garlic for about a minute (do not let the garlic brown or it will taste funny and if it does brown start all over) and then add in the onions and sauté until translucent. Turn up the heat to high, let the pan get really hot and pour in the vermouth. Once the liquid has cooked down reduce the heat to medium, add the tomatoes, taste the sauce and add salt and pepper to taste and continue cooking for about 30 minutes.
Turn off the heat and let cool for about an hour. Taste the sauce and add more salt and pepper if needed. Finish off with the parsley, lemon zest and cheese.
Serve over pasta or just stand over the pot with a big loaf of crusty Italian bread and have at it.
What it Rated:
Sam thinks the Garlic Zoom is pretty cool, but he was quick to point out a few things. The orb itself is a little small so you cannot fit more than two cloves of garlic in there at a time. You have to get used to the way the wheels operate and the amount of pressure you need to put on the orb to make it zoom. Once you master these the product is a breeze to use.
Getting the bulk of the garlic out is quite simple, but there are always a few stragglers that refuse to come out unless you lightly tap the orb and force them out.
All in all… Sam gives the Garlic Zoom two enthusiastic thumbs up. It is fun, affordable and helps you avoid that garlic smell that lingers on the fingers post mincing.