that scene with the garlic in the movie Goodfellas

Discussion in 'Cooking and Brewing' started by B.Jarvinen, Feb 8, 2018.

  1. B.Jarvinen

    B.Jarvinen

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    I was slicing up some garlic this evening and I remembered one of my favorite scenes in a movie - Goodfellas.

    The bulk of the cast all ends up in prison at the same time, and they have things pretty good. With time on their hands, they enjoy themselves via cooking. (some prison)

    So the scene I think of the most is a shot of one of the guys slicing garlic with a razor blade. The slice comes off the clove, falls into the warm oil below it, and instantly dissolves.

    I have never been able to pull that off when I try it. Have you ever tried it? I have mostly given up, but maybe it's time to give it another go.
     
  2. Debri Mazar and her Tuscan husband has been asked this question many times and she answer it the same each time "the scene was made for TV" not a common culinary practice
     

  3. B.Jarvinen

    B.Jarvinen

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    Sure, it wouldn't be common to be so fanatical as to shave garlic with a razor blade. And the older I get, the more I am tempted to just buy the $60 garlic press where you don't even have to peel the cloves you put in it. (Instead I stick with an el cheapo press, or a trusty fillet knife.)

    But what I wonder is - can anyone actually shave a clove off that thin, and drop it in the perfect temperature of warm oil to get it to disappear like that? Or .... was it an artificial special effect from the get-go? It sure looks like it _could_ happen.

    I just looked it up on YouTube. My memory created an actual memory of the garlic disappearing, but perhaps that is not even shown, just mentioned in the dialog.
     
  4. ESOX

    ESOX Staff Member Super Mod Mods

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    Cant do it with garlic. But you can make anchovies dissolve in oil with a little stirring. Fabulous way to add flavor to any dish. Try it, even people who hate anchovies love it!
     
  5. petronius

    petronius

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    It might work if you can slice it so it is translucent. You would have to use a double bladed razor blade, a single edge won't work, it is too thick. If the oil is too hot, the garlic will crisp up. The garlic would probably have to be put in a room temperature pan with oil, then the heat turned up gradually.
     
  6. zig

    zig

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    Ha! Funny you bring this up. Cool topic.

    It can be done, to a certain extent. Not like the movie, but to a certain extent. I've done it. You have to go slow, painfully slow.

    However, who wants to do this? Probably nobody. I know I found myself saying, "this is stupid." So, this is the trick I've come up with to get comparable results. The couple serious cooks that I've shown it to have raved about it.

    Take a good quality chef's knife. I mean, it's got to be sharp. A sharp knife is a relative term to some people. When I think sharp, I think "When I cut myself with it I'm not going to really feel it at first, then I'm going to look at it and wonder if I need stitches." If you don't have one, get a good quality high carbon steel knife. Screw stainless steel and some of that other crap out there. Any serious cook that doesn't have a good quality carbon steel knife will realize life changes in the kitchen once they do. Yeah, the carbon is more maintenance, but totally, totally worth it in my opinion. Anyway, take your peeled clove of garlic. Get a fork and stab the clove as far away from the end you're cutting while still getting a firm hold in it, and stab it so the BACK of the fork is facing the end you are cutting. Take your knife, pivot the back of the fork as close to the end that you're cutting and glide the knife against the back of the fork to get a uniform (and very thin) slice of garlic. Continue to pivot the fork to the left (if you're a right handed cutter) and keep slicing. You can get very, very thin slices this way (as long as you have the right knife).

    Once your are done slicing (pitch the end that the fork was in) gather your slices and put a good amount of coarse salt (sea or kosher) on the sliced garlic. Let sit for just a minute. Obviously the salt will draw some water out and act as an abrasive for the next step. Then, take the back of your fork and mash the salted slices well. They will turn into a paste that will largely (not totally) melt away in the pan. Always watch for too high of heat though with garlic. Roasted garlic is good, garlic burned/browned in pan is not.

    I know the explanation seems long, but I wanted it to be detailed. It really doesn't take much time after you get the hang of it, much faster than the razor blade and maybe better in my opinion. I came up with this a few years ago, and it's all I do now. Good luck.

    And yes, you could use a press. But, not the same results, and I honestly just don't care for them for a number of reasons.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2018