Saturday, April 24, 2010

Kitchen Essentials - The Hardware

I placed a hold on this:at my local library and it finally came in a few days ago. I always love getting my hands on a new cookbook, and I'm particularly excited for this one after watching Jaime's Food Revolution on tv and everything I've been learning about food lately. The introduction talks a bit about where he got the idea for what he's doing, and also lists essential tools and ingredients to own. Today I want to go over the equipment.

This is the list of essential kitchen equipment he says every kitchen should have:

Extra large non-stick frying pan - I don't like to cook in non-stick because Teflon is not so great for your health, but I do have two three quart All-Clad saute pans that I use more than anything else in my kitchen. I do own one medium sized Teflon pan for eggs though. That and miscellaneous Chinese dumplings are all that I use it for.
Large grill pan - I had one and never used it. We would rather just grill outside or use the George Foreman.
Extra large casserole pan or dutch oven (cast iron, aluminum, or stainless steel) - I have an All-Clad stockpot that came with my set when I first bought them. I use that in place of a dutch oven when I need one. I really really really want a Le Creuset one though.
Set of thick bottomed saucepans (large, medium, and small) - All-Clad again.
Good sturdy sheet pans - I have two 18" x 13" ones that I picked up for about $7 each at my local restaurant supply store. They rock.
Wok - I need one of these! I bought a cheap one at Ikea that was Teflon coated (I KNOW!!!) and the nonstick coating started to flake off into our food. It makes me sick to think about how much of it we might have eaten before I realized what those black flecks were. I tossed it and my next one will not have any coating like that because you just cook with too high of a heat to chance it.
Nest of mixing bowls - I have a set of four Pyrex ones that I've had for probably close to 15 years, if not longer. I just chipped one for the first time this year. Those suckers are STURDY.
Metal tongs - Three pairs in two sizes.
Knives (chef's knife, serrated carving knife, small paring knife) - We bought ourselves a set of good knives when we got married, so I have those plus a few more. I do need to get that paring knife sharpened because the honing steel just isn't cutting it any more. (haha, cutting it.)
Wooden spoons - I have two, and two wooden spatulas. I don't use these very much.
Metal whisk - I have a large one, a small one, and a flat one for making sauces and gravies.
Potato masher - Yup. Another item that's lasted forever. I prefer to mash potatoes with this because the mixer makes them too smooth and it reminds me of potato buds. YUCK.
Ladle - Yup.
Slotted spoon - Yup, a pretty All-Clad one that I got as a gift with purchase.
Slotted turner - Cheating here - I have a fish spatula, and that's slotted, so I'm counting it.
Plastic spatula - For that nonstick pan. It doesn't get used very often.
Rubber spatula - I have several of these in different styles, including one very pink glitter one and one Hello Kitty one that is the only thing that doesn't stick when making rice crispie treats.
Speed peeler - I don't like speed peelers. I find them awkward. I do have a regular one though. It's old. It's ghetto. I probably bought it at the grocery store. I like it!
Thick, sturdy wooden chopping board - I have one but it's not looking so hot. It works though.
Small plastic chopping board - I have two cheapies from Ikea. These are for meat and meat ONLY.
Pestle and mortar - Nope. I would love a lava rock pig one from Mexico though, if anyone is headed down there and wants to bring one back for me! HA!
Salad spinner - You saw mine on yesterday's post.
Measuring cups and weighing scales - I have my cute measuring cups that are miniature versions of my pots and pans, that I love. I also have a scale which I bought when I joined Weight Watchers a few years ago. Now I use it mainly to weigh flour as that is much more accurate than using measuring cups. If you bake a lot you should definitely have a small food scale in your home.
Strainers (one coarse, one fine) - I have a fine one. I need to get a course one because sometimes that fine one is TOO fine and ends up being a huge pain.
Large colander - All-Clad, a gift from my Mother in Law who understands these things. :)
Large measuring jug - I have one cup and two cup Pyrex measuring cups, and then my eight cup Pampered Chef batter bowl, which I love. I use it to make our steel cut oats in the microwave for breakfast.
Box grater/Microplane grater - I have a Microplane grater which I use for Parmesan cheese and citrus zest. I have a cheapy cheese grater but it's not a box one - it's just one flat panel that makes it clumsy to use. I would really like this one one day.
Food processor - It always amazes people that I have all this stuff in my kitchen but no food processor. I haven't felt a need for one yet I guess.
Rolling pin - I have a lovely wooden French rolling pin that I picked up for about $7 somewhere a long time ago. I like it because it doesn't leave dents in my dough the way a regular one will if it's narrower than the dough is wide, which they frequently are.
Can opener - Yup. Another oldie but goodie. I used to have an electric one but then I read about how they grow and spread bacteria because you can never wash them. That blade dips into your can of whatever just enough to not only pick up crap, but also to redistribute it in whatever you open next. YUCK. That thing got put into the Goodwill pile with a quickness and I have a manual one that I can wash now.

Tomorrow I will talk about his list of essential ingredients for your pantry!

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Blogger Samara Link said...

Oh, this is cool. A great list I intend to go through to see what I have and don't. I already see a few things I don't have. Like heavy bottom sauce pans. I coulda used one the other day. The recipe I had from Ina Garten for caramel sauce didn't turn out, and I think the pot was the main reason. Anyway, thanks for sharing this. I'm going to go through it in full today or tomorrow.

BTW, I looked for Easter eggs, but I was just a little too late to find any. So, I put your idea in my Easter holiday folder idea for next year, and I'll be making them then. Thanks again for the tip. :)

5:58 AM  
Blogger em said...

I want this book! Or maybe I'll just use your blog as my guide! ;)

11:16 AM  

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