Wednesday Jan 19, 2022

Kitchen tip: kitchen utensils and knives

In a previous article, I gave some tips on how to stock your pantry, fridge and freezer. Now for some tips on how to get the right utensils and knives to prepare your food.

You want to have a good set of basic tools like a putty knife, ladle, tongs, fins, and a variety of wooden and rubber spoons. The spatula helps to scrape the mixing bowls when baking or the saucepans on the stove. Ladles help serve the soups and stews you prepare. You may want to consider a large one and a smaller one for the sauces. A third ladle with holes is useful for serving food cooked in liquid. Another option looks like a large, somewhat flat spoon to remove pasta (small pasta like elbow macaroni bow tie) or steamed / blanched vegetables. Flip-flops are useful for long pasta and for turning food in a pan or sautéing. We all use fins to flip those sunny side eggs!

A strainer is a normal essential for draining pasta or vegetables from boiling water. Many cooks turn to a multi-purpose pasta pot that has parts for steaming, cooking, and draining food.

A set of glass nesting bowls in various sizes, from very small to very large, provides you with the tools for baking, making sauces, tossing meats or vegetables into a sauce or marinade and other useful purposes … storage of leftovers, etc.

A good cutting board is also on the “essentials” list. They can be made of wood, plastic, glass, and even granite or marble. Wood has the advantage of being the friendliest for sharp knives. Plastic and glass provide better cleaning for hygienic reasons. IMPORTANT REMINDER … whatever type of board you use … when working with raw chicken ALWAYS wash immediately after use before any other food is on the board.

Other utensils … a peeler is good for fruits and vegetables to remove just the right amount of skin and maximize the good part of the food. Pasta recipes often call for grated cheese. Add a box grater to your essentials list. It usually has four sides of different grating grades. Small handheld graters are fine if your needs are simple. A scoop of ice cream, a pizza cutter, a bottle opener, and a corkscrew should also be initial purchases.

Last but not least … knives.

Chef’s knife … a must have for all cooks. What a normal knife should look like. Chef’s knives have a large blade with a curved edge and a pointed tip.

Kitchen Knife … It is short and sturdy and the smallest of the basic types. Use it for more complex jobs, like small dressings or removing seeds. Like a chef’s knife, it is considered an all-purpose knife.

Bread knife … you can’t cut those bagels or crisp Italian bread without a cut bread knife. It has a serrated edge and a slim, elegant blade.

Carving knife … for that Thanksgiving turkey. It has a very sharp and fine blade that makes it perfect for fine cuts of meat.

To properly care for a good set of knives, you need to invest in a good quality knife block. They come in a variety of very attractive styles.

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