Posts Tagged ‘mandoline’

The Foodie 13 – Compulsory Kitchen Gadgets

Being that I was ruminating over my dream kitchen yesterday, I thought it would be wholly appropriate to delve into the various gadgetry that I find essential for any well equipped kitchen.  I tend to subscribe to the Alton Brown school of thought; meaning I try not to clutter my kitchen with single-use tools, because in most cases, less is more.

However, that philosophy hasn’t stopped me from the occasional impulse buy (really, who needs an ice cream scoop in the shape of a cow, anyway?)

So, without further adieu…

1 – Tongs – Ah, tongs.  Tongs are like the duct tape of the kitchen world; exceptionally versatile and always innovative in their usage.  I can use tongs to cook (clearly), but they also make great tools for holding oily pieces of paper towel when wiping down a BBQ grill, they’re key for retrieving foods from narrow-mouthed jars, and if you place half a lemon between the arms, the lever action makes a pretty bitchin’ impromptu juicer.

2 – A Santoku or other really sharp chef’s knife – My preference leans toward an Asian-style knife, and Santoku’s are notable for their comfort, reliability and precision.  A Santoku is a Japanese knife that is typically shorter, stouter and easier to handle in my dainty hand than a traditional 8 or 10 inch chef’s knife.  They occasionally have scalloped “divets” on the sides of the blade to prevent food from sticking to the knife, but Wikipedia informs me that these might not be entirely traditional.  As a rule of thumb, every kitchen should have one really solid, sturdy knife, and for my money, the Santoku does it in my kitchen.

3 – Salad Spinner – Even if you only occasionally eat your greens, it makes good sense to have one of these around because nothing deflates a salad faster than limp, water-logged leaves.  The internal bowl in the spinner can also double as a colander, and the whole thing can also be used (gently) for washing cherry tomatoes or delicate summer berries.