Good Quality Spatulas
With the possible exception of knives and and frying pans, the tool I most often "turn" to is the spatula, most often the one above. It may seem like overly anal, foodblog falderal, but having the right spat for the job makes all the difference in both results and ease of use. What sets this type of spatula apart from it's cheapy supermarket relatives are stiffness and a sharp edge. Food sticks to pans, sometimes by design, and sometimes not, but in either case a sharp stiff spatula is a welcome companion. Nothing scrapes up the crunchy yummy fond at the bottom of the pan like these and you're guaranteed not to leave the seared exterior of chicken or fish stuck to the pan when you turn the food. As an added bonus, when it comes time to cleanup, these guys crush scotchbrite. The one pictured above is made by Lamson & Goodnow, a 170 year old cutlery manufacturer in Western Massachusetts.
Kitchens accumulate rubber spats like dryers collect socks, I count around 9 in my kitchen, the vast majority of which I never use - because they suck and I should throw them away. The one I use almost exclusively is the one pictured above. The stainless handle is strong like bull and the silicone blade doesn't fall off, crack or harden. The one I have is quite a bit bigger than the run of the mill model and the long handle makes the job easier, faster and more neat. I got mine at Sur La Table, but I don't see them on their website anymore. I did find them at Kitchenworks though for a pretty reasonable price.
A Huge White Poly Cutting Board & A Non-Slip Mat
Really? Yes, Really. A big white poly cutting board makes prep work a helluva lot easier and they are as common and cheap as Megan Fox. It's great to have room to prep almost everything a recipe calls for on one board without dirtying every bowl in the house. Chop some onion and then push it off to the side to make some room for the carrots. Get the biggest one you can still easily clean in your sink or DW. With regards to the non-slip mat, it doesn't have to be anything fancy, just washable and easy to store. The one above is sold for three bucks at the "Webstaurant Store" I have never bought anything from them, but the price seems good. Alternatively you can put a damp kitchen towel under your board or even that red mesh that goes on glassware shelves in bars. The important thing is to keep the board from moving around so that you don't cut yourself.
A Couple of Things You Don't Need
A Wooden Cutting Board
Listen, I like the way they look as well, but they're really just kitchen bling, and I am cool with that if that's what you into. Other than for looking, serving on, or cutting bread, they not the best choice. Wood boards are unsanitary, difficult to clean and needlessly expensive. Poly is better, cheaper and lasts longer.
The Mushroom Brush
To believe in the unique qualities and magical abilities of this shamwow of kitchen gadgets requires a suspension of disbelief exceeded only by the demands placed on audiences of the 1994 movie "Junior".
"Mushrooms Absorb Water Like a Sponge Spoiling the Taste of a Dish". If you believe that, I've got some Himalayan Sea Salt and Fiji Water you're gonna love. Give me a break, shrooms are already chock full of water, they grow in damp places for chrissakes. Category : Re-Gift immediately.
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