My Favorite Kitchen Tools
Fall is back in Chicago. Following record high temperatures last week, we're in the midst of a rainy, dreary patch right now. It's the kind of weather that makes you want to stay home, put on fuzzy socks and indulge in hot tea or chili or even a roast of some sort. When the cold rolls back in, I want to spend more time cooking, warming my chronically cold self from the inside with hearty meals and hot drinks. As much as I love this time of year for staying in and eating cozy meals in front of the TV, I wouldn't be so enthusiastic if I didn't have a good set of gadgets at my disposal. Since many of you are avid cooks, I thought I'd share some of my favorite kitchen tools. These are some of the things I turn to nearly every day as I prepare meals because they are high quality, easy to use and versatile.
Progressive International Adjust-A-Slice and Julienne Mandolin | This allows me to cook onions quickly enough that I no longer cry every single time. I like the three thickness setting depending on what I'm cooking (paperthin cucumber-zucchini salad, anyone?), and the julienne option, which works quite well. This mandolin gets bonus points, too, for being dishwasher safe.
Wusthof Classic 8-Inch Cook's Knife | A nice large blade accompanies a comfortable handle that provides heft without much weight. This knife handles large-scale chopping jobs well, while the narrow tip allows me to pare fruit and remove pepper seeds without switching knives.
Microplane Zester | A new favorite, this zester does in moments what no amount of careful fork-scraping every could. With this tool, there's not risk of grating pith (the white, fleshy inner layer of a fruit rind) into your vinaigrette. Plus, it can be used for grating spices such as nutmeg into baked goods.
OXO Tongs | Tongs are one of those utensils that you may not realize you need until you have a pair. This one is great — the locking mechanism never sticks, it comes in two size options and the nylon coating is great for use in nonstick pans. Next up, I'll be adding a full-metal version to my arsenal.
What are some of your favorite kitchen tools?