|Colander, a place to rest your chicken|
I remember reading somewhere that before your children write a list of what they want for Christmas, it's good to have them write a list of what they already have. This hasn't been tried at my house yet, but maybe this is the year. I secretly hope that home, and being loved would top the list and not the Wii.
As I look at a copy of the Sur la Table Holiday Gift Book,( also known as cooks porn) resting next to me, with pages carefully marked to everything I want, I realize it's nothing I really need. So, I put together my own list of what I use to cook both professionally and at home. Just so you know, appreciative family, friends and clients to cook for are at my secret top.
Here is a few of my favorite kitchen things I find impossible to live without. Most items are simple, obtainable and affordable, just what a cook needs and what I remind myself I already have!
Sheet pans - 1/2 sheet pans they are called fit home ovens. Restaurant quality available at a supply store.
Instant read thermometer - Never try to guess the internal temp of your chicken!
Tongs - all sizes from springy heavy duty to light weight small pinchy ones. Can't have enough tongs!
Colander- simple stainless steel with feet for better draining.
Nesting glass bowls - I bought mine at Williams-Sonoma. I'm on my second set, wore the first ones out.
Standing Kitchen Mixer - I have a old white one a Kitchenaid, probably an antique by now.
High quality stainless steel measure cups and spoons - I like my set from Williams-Sonoma.
Glass measure cups - I love the 8 cup from Pampered Chef as well as Pyrex 1 and 2 cup.
Wooden spoons - classic tool, kind on pans and hands.
Neck timer - great for when you have to leave the room with cookies in the oven.
Wire whisks - wood handles are best for leaving it in a cooking sauce to keep from being burned.
Pastry brush - I don't like the plastic or silicon ones, give me a wood handle and traditional bristles.
Pastry bags and tips - I keep several sizes of each for cake decorating to filling deviled eggs.
Scoops - several different sizes, to perfectly portion meatballs, cookies and the like.
Food processor - large capacity is best, simple easy to clean is what your looking for.
Ceramic white platters, plates bowls - all sizes, best for entertaining in any season and for food photos.
Bamboo cutting board - I love how it wears.
Microplane - easy to use grater for fine zest.
Cheese knives - all sizes, essential tools for appetizer serving.
White flour sack towels - (no paper towels) a habit I developed from working in commercial kitchens.
Le Creuset - 51/2 Qt. nothing better for sauces, soup, stews.
8" Chef knife - my two favorites are Wusthof- Classic and a Shun. I had to get the Shun when prepping for a cooking demo for Alton Brown and ended up really liking it.
|Le Creuset, birthday gift from my husband|
My favorite item is in a class by its self a 13" old Magnalite skillet, well seasoned by daily use. Not sure where you can get a pan like that nowadays, (mine I nicknamed Serious Black) he's ugly but well loved, but has been with me about 30 years. If your reviewing your own needs, or looking for a gift for the cook in your life, I hope this list helps.
|Serious Black in action|
If I don't get another chance before Christmas, I wish everyone a happy and wonderful holiday season, Chef Renee.
|essential cheese knives make great gifts|