07/26/11 • HAND-MIXER
For years I resisted the idea of buying a hand-held mixer; I had a standing version after all — wasn’t that enough? The answer was “yes” . . . most of the time. But for jobs better served by something with an ability to cover all of your bowl’s real estate, this baby is the way to go. Now my whipped cream is all peeks and no liquid valleys.
07/26/11 • MASHER
Without the proper implements, even the best cook is likely to be stopped in his tracks. Case in point: the masher. Imagine trying to transform boiled potatoes into mashed without this tool (or its sister gadget, the ricer), or to complete the simple process shown here. Sure, you could try using a fork, but for the fastest results it’s best to have the right equipment.
07/26/11 • MORTAR AND PESTLE
It may look like something straight out of ye olde apothecary (or possibly one of the Harry Potter films) but make no mistake — the mortar and pestle has a place in every modern kitchen. The food processor may be your go-to tool for most mixing and pulverizing jobs, but when it comes to the finer points of cooking (crushing seeds, grinding herbs), this is your answer.
06/09/11 BOX GRATER
A box grater is among a cook’s most useful tools, particularly one like the model pictured here. With a variety of openings to cover whatever shape or size a recipe calls for, this baby can get you to the finish line in style — no matter how many thumbs you cook with. Remember, the cheese going in your pasta should be a different size than the cheese going on top of it, so be prepared.
For years, every time a recipe called for a few tablespoons of fresh lemon juice I’d pull out my glass juicer, drain the lemon, and then spend minutes plucking out the seeds. There had to be a better way, and there was: the variety shown here. See those perforations? They catch the seeds, while allowing the juice to collect in the bowl. Brilliant.
06/07/11 AUTOMATIC PEPPER GRINDER
What utensil best defines TRG? Well, the pepper grinder, of course! And while I love the look of the crank variety, you can’t beat the speed and convenience of the battery operated version shown here (with mine, you just turn it upside down and a small hill of freshly ground pepper appears in seconds). Put the manual variety on your table, but cook with this one.