Items You Must Have in Your Kitchen
Every kitchen must have food. Blah blah blah. That's understood. But these items are ones that I think you should have at all times to facilitate better food preparation. I'm sure everyone has an opinion on what should or should not be. And that's why I would like to hear from you. If you have a list of items that you think should be in your kitchen, let me know. Send an email to email@example.com. I will post a list of everyone's submissions next week.
10. Olive Oil next to the stove. I do a lot of sauteeing and frying of onions and peppers and things, so I always keep a container of olive oil next to the stove with a handy pour spout. I wrote about this a while back. You can convert an old bottle of liqour into your olive oil container. Just buy one of those cool liquor pour spots from the wine store.
9. Wooden Cutting Board. Don't use glass or ceramic. They will destroy your blades. Some people think that using wood can actually sharpen your knives. I'm not sure about that, but I feel like the blade can actually grip wooden boards, as opposed to sliding around on glass or ceramic. The only thing with wood is that you should try not to cut raw meat on it. But if you do, scrub it immediately after with hot, soapy water.
8. Basic red and white wine. So many recipes call for red or white wine to either deglaze or add some tasty flavor. Get some and stock it next to your stove.
7. Silicone Spatula. As I further my cooking endeavors, I am finding that a silicone spatula is a must have fore every kitchen. Nothing will ever replace my good old flat wooden spoon, but the spatula is so useful. It's heat resistant nature is all of the allure. You could stick that baby straight onto the heating element of your oven and it will come back unscathed.
6. Hot Sauce. OK, I may catch hell for this, but hey ... It's my site. In my kitchen, hot sauce sits by the stove just like my olive oil and my salt and pepper. I use it in a lot of dishes. It's how we do things down here. If you can't stand the heat of Tabasco, just get a generic Lousiana pepper sauce. Most grocery stores have them.
5. Pepper grinder next to the stove. So many dishes require fresh ground black pepper, you have to have a pepper grinder right next to the stove. This will sit next to your olive oil and hot sauce.
4. A food processor. Get a good one and use it to chop, grind, or puree anything. My wife and I have a Cuisinart (aff). Normally, I don't go for the ultra expesive or snobby appliaces, but Cuisinart makes superior products. It's one area where we're willing to splurge.
3. Non-stick skillet. The only reason that the non-stick is below the cast iron on my list is because cast iron is forever. A good non-stick skillet may last you 3 years or so. Eventually, the teflon finish will begin to wear down or food and grease will end up baked or caked on. Sure, Teflon is non-stick, but it must obey the laws of thermodynamics just like everything else.
2. Cast Iron Skillet, well seasoned. Pretty much a self-explanatory item. Cast iron's ability to retain heat is great for deep frying and cooking meats. You can heat up the skillet and then turn down the stove. The skillet will retain so much heat, you actually don't have to keep the stove turned up.
1. Large Chef's Knife. The best friend of any cook. She's my baby, my confidant, my one and only chef's knife. I use a Henckel's and a Chicago Cutlery.