Hello my Foodie Friends!
The holiday season is quickly approaching. We still do not know what the holidays will look like this year. (Will we all be in quarantine again? Will it be safe to celebrate with a small group? Will we be eating a big meal on Zoom?). One thing we do know for sure is that more of us will be cooking at home than usual. No matter what is going on, some people will still want to play it safe at home. Getting the right culinary tools to help you with your upcoming delights is important in the planning and preparation of your favorite dishes. Listed below are a small group of “must haves” for your kitchen as you prepare for your holiday cooking. It’s that time of year!!
Rimmed Baking Sheet: A rimmed baking sheet has got to be the most used, versatile and essential item in the home kitchen over the holidays. If you have the space, having at least two half-sheet pans (18-by-13 inches) on hand for baking cookies or roasting vegetables.
Quality Cutting Board: Lots of people underestimate the importance of a good cutting board, but a good one will change your life. It needs to be big enough that you can get the job done correctly and it needs to be made of a material that won’t dull your knives
Silicone Cooking Liners: Greasing cookie sheets becomes a thing of the past once you get your hands on Silpat Silicone cooking liner. The liners prevent you from having to grease pans and cleanup is a breeze. Simply hand-wash and roll the mat up when you’re done baking.
Mandoline slicer : The single best investment in my kitchen over the past years has been a mandoline slicer. Essentially, it’s an adjustable slicer for fruits and veggies, and it makes preparing salads a breeze. All the intricate slicing you normally have to do for good salads and prepping veggies is so much easier with a mandolin.
Kitchen Scale: If you really want to get into baking high-quality breads or desserts, a kitchen scale is a must-buy. Often stated, “cooking is an art and baking is a science”. Science depends on math, and good math starts with accurate measurements. Digital scales can assist with weighing ounces, pounds, fluid ounces, grams, and milliliters.
Meat Thermometer: Variance in degrees can separate a good steak from a perfect one. A meat thermometer will be one of the most-used tools in your drawers. Everyone should have an instant read thermometer in their kitchen, as it gives you better control over everything from chicken thighs to caramels. So named because it gives a temperature reading very quickly, an instant-read thermometer is an essential food safety and sanitation tool.
Chef Knife: Most well equipped kitchens have a handful of knives for different purposes. But if you are just getting started, a good chef’s knife is where you want to begin. For almost every job, a good chef’s knife will nearly always do the trick. They are great for chopping veggies, slicing meat and managing most common jobs.
Also, have your knives sharpened so you do not end up hacking away at your roast. Remember, we have knife sharpening services at Compliments to the Chef.
These are just a small list of what can help you this season. Getting ready for the holidays doesn’t have to be a struggle! Let us help you prepare for this holiday season. Stop by Compliments to the Chef, your Neighborhood Kitchen and Cutlery store located at 33 Railroad Place in Saratoga Springs. Remember my Foodie Friends; “Life Happens in the Kitchen.” Stay safe and well!
John & Paula