Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Tricia's Top Five Reasons Why Showgirls is the Best Movie of All Time
Okay, not really. I'm writing about cooking stuff, I just thought I'd change it up a bit to give my google searches some variety and to try and expand my fan base. I do think Showgirls is an awesome movie, by the way. It makes me laugh for the entire 2 hours.
Dear Tricia, What would your top 5 kitchen utensils or items be? Why? Any specific brand(s)?
Top 5 is the perfect number for you to ask for because once you start getting up to 10, the kitchen tool junkie in me starts to show her true colors. For real, you should have seen me when I opened up some of my wedding gifts. "A citrus reamer?? I've always wanted one of these!!" I don't know if my husband was ready to see that side of me. Alright, this was tough, but here goes.
1. As far as knives go, you don't need an entire fancy set. Let's be real- you're never going to use all of them and you probably don't need extra crap on your counter top. So a chef's knife is most important. A chef's knife is a large (usually between 8-10 inches), all purpose knife with a straight blade (as opposed to a serrated blade... you know, those zig zag-shaped blades that you use to slice bread with and it hurts extra bad when you cut yourself? Um, hypothetically speaking, of course.) that is used for any chopping, dicing, slicing, etc. I prefer my Global knife because it comes in two sizes and the smaller one fits my hand better. Its also really light and easy to sharpen. (Knives are a whole other blog. Read that one here.)
2. A paring knife. That's the tiny knife with the tiny handle and straight blade that is used to slice really small stuff and cut fruit with. I use my paring knife for little things like picking lemon seeds out of lemons and other random tasks that don't even involve cutting. I prefer a Shun paring knife because it has something like 14 types of steel in the blade, and again, really easy to sharpen. I've had my knives for years and don't plan on getting new ones anytime in the near future. Both of my knives are Japanese... leave it up to those guys to make as awesome of knives as they do cars. Driving around in my Honda and using my Japanese knives makes me feel like I'm representing my Japanese homies pretty well.
3. Tongs are basically an extension of your hand. They're completely awesome and they're probably every one's favorite utensil in professional kitchens. I used to carry mine in my back pocket. Tongs are used to grab hot stuff, flip it over in a pan, take hot pans out of the oven, grilling, and can be used anytime you don't have a hot pad or a towel. Instead of using a spatula to move stuff around in a pan, they give you more control to grab things and move them where you want- you gotta show that food who's boss, and tongs will help you do it. I'm not brand specific when it comes to tongs, they just need to be sturdy ones that aren't too big to handle comfortably, and they need to be all metal so that they don't melt when you're handling said hot stuff.
4. A heat-safe, rubber spatula. I make a lot of eggs (and coincidentally, most of my blog questions happen to be about eggs), and a rubber spatula is the best thing to cook them with. When you're scrambling eggs, or making them over-easy, or whatever, a rubber spatula keeps everything from sticking to the pan and because its flexible, gives you more control. A plastic spatula is a disaster. I hate them. Also, you need a heat safe spatula so that, duh, it doesn't melt in high temperatures. Nothing says unappetizing like melted plastic in your food. Restaurant supply stores sell my favorite ones (they're always white with a red handle), but if you're not near one, Williams Sonoma and Sur La Table sell Le Crueset ones that are really sturdy. (And they always come in pastel colors around Easter. Bonus!) Don't buy the Cuisinart ones: I accidentally ate a splinter that came out of the handle of one of those. Unpleasant doesn't even begin to describe the cat-hacking-up-a-hairball-like noises I made during that experience. It wasn't cute.
5. A good non- stick pan for cooking omelets. (Wanna know if its spelled "omelet" or "omelette?" Click here.) I make omelets ALL THE DING DANG TIME. And to get an omelet to flip without sticking, I've found that a non stick pan with no scratches is completely necessary, especially if you don't cook a lot. In order to keep it scratch free, don't wash it with a metal scrubber or use any metal utensils in it. A non-stick pan is also great for making good eggs over easy. One blog reader on my facebook fan page specifically calls this pan her "egg pan." I call mine James.
I feel like I'm neglecting to mention all of my favorite baking tools: my Kitchen-Aid mixer, my mini offset spatula, and my squeezy citrus juicer. The blender is also super helpful. And that food processor that I'm saving up for is going to be awesome. And my French press coffee maker. And my Blu Ray player so that I can watch Showgirls...