Cutlery and Kitchen Tools: You don’t need to have a vast knife collection, but you do need to have a few that will get the job done. Invest in good knives and a sharpener, whether it is one of those electric ones, or a sharpening steel. A dull knife is more dangerous than a sharp one. –I have trace DNA in the kitchen to prove it. Keep your knives sharp and you will be more efficient in the kitchen and less frustrated. Here is a list of knives and other utensils that are essential to being successful in the kitchen.
· A Paring Knife
· 4 inch long Serrated Utility Knife
· 8 inch long Hollow Edge Santoku Knife
· 8 inch long Carving Knife
· A bread Knife
· Kitchen Shears
· Microplane Zester
· Large Spoons, Ladles
· Slotted Spoons
· Wire Mesh Strainers
· Measuring Spoons and Cups
· Rolling pin
· Mixing Bowls
Power Tools! -Things with Motors: A large food processor, a blender, a stick blender, a large mixer, a spice grinder, a crock pot. These products are designed to make your life easier and more efficient. Embrace things that plug in.
Cutting boards: I like the bamboo ones because of their strength and durability.
Good Pots, Pans and Bakeware: The heavy “all-clad” stainless steel kind. It can be non-stick but keep in mind the finish wears off. I prefer the stainless steel and then I supplement with a few non-stick pans. Keep in mind to buy handles that are oven proof. Often times you start something on the stove and finish off in the oven. As far as bakeware goes, try to stay away from aluminum, and choose heavy bake ware with a good finish on it. Wash all bakeware by hand to preserve the finish and dry thoroughly.
Spices: Don’t look for the pretty spice rack that holds a small amount of spices and sits on your counter. Go to one of those big discount grocery stores and buy the large containers. I like Smart and Final. You’ll pay just about the same for the large ones. If you’re serious about cooking, just grab one of every spice there. Then browse the sauces and marinades and see what you might like to experiment with. Be sure to look for my 2 recipes for spice rubs for fast and easy flavor.
Legumes and Other Dried Goods: These are budget friendly and have a long shelf life. They’re necessary in supplementing many meals. You can make them in bulk and store in the refrigerator to use all week. Embrace whole grain rice and steel cut oats for healthier living. Just keep in mind that they require longer cooking time. I usually give these grains a good hour to cook and absorb the liquid before the meal.
Ingredients Usually Used Every Day: Keep your pantry and refrigerator stocked with these items and you will be able to put together a meal in no time.
· Chicken, Beef, and Vegetable Stock
· Favorite Cheese
· Bell Pepper
Adding these essentials to fresh vegetables and proteins will ensure a great family meal with ease.