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John F

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Re: New kitchen..could be fun for you guys and a big help to me

by John F » Sat Dec 01, 2012 11:16 pm

Christina Georgina wrote:1.deBuyer mineral pans. All 3 sizes and saute pan. Pros: lifetime nonstick without the industrial coatings; wonderful heat distribution for best searing; very easy cleaning and for me , they work on induction. Cons: heavy ; need to maintain the seasoning until used many times;can't let food sit in them for long periods; can't be used to braise acidic items i.e. they are considered "reactive"
2. a large section of counter top that is end grain wood for cutting.
3. I wouldn't make pasta nearly as often without my Kitchen Aid pasta attachment. It's basically the Atlas parts that fit into the KA motor. This has expanded my pasta repetoire immensely
4. the new Penzey's peppermill that is big enough to handle their Extra Bold Peppercorns



How do you like the Kitchen Aid pasta feature? Is it like the od pasta machines where the dough is extruded through a pre set mold?
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Re: New kitchen..could be fun for you guys and a big help to me

by John F » Sat Dec 01, 2012 11:28 pm

Jenise wrote:Wow, John. The thing that surpised me most about this post is to realize that I've known you long enough that your kids, once little and in my mind frozen there in time, now have apartments of their own. Yikes, we're getting old!

Anyway, so many things come to mind but so few are reccomendable, because what anyone needs in a kitchen is so personal and many of the things I am bonded to are nameless/brandless things picked up who knows where along the way. If they're still here, they're useful--I'm ruthless about dumping anything that doesn't work out. But a quick perusal of my kitchen just now suggested a few things:

A salt keeper, at least one. The backstory on this: Bob bought me one for my birthday a few years ago. I had not wanted nor asked for it, and at first glance I despised it. But I recognized it from the Williams Sonoma catalog--Bob had pointed it out to me months before, testing my reaction, which apparently had not been nearly negative enough. :) I also remembered that it was priced at $50. Insane, I thought, for a little wood pot. But of course I had to use it, or pretend to, at least for awhile. In a matter of months, however, I completely reversed myself. It had become SO useful and integral to my kitchen that I not only loved it and wildly so, I bought a second one so that I had one on my prep counter and one at the stove. Williams Sonoma still sells them:

http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/olive-wood-salt-keeper/?pkey=e%7Csalt%2Bkeeper%7C7%7Cbest%7C0%7C1%7C24%7C%7C1&cm_src=PRODUCTSEARCH||NoFacet-_-NoFacet-_-NoMerchRules-_-

What the picture won't make obvious to you: though WS sells one that's more modern and pleasing to my eye that's a straight cylinder vs. this one's downward curves, the curve is ergonomic and it fits beautifully in one's hand for each of the two ways one uses it. Say you're right handed like me. I either hold it in my left hand and flick the lid back with my left thumb while reaching in for a pinch with two fingers of my right hand, or I pick it up in my right hand and flick the lid back with my right thumb in order to apply a layer directly over a roast, say, or into a pan of boiling water. (Mind, I use only kosher salt directly in cooking, and these pots are oriented for the larger grain salts. The finer grain salt you and I grew up with gets under one's finger nails.)

Stainless steel hotel pans and bowls. Not great looking, except where functional is beautiful, a stack of stainless steel bowls I bought at a restaurant supply store (they might be a brand like ACCO) save my life every day. This company makes about six different sizes that all nest, but I chose just three sizes and bought three each of a large and medium bowl, and five smaller ones. I'd guess what I have are 2 qt, 4 qt and 6 qt, and because they nest they fit within the space required for just one of the six quart bowls. Any time I do a big project there are bowls all over the kitchen. I also adore hotel pans and own a number of different sizes. Because they're square sided and flat bottomed, they hold a lot in a relatively low profile. There's invariably one about 10-11" square in the refrigerator full of fruit, and anytime I marinate meat, fowl or fish this is what the ziploc bag resides in and what, quite often, the resulting meat roasts in if it's not going outside to the grill.

Two colanders. Everybody needs a bowl shaped one that sits in the bottom of the sink, but I also have a shallower (it's probably 4 inches deep) cheap aluminum flat bottomed one with a long handle on one side and a hook on the other that hangs from sink edge to sink edge. I have no idea where I got it, and it's not something I've seen elsewhere, but wherever I was when I saw this eons ago I knew instantly that it was something I could not do without and I was not wrong. It also hangs nicely in my tall 8 qt stock pot, making a large flat surface for steaming large vegetables, tamales, dumplings and even, sometimes, seafood.

Lots of tiny tools from Zyliss: this Swiss company makes the best little stuff. Peelers, pliers, zesters, you name it. They always work better than just about any other brand's version of the same thing, and they last. I also like the bright colors they make their tools in. When I reach into my drawer for the carrot peeler, I don't look for the peeling blade, I look for lime green and spot that a whole lot faster. Anything that makes me more efficient, I love.

My Japanese Benriner mandoline, the extra wide one (which is off white, where the standard is green). And a pounding tool. I have one that's a heavy flat approximately 4" wide disk on an offset handle and it's all one solid heavy piece of forged metal. You don't need one often, but you can't do without it. Williams Sonoma doesn't have the one I reccomend, but they have this one that's similar:

http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/rosle-meat-pounder/?pkey=cmeat-seafood-tools&cm_src=meat-seafood-tools||NoFacet-_-NoFacet-_--_-


Time indeed marches on Jenise - when I first started hitting these forums I think my kids were about 7,9 and 11!

so for you - you have me started on the salt container now. I NEVER would have thought of one but you and others have chimed in - that is a must do for me! Do you use a salt grinder ever?

On the stainless steel bowls - how do you use them mostly? Do they spin around a lot? I like the plastic bowls that have the strip of rubber on the bottom to keep them from spinning - my memory of metal bowls is them spinning on me like a top!
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Re: New kitchen..could be fun for you guys and a big help to me

by John F » Sat Dec 01, 2012 11:30 pm

Mark Lipton wrote:A cast iron skillet would one of the few essentials for me. I love my All-Clad pots and pans, but there are a lot of other alternatives to them. I also require a few good knives: an 8" chef's knife, kitchen shears and I've lately become devoted to my Santoku. Some prefer Wüsthof and others Henckels; to me, it's a personal judgement which you'll prefer. Another essential for me is a top quality blender. After years of trial and error we've settled one a heavy duty model made by Cuisinart: it's powerful, reliable, large and breaks down nicely for cleaning. An immersion blender is also quite useful and our Braun has stood the test of time. After that, it's all niceties and gizmos. :P

Mark Lipton


Mark - can you tell me more why cast iron is so high for you? I've never really used them and kind of have a mental image that how you wash and dry them, keep them "seasoned" etc - is a hassle. Thoughts?
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Re: New kitchen..could be fun for you guys and a big help to me

by John F » Sat Dec 01, 2012 11:35 pm

Carrie L. wrote:What fun, John. Here are mine.

1) Microplane zester for lemon zest, grating garlic, nutmeg, hard cheeses, etc.
2) Turdeau Trulever Corkscrew (so quick!) http://www.amazon.com/Trudeau-Trulever-Corkscrew-Set-Tin/dp/B0026RH6A2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1352159122&sr=8-1&keywords=trudeau+corkscrew
3) This pot. http://www.amazon.com/Anolon-Advanced-Anodized-3-5-Quart-Straining/dp/B001CENW8A/ref=sr_1_15?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1352159301&sr=1-15&keywords=analon+pot
It is great for pasta, especially, since you can just strain the water out and not get a colander dirty. And it's just the right size for so many things, especially sauces and gravies.
4) An instant hot water spout at the sink (for making tea, etc.)
5) Warming drawer. Not only great for keeping food warm, will warm dishes before a dinner party, and doubles as extra storage (I use it as a bread box) when not in use.



The Amazon reviews of the Anolon pot were fabulous - I have put it on the list!!
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Re: New kitchen..could be fun for you guys and a big help to me

by John F » Sat Dec 01, 2012 11:51 pm

Jo Ann Henderson wrote:
Bill Spohn wrote:
Jenise wrote: And a pounding tool. I have one that's a heavy flat approximately 4" wide disk on an offset handle and it's all one solid heavy piece of forged metal. You don't need one often, but you can't do without it.


Funny, I have never felt the need for that. If moved to pound my meat...hmm, let me rephrase that...if I need to flatten foodstuffs, I always reach for my 60 year old flat bottomed cast iron frying pan. Also good for cracking nuts and self defence. We have a meat pounding mallet for tenderizing that my wife favours as it isn't as heavy (and isn't as likely to cause damage to counter tops if she is a bad aim).

I have this exact same meat pounder that Jenise has, and it has made all the difference in the uniformity of the end product, and a short time in achieving it. I used to also use a qt jar filled with water, rolling pin, wine bottles, etc. But, this is the bomb!



I just ordered "the bomb"! Not cheap!!
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Karen/NoCA

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Re: New kitchen..could be fun for you guys and a big help to me

by Karen/NoCA » Sun Dec 02, 2012 3:34 pm

The Amazon reviews of the Anolon pot were fabulous - I have put it on the list!!][/


Is this the Analon Bronzed collection you are speaking of? I need to replace some "Look" non-stick pans. The company has replaced them for me a few times but I am not happy with them. The handles melt in the oven, two of the pans that were replaced have lost chunks of the non stick coating and I finally resorted to tossing them. So I am in the market for some really good, safe, non-stick.
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Re: New kitchen..could be fun for you guys and a big help to me

by John F » Sun Dec 02, 2012 9:10 pm

Karen/NoCA wrote:
The Amazon reviews of the Anolon pot were fabulous - I have put it on the list!!][/


Is this the Analon Bronzed collection you are speaking of? I need to replace some "Look" non-stick pans. The company has replaced them for me a few times but I am not happy with them. The handles melt in the oven, two of the pans that were replaced have lost chunks of the non stick coating and I finally resorted to tossing them. So I am in the market for some really good, safe, non-stick.



Here is the link again Karen

http://www.amazon.com/Anolon-Advanced-A ... analon+pot
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Jenise

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Re: New kitchen..could be fun for you guys and a big help to me

by Jenise » Sun Dec 02, 2012 11:35 pm

Time indeed marches on Jenise - when I first started hitting these forums I think my kids were about 7,9 and 11!

so for you - you have me started on the salt container now. I NEVER would have thought of one but you and others have chimed in - that is a must do for me! Do you use a salt grinder ever?

On the stainless steel bowls - how do you use them mostly? Do they spin around a lot? I like the plastic bowls that have the strip of rubber on the bottom to keep them from spinning - my memory of metal bowls is them spinning on me like a top!


John, no re a salt grinder. I would have one if there was a need for salt at the table, but I do all my seasoning in the kitchen. The salt pots are full of kosher, and a third and different glass pot for Malden salt, which I use as a finishing salt, is at the prep station.

No, the stainless bowls don't have rubber bottoms. The only bowl that's going to spin on you is the one getting a lot of circular motion, like mixing a batter. For that activity, look for a plastic bowl with a rubber bottom, a pour spout and a handle on one side to steady it while whipping/mixing. I have one made by Cuisinart that I love. But I don't make that many batters, and the steel bowls get used for a zillion other things including the [i]mis en place[i] for any given meal. There are just so many times you want to peel, chop or mix something and let it stand--or marinate, or chill--before adding it to something else later on. The way I cook, several of those bowls might get used in one night. One might have peeled potatoes in it under water to prevent oxidation, another might hold the green beans I prepped earlier in the afternoon, and another might be in the fridge chilling a mousse. Still another might be in the fridge with a bunch of plums a neighbor brought over, and yet another is on the counter covered with stretch-tite holding the dry ingredients for tomorrow morning's pancakes. Having multiples means there's always a clean dry one ready to go even when some are dirty or doing other jobs.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Christina Georgina

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Re: New kitchen..could be fun for you guys and a big help to me

by Christina Georgina » Tue Dec 04, 2012 1:10 am

John,
I have drawer full of stainless steel bowls of many different sizes. As Jenise says, invaluable for prep work and sometimes they all are in use. I don't know what I'd do without them. The only thing I would suggest is to get ones that come with plastic lids as many times I prep things that go into the fridge until needed and I use a lot of saran wrap to cover them. I do not like to put stuff in the fridge uncovered.
I never pass up a stainless steel bowl at a yard sale.

As for the Kitchen Aid pasta attachment it is NOT an extruder although I think they do make one. It is basically the same as the hand crank ones with a fitting that attaches to the gear on the KA. Very labor saving !
Mamma Mia !
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