Hi, I'm Jaden, a professional recipe developer, food columnist and food photographer specializing in fast, fresh and easy recipes for the home cook. Most of my recipes are modern Asian! About meFast, fresh & easy recipes for the home cook.
Monday, April 7, 2014
This is my favorite vegetable peeler of all time! The Oxo Good Grips Swivel Peeler is inexpensive (less than $10), the blades are sharp and stay sharp. What I love is the handle. Its grip is rubbery so that the peeler doesn’t slip, especially important when you have wet hands. I’ve had my Oxo peeler for nearly 8 years now and it’s still sharp.
We have gone through so many nifty gadgets in our kitchen, but the tried and true products are still my favorite. This Pyrex measuring cup is $4.98 and is used every single day in my kitchen. It’s dishwasher safe, microwave safe and still made in the USA! It has a 2-cup capacity and won’t absorb any odors or stains. The markings are easy to see and I love the pour spout too.
This is one of my secret weapons in the kitchen! The Oxo Julienne Peeler is $10 and makes the perfect julienne of carrots, zucchini, potatoes, sweet potatoes and any other hard vegetable. I use this for making My Mom’s Famous Chinese Egg Roll Recipe. For stir fries, this Oxo Julienne Peeler is indispensable. Carrots take a long time to cook, but if you julienne the carrots, they cook through as fast as any other vegetable. If you love Vietnamese Spring Rolls, use this tool to cut your vegetables too.
But – DO NOT use this peeler like they show you in the video on Amazon. Never hold your vegetable in the palm of your hand when using this julienne tool. Why? Because the teeth are SHARP! And there are 12 of them! Instead, anchor your carrot to the cutting board with a fork. Just stick your fork into the thickest part of the carrot. Hold down the carrot with the fork so that it doesn’t move. Now it’s safe to use the Oxo Julienne Tool!
You pay a lot of money for your kitchen knives, but how do you keep them sharp!? If you’re only using the stick thingy that came with your block knife set, you’re missing out on a sharp knife. The HONING stick that you use only hones the blade, not sharpen them. What’s the difference? A lot! As you use your knife, the edge of the blade wears down and bends over. Honing will straighten that bent edge. If your edge is dull, you’ll have a straight, but dull edge. No matter how much you hone the blade, you’ll never sharpen it.
Sharpening actually GRINDS the blade back to a sharp edge. You’ll notice a massive difference! Sharpen the blade back to just like when you first got the knife. Continue to hone with your honing stick regularly to “bend” back the edge of the blade as you use the knife.
I sharpen my knives once every 2 months. I hone my knives about once a week. Some people hone their knives every day!
What I love about this Chef’s Choice 1520 Sharpener is that it sharpens both European AND Asian knives. European knives (Wusthof, Henkels, Chicago Cutlery) are sharpened at a 20° angle. Asian style knives (Shun, Kai, Global) are sharpened at a 15° angle. This Chef’s Choice 1520 Sharpener has a slot for European and a slot for Asian knives. Since I own both types of knives, this is my choice for sharpening.
My favorite serrated knife! Global is one of THE BEST brands for kitchen knives. This Global 6″ Serrated Utility Knife slices through tomatoes, peaches, any soft fruit or vegetable with ease. It’s the perfect size for those everyday cutting tasks. The all-metal knife is super easy to wash with NO wooden handle to rot. No food particles get trapped – it’s a single piece of beautiful stainless steel. The handle is slim and easy to grip – for those with smaller hands, this the perfect knife – it just fits and feels better. The Global knives are light – so they don’t tire your hands when you do a lot of cutting. They are also perfectly balanced and are made from stainless steel that is harder and tougher than many of the European/German cutlery….which means it stays sharper longer!
1. Tough, durable non-stick surface. I recommend non-stick for most cooks (unless you’re a hard-core Asian wokker) because it’s easy to take care of, easy to use. Anolon’s hard anodized nonstick surface is one of the best.
2. Stay-cool covered handles – so you don’t burn yourself. Using a mitt or a towel is just too hard and messy.
3. Glass lid – so you can see what’s going on in the wok. Don’t buy a wok without a lid – you need it! Covering the wok is an essential part of cooking.
4. Flat bottom – so it doesn’t rock on your stove stop and so you don’t need a wok stand. And so you can use with electric burners and gas burners.
It’s the perfect wok and I highly recommend it!
My Favorite Cutting Board. I own over a 20 cutting boards! But there’s a favorite one. Actually there are 2 of them and they are both custom made by Eric Childress. For nearly the same price as good-quality cutting boards in the stores, Eric will custom make you a board that will last a lifetime. You can choose the type of wood, thickness, exact dimensions, end grain vs. straight. I measured my counter depth and Eric made me a walnut board that fit perfectly. I love big cutting boards!
The Thermapen is a must-have in your kitchen. Most professional chefs that I know have one of these Thermapens in their pocket – not only does it provide the most accurate reading of any brand, but it reads the temperature in 3 seconds. The sharp probe swivels back into the handle, so that you don’t accidentally poke yourself. The LCD screen is large so you can read the temperature easily. I know it’s expensive, but this will be the very last thermometer you’ll ever buy! Oh, and it’s water resistant too. If I can’t convince you, perhaps the 669 reviews with a 5-star rating will!. But don’t order the Thermapen from Amazon (it’s double the price for some reason).
Order the Thermapen directly from Thermoworks for $99
Buy the Thermapen with Backlit Screen from Thermoworks for $112
If the Thermapen is out of your budget, here’s a $25 option! The Thermoworks ThermoPop is amazing. It will give you an accurate temperature reading within 5-seconds AND the LCD screen will auto rotate so that you can easily read the temperature without turning your head. We have several of these littered throughout the drawers in the kitchen. They come in fun, pretty colors. Also, the ThermoPop has a little light button in case you’re outside at the grill in the dark :-). For $25, this is a steal.
Do you know what makes me happy!? COLOR! These Gir spatulas are the only ones I use in my kitchen. They are dishwasher safe and high-heat resistant up to 464°F. The most important thing is that the entire thing is made of silicone. No areas where food can get stuck. Just one seamless design (I hate when batter gets stuck between the rubber part and handle of other spatulas). It’s the perfect gift for a cook too. Pick your favorite color!