Thursday, January 25, 2007

Wonders Never Cease

The editors here at recently started a listmania list on our Amazon profile called Cool Cooking Gadgets. The idea is for us to share our love of all those slightly over-indulgent cooking tools that bring so much joy to the kitchen. While we might not need an avocado slicer, how much fun is it to have one?!? And besides, need should never, ever be applied to the culinary arts. Here are some of my favorites from that list.

Zak Designs E-Z-Rol Garlic Peeler- It might not look like much but this thing is amazing! A couple of weeks ago, I was making a delicious sea bass dinner called Pagro Alla Romano with white wine, mint, and plenty of garlic at my sister's place in Wicker Park. Across the small kitchen in her loft space, she tossed me a couple cloves of garlic which I began to tear apart hungrily with my fingernails. "Old school Caley," she scolds, and confiscates my cloves. She rather smugly slips a garlic clove into this rubbery doohickey, rolls it on the counter for a millisecond, and hands me back a perfectly peeled and not at all nicked garlic clove. "Coooool."

KitchenAid Multi Food Chopper- Lots of companies make these handy little choppers, but I just happen to like the pretty blue color of this one. You push down on the top of the chopper to control a row of blades which rotate after each motion, chopping an entire onion at super-human speed. Sure, it doesn't have the elegance of a wood chopping board, but it's clean and certainly efficient. When I want instant guacamole (and I am really uncomfortable with those mixes), I put some fresh avocado, tomato, garlic and onion together in the chopper and create a perfectly-textured guacamole in a serving made just for me.

Apple Corer and Divider- One of my favorite salads to bring to a dinner party is Apple Tortellini Salad. At its simplest, the salad contains salad greens or just spinach, cheese tortellini (Gouda is a great choice), apple, and a vinaigrette dressing made with apple cider. While multi-colored tortellini helps, the key to proper presentation in this salad is perfectly even apple slices. An apple corer and divider gives you just that, and it's fast to boot. And I feel as though I am utilizing every inch of the apple I possibly can making me a tiny bit less of a wasteful American eater. Woot.

So what are your favorite kitchen thingamajigs? Do tell.


stef said...

Oy. I have too many. Cherry/olive pitter, lobster craw cracker, wooden skewers -- can't run out of those ever, chopsticks, candy thermometer, ice cream scoops in different sizes, corkscrew, hand blender, sigh.... and to think that a century ago some of these things weren't even invented yet. How did the cook/bake back then??? -- stef at