Truthfully, there are more than ten things I couldn’t live without in my kitchen — however, these are the most important. Now, could I really not live without them? What do you think? Yes, of course I’d continue breathing if someone took away my cast iron skillet! Would I be sad with out it? Oh yes! Very sad!
You’ll notice none of these items are “fancy,” or “gadget-y.” They’re all simple, strong, durable, highly functional tools. I call them tools or equipment — after all the kitchen is my workshop.
I am almost as passionate about my need for these items as I am about incredibly delicious food. In my kitchen, my retreat, if you will, the magic couldn’t happen without them!
1. Cast Iron Skillet. I use this skillet at least twice a day, and usually more. I make quesadillas in it, stir fries, breads, pancakes, burgers, steaks, even desserts! Really, this list is just the tip of the ice-burg. This pan sears and caramelizes like no other! My cast iron skillet only gets a washing if it must. Otherwise it lives on the front right burner of my stove, slightly oiled, waiting for action at all times.
3. Glass Mixing Bowls. I think I have at least two of every size in existence. I use these all the time for prep, mixing, marinating, and even serving!
4. Sheet Pans. These are the best! I use them for prepping, roasting, baking pizza crust, baking cookies, and the list goes on — a lot longer!
5. Wooden Spatula. I’d be hard pressed to enjoy making a stir-fry without this! It’s the perfect deglazing tool!
6. 1-1/4-Inch Ice Cream Scoop. I also have a 1-inch, and a couple larger sizes. Ironically, the one thing I don’t actually use this tiny scoop for is ice cream! It shapes all of my cookies, meatballs, crab cakes, risotto cakes, and so on.
7. Microplane Grater-Zester. This cool tool finely grates zest, chocolate, cheese, and my favorite . . . fresh ginger! You know how fibrous ginger is? Well, when you use this grater, it creates a wonderful ginger pulp, completely free of those fibrous bits!
8. Measuring Spoons. These are about as cutsy as kitchen tools get in my kitchen. They were a Valentine’s Day gift from my husband one year, and I love them. Since I’m recipe testing all the time, and want to make sure I give you excellent instructions, I use these all the time!
9. Chef’s Knife. It’s essential. It’s almost never dry, I use it so often! I’m partial to Wusthof, and I love the round, smooth handle. Try a few, so see what feels best in your hand. It’s simply a matter of taste and most importantly, comfort. I’m short and little, so 6 or 8-inches is perfect for me. Are you tall? Maybe go with the 10-inch. Just ask the folks at the store what’s best for you.
10. Paring Knife. Ditto!
As I said, there are many more kitchen tools I love — a serrated knife and a whisk are right up there, too. Top ten simply sounds better than top twelve!