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best kitchen gadgets in constant use


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Initial post: Jun 1, 2010 10:56:28 AM PDT
Veronica says:
Don't have to be pretty,just have to do the job.Or better yet, multitask.Mine: a plumbers mallet(not used for non kitchen purposes,of course!)My sweet Grandma Annabel gave me hers, but they are still the same,great wooden handle with a hefty rubber coated head.Perfect for veal,chicken cutlets between waxed paper,chopping nuts in a bag,cracker crumbs,chocolate,etc.

Posted on Jun 1, 2010 1:00:20 PM PDT
slw says:
My beloved Ken Onion designed Shun Santoku knife. I'm not a gadget person, my knife takes care of almost every task. Love the plumbers mallet idea. I have a very low tec meat pounder. It has a round head with short handle, no tenderizing abilities thank goodness.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 1, 2010 1:38:36 PM PDT
Carrie O. says:
I like the mallet idea too. I AM a gadget person, but I never use them so I stopped buying them. They always seem like such a good idea though.

I too use my knife for quite a lot. That and my small whisk, which I use almost daily. It's the perfect size, strength for so many things. It's compact, the whisk portion is maybe 3-4 inches, thin - not bulbous, solid stainless handle. I make my own salad dressings, so it's pretty much constantly in use. I never make enough dressing to use a blender, immersion or otherwise.

Hmm, not much gadget wise, just kitchen stuff. Salt and pepper grinders, spatulas. And good old wooden spoons. I have many, but there are two that I think were my grandma's. They work the best.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 1, 2010 2:11:43 PM PDT
Katybug says:
What is a plumber's mallet? Is it a regular rubber mallet?

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 1, 2010 2:24:12 PM PDT
Veronica says:
Before my "Thor's Hammer" I had those low-testerone aluminum ones with the pointy tenderizing head.Useless.I love

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 1, 2010 2:28:14 PM PDT
Veronica says:
Katybug,
Ask for a plumber's mallet or hammer at hardware store.It's basically a heavy hammer with a rubber coated head.Under $20.Indispensable!

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 1, 2010 2:45:09 PM PDT
LL™ says:
Veronica,

A low-testerone mallet! ROFLOL

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 1, 2010 4:09:31 PM PDT
slw says:
Carrie, I have that same little whisk. I love it. Use it daily for salad dressing and other things. I've decided I have 4 kitchen items I cannot live without. My Shun knife, my kitchen aide toaster oven, my weber Q grill and my ten inch cast iron skillet. I own a cuisinart, master chef cookware, commercial quality blender, but I can do without all of them if I have my favorite 4.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 2, 2010 9:41:14 AM PDT
Veronica says:
LL,
Iron fist in a velvet glove.I named it Maggie Thatcher!

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 2, 2010 10:38:13 AM PDT
Carrie O. says:
I use mine daily too. My top four... hmmm. They are quite similar to yours actually. That little whisk has to be on there, my toaster oven as well (no idea of the brand), my Forschner knife and my 12" everyday pan (calphalon tri-ply). I got two of these items very recently (knife & pan) and use them all the time. The calphalon pan is so handy I can use it for everything!

Posted on Jun 2, 2010 11:09:11 AM PDT
slw says:
Yes, I might replace my weber or cast iron pan with whisk. If I were on a desert island, I would eventually run out of propane, so I guess it will replace weber. :)

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 2, 2010 11:12:54 AM PDT
Carrie O. says:
Oh, I don't consider my grill or my smoker as "kitchen items". They are housed outside, so they are "yard items". :) I love my grill and the smoker. I live in a fairly mild climate, so I grill all year long.

Posted on Jun 2, 2010 11:20:24 AM PDT
slw says:
Carrie, My little weber is sitting right outside my kitchen door under cover and I use it almost every night all year round, so it's pretty much a "kitchen item" to me. So easy and virtually no cleanup. I've been living on fish and shrimp tacos done on the grill all weekend.

Posted on Jun 3, 2010 2:11:17 AM PDT
Great Cook says:
Slw,
Do you want to share your Fish Tacos recipe?
I don't know why, but my fish tocos turn out awful!!

My XO spatula that I bought at BB&B..rubber type of handle, and the spatula is soft and bends easy..Gets under the food, and flips eggs great. Have two regular, and two wider ones.
old Wooden spoons, the longer thin ones.
My favorite knife is one I have had for years, called MAC! with a wooden handle, I have no idea where it came from , but I like it better then any of my J.A. Henckels, and wusthof knifes.
Jar-Key, to pop open jars..
Henckels kitchen Sizzers..
Kitchen Tongs..
This is new, a Silicone tube to get the skin off of fresh Garlic. Bought on ebay, it was cheap, and I do not know what I did with out this before!!

Thanx..

Posted on Jun 3, 2010 8:02:16 AM PDT
slw says:
Good Cook: I Love those old wooden spoons. I have one of those and a wooden spatula that I use all the time. Fish tacos: I am from San Diego, so I love fish tacos and have eaten them most of my life. Mine were never anything special, so I stopped making them. Finally figured it out. At least for my taste. It takes a couple of specific kitchen items and a Costco and Trader Joes. I bought frozen Mahi Mahi fillets and a bag of Avocados from Costco. I am very picky about avocados as my mom has 40 trees in San Diego. Costco's are great. Then I bought (and this is key) the handmade corn tortillas from Trader Joes. Nothing flavored or fancy. Just their handmade corn tortillas. I marinated the fish in soy, garlic, ginger, balsamic vinegar, honey and a little olive oil for 30 minutes. You could add some lime instead of or with the balsamic or soy. I know that marinade has nothing to do with mexican food, but I think it added moisture and flavor to the fish. That marinade is actually what I use for fish when I grill or bake it. Then I reduce left over marinade and it becomes a nice glaze. Back to tacos. I also use clilantro, finely chopped white onion and the best jarred salsa I can find. Or make your own, but for these, I prefer a cooked, jarred salsa. I use Frontera brand Chipotle. I grill the mahi over med heat on the weber for exactly 6 minutes. You don't even have to flip it, although, I did to get it crunchy on both sides. Then heat a cast iron skillet (again, this is key) over a little over med heat. When it's nice and hot, place the corn tortillas in one by one if that's all that will fit. It takes 45 seconds on each side. I cooked 2 6oz mahi and it made enough for 8 tacos. You want to do the tortillas at the end. Don't put any oil in your well seasoned pan. I got that tortilla idea from my fav mexican stand here in Portland. They cook their homemade tortillas on a cast iron comal. It makes the tortillas kind of crunchy on the outside and nice and tender on the inside. For leftovers I stirred a little of the salsa into the fish to make it moist and then heated in the micro for 45 seconds to take the chill off of it. For crunch you can add very thinly sliced napa cabbage. I just used baby lettuce. You can also make a traditional white sauce with sour cream, mayo and a little milk to thin. Serve the tacos with fresh lime. So delicious. ENJOY!!

Posted on Jun 3, 2010 8:03:12 AM PDT
slw says:
Holy smokes that was long. Sorry. I tend to be fairly detailed when it comes to recipes.

Posted on Jun 3, 2010 8:25:15 AM PDT
slw says:
GC: one more thing. Those tacos are GREAT made with shrimp, steak, chicken or pork. For the shrimp, I just put a little olive oil and S & P on them and "roast" them on my BBQ on a piece of foil.

Posted on Jun 3, 2010 8:37:35 AM PDT
GW™ says:
Gosh, this is hard cuz I'm a kitchen toy collector.
But I'd have to say.....

1. My "Grandma's Fork". Long wooden handle, sharp tines. Great for flipping meat while frying. The ones they sell today are cheapies from China.

2. Those Le Creuset heat proof jar-type spatulas. I use them for stiring the pot, making sauces, lots of things. I keep 6 handy so there is always one when I want it.

3. Not pretty or high tech but I still have the vegie peeler I bought when I got married.....2 husbands ago.

4. Last but not least.....my big Descoware Dutch Oven that I picked up for a song at an estate sale 30 years ago. It would be hard to live without it.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 3, 2010 9:36:14 AM PDT
G.W., are your Le Creuset spatulas the narrow type that are meant to scrape jars, like peanut butter jars? I am curious as to what they look like, especially since they are heat-proof and so useful for so many tasks. If you are able to post a product link, we would be grateful.

Shy Rose

Posted on Jun 3, 2010 9:42:56 AM PDT
slw says:
GW, I am also curious about your spatulas. I can't picture what you are referring to. My Le Creuset 4 QT "stew pot" is one of my favorite cookware pieces. I am very much a "have fewer things in the kitchen, but the ones you have are the best" kind of person.

Posted on Jun 3, 2010 9:52:14 AM PDT
slw says:
Here's another. I just found it in my drawer. Totally forgot about it. It's used to froth milk. It is stainless with a sort of squashed whisk at the bottom. You use your palms to twist it back and forth to froth milk that is heated and in a pitcher of some sort. I used my plastic liquid measuring cup and it worked perfectly. I used to own a small glass pitcher, but I'm sure I broke it long ago. I am enjoying a delicious very strong cup of coffee with warm milk and a great froth on top. Who needs Starbucks!!

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 3, 2010 10:07:15 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 3, 2010 10:12:54 AM PDT
GW™ says:
Shy One,
Yeah, the small ones for jars.
I have four of those, one regular size & one slotted, as well.

Dems & the garlic press are the things I grab most from the
stove-side crock.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 3, 2010 10:12:02 AM PDT
GW™ says:
I think I can speak for da Pony as well as for meself.
LOT's of Kitchen Toys.....all the BEST. Money no object. lol

I'm not the kinda gal to spend on clothes.....with the exception of choose, purses, & jewels, I mean. <smile>

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 3, 2010 10:12:12 AM PDT
joaniepony® says:
slw,

My cast iron comal, is one item I reallly do use. I melt cheese on a tortilla or for crepes.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 3, 2010 10:15:14 AM PDT
Thanks, Gina. As a matter of fact, I am replacing spatulas presently, and this information helps a great deal! I would not have known about *Le Creuset* spatulas, if you hadn't mentioned them.

Shy Rose
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Initial post:  Jun 1, 2010
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