Saturday, May 15, 2010

TOOLS OF THE TRADE


You don’t need to be a professional pure vegetarian chef to work like one in your own kitchen; all it takes is the right tools and knowing how to use them! Here is a list of 12 fabulous tools of the trade for pure veg home cooking. Some are obvious, others you may not have considered but should definitely get acquainted with — they’ll make your culinary life a whole lot easier!

1. 8- or 10-INCH CHEF’S KNIFE
A good chef’s knife is absolutely essential because you’ll always be using it.

2. BLENDER
In your home kitchen any good, strong blender will work well for making the important pure veg ingredient, cashew cream. If you really want to work like a pro, save up for a Vita-Mix — it will blend anything to the smoothest consistency!

3. STAINLESS TONGS
Tongs are incredibly useful. You’ll find yourself wondering how you ever got along without them!

4. STAND MIXER
You can certainly get away without one in your home kitchen, but this is one of those tools of the trade that will make your life so much easier. Be prepared to fall in love with it!

5. CITRUS PRESS
Freshly squeezed, as opposed to bottled citrus makes all the difference in recipes. This little tool will make it simple for you to extract the juice while leaving seeds and pulp behind.

6. SPATULAS
Invest in both rubber and stainless spatulas — rubber for scraping, stainless for everything else.

7. WOODEN SPOONS
Wooden spoons are nice to have because they’re nonreactive, meaning they won’t react with acids or brines (tomatoes, pickles, citrus, etc), and alter or add a flavor to or change the color of the food being prepared.

8. FOOD PROCESSOR
There’s no getting around the fact that for grinding and chopping, a food processor is another tool of the trade that will make a difference. It will simplify your workload tremendously.

9. SIDE TOWELS AND OVEN MITTS
Professional cooks use side towels constantly to move hot pots and pans and to keep working areas clean. You might also want a good pair of long oven mitts to provide added protection from burns when removing dishes from the oven.

10. PLASTIC CUTTING BOARD
Plastic is easier on your knives because it has more give than hard wood. You can also find eco-friendly recycled plastic cutting boards. After all, a big part of pure vegetarianism is eco-consciousness!

11. MICROPLANE GRATER
For zesting and fine grating — a crucial tool to add to your collection.

12. KITCHEN SCISSORS
Keeping a good pair of kitchen scissors handy is another must. You’ll always be using these, too.


All of these items can be found at your local kitchen/cook’s supply store, department store or other retailer selling home goods.

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