Category: Equipment

Skill of a Chef: It’s All About the Knives

Knives are personal. The way they feel, the way they balance in the hand. How the blade cuts through the food. Personally, I like a lighter knife, one that is easy to grip and that is very, very sharp. Cat Cora of Iron Chef fame uses a 13" chef’s knife, and she’s 4’11”. Intimidating? Yes. Necessary? When you are that short and working in a “man’s” world, wielding a large knife can help intimidate your co-workers.
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Spices Make the Pantry Go Round

I’m trying to figure out how many dried spices I use. In the spirit of reducing, reusing, and recycling, I’ve been using the small jars that jams come in, and the jars that the nut butters I buy come in. However, I’ve run out of the small jars because I make my own jam now. I’ve broken some, and some of them are in use.

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New Year, New Knives

As you know, I've been cooking for a while, quite a long while. My standard everyday knives have been Forschners (now under Vitorinox). They are getting up there in age. Since I moved into the land of fine dining, that means fine knife work, and that means new knives. I have secretly coveted Japanese knives, and though not trained in their usage, nor mentored by a chef who gave me permission to purchase them, I stepped out and bought new knives last week.
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I Want a Pot Rack

If I was a really good food blogger, I would have had multiple posts ready to go on a second's notice, that would have covered this long absence. I am not that adept yet. Sometimes it' s a challenge just to get a good photo of the food I make or getting a recipe put together and uploaded. And during the last month or so, just getting to work on time was a challenge. And now, I come back to the blog, to you my faithful readers, with this story.
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Salad Spinners Aren’t Just for Lettuce

The other day, I went into full on cooking for the week mode — making several dishes and some sauces all at the same time. Earlier this year, I had picked up a salad spinner at a local thrift store for like $2.50. The parsley and cilantro I had bought were a bit on the dirty side, so they got a nice bath in cold water, and then, I thought, wow, it’s going to take a bit to dry these, and I needed them quick. I was ready to process the Falafel mixture in the food processor. Then, I spied the salad spinner. Guess what got spun? First the Cilantro, and then the parsley.  If I were using them together, I would have spun them together, but I needed cilantro for chutney.

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Wooden Spoon

So I have a question for all you culinarians out there; Do you have a favorite wooden spoon?

I have several wooden spoons. One I use only for bread baking, and batter. It is large with a blue handle. One I found at the .99 cent store, it is a spatula type, and great for saute. And my favorite is the small one I got from my mother’s kitchen. It is old and used, and has a short handle, and great for gravies, and small batch sauces.

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Kitchen Gadgets:

What is more annoying then walking into a dollar store and finding a Microwave Egg Cooker? It happened. I saw one. When I go to dollar stores, I always check the Kitchen Equipment shelf. I’ve found a wooden spatula with a curved lip that helps for saute. I’ve found a 4-pack of tongs, made of good quality metal (minus the silicon tip), the package included 2 short and 2 long tongs. I’ve picked up a funnel strainer, and one or two other cool things.But a Microwave egg cooker? Come on folks. What happened to the old fashioned boil-the-egg-on-the-stove? Are people really afraid to use their stove-tops? Does a microwave use less electricity than a stove? I don’t even have a microwave in my house. I am adverse to them, and short of a quick way to heat butter, or chocolate (double-boiler any one?), I find them useless.

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Books by Chef Johnna

  • Delectable Vegan Soups -------------------------------------------------------
  • Things Vegans Fry: Crunchy Comfort Food for Vegans


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