Anytime I fry something that requires more than a few drops of oil, I cover the pan with a splatter screen. It keeps drops of hot oil from shooting out of the pan while at the same time allowing steam to escape. It also works as a colander. The one I use is excellent and it costs Read the rest
After trying out a lot of different scrub brushes, I think the OXO Good Grips scrub brush is the best. I prefer this palm-style brush to brushes with a handle because I can really bear down on the pots and pans. It's comfortable to hold and the bristles hold up well to rough treatment. I wish the brush was available via Subscribe and Save, because I'd get a new one every three months. Read the rest
Digital thermometers are a great tool when slow cooking meat.
It is pretty easy to under or overcook meat on the grill. Monitoring the internal temperature of your food, as you cook it, is a really good way to be sure that food is as done as you want it and no more. This affordable ThermoPen set-up does the trick for me.
I like to use one probe at the grate and one inside the item I am cooking. That way I know what is going on!
ThermoPro TP-08S Wireless Remote Digital Cooking Meat Thermometer Dual Probe for Grilling Smoker BBQ Food Thermometer - Monitors Food from 300 Feet Away via Amazon Read the rest
Last night I made honey whole wheat sourdough pizza crust. It was quite good.
As a kid, there was a pizza place in my hometown that made a deep-dish pizza with a whole wheat crust. It was great, I tried and I couldn't replicate it. Then I substituted honey instead of sugar.
This simple crust is good.
Honey Whole Wheat Sourdough Pizza Dough
1 cup bread flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
½ cup sourdough starter
1 ½ tsp salt
3 tbs honey
1 ½ tbs olive oil
½ cup water
First: Mix ½ cup water, ½ cup starter, oil and the honey. Let sit while you measure out the dry goods and combine them all. Depending on your flour, and your starter, you may need to add a little flour to the mix to get a good consistency. Stop when it feels like the dough that you want to roll out.
Second: Leave it alone, probably covered, for 45-60 minutes. Refrigerate to store or use right away.
Bake at 475F or higher for 20 min, deep-dish. Probably the same for thin crust.
I have been using this dough for the crust of my deep-dish pizza, but you can easily roll it out for super-thin, Neapolitan stuff too.
Unless you do roll it super thin, I doubt this crust is going to get super cracker crisp, as it is sourdough and will retain more chew the longer you let it rise. Read the rest
Mom put this lid over a glass bowl and nuked the shit out of that rice for 20 minutes. I'm pretty sure there was water in there.
It was effortless and perfect.
These are easy to clean, amazingly reusable, wonderful in place of plastic wrap over a bowl and all kinds of great as a frisbee.
Agile-Shop Steam Ship Silicone Steamer Lid Food Covers, Pack of 3 via Amazon Read the rest
The classic pressure cooker was the instant pot before there was an instant pot.
Want to turn shoe-leather style brisket into a wonderful pulled-beef sandwich filling in 25 minutes? Get out the pressure cooker. Simply throw food in the pot, make sure you've got a good seal, and let it cook.
This pressure cooker easily stores with your pots and pans. It is simple to clean, easy to use and I haven't found anything that makes me wish for an instant pot.
A pressure cooker has been a fantastic addition to my car camping kit.
T-fal P2614634 Secure Aluminum Initiatives 12-PSI Pressure Cooker Cookware, 6-Quart, Siver via Amazon Read the rest
This enameled cast iron dutch oven should last longer than we do.
I use a dutch oven for baking sourdough bread and cooking with my sous vide circulator. It is also wonderful for cassoulet, which I have been challenged to prepare by a young lady this week...
Second or third in-line behind my cast iron skillet, the enameled Dutch oven is one of my most-used kitchen tools.
The lid is only rated to 450F because of the button-style handle on top. Replace it with a stainless one and the whole deal is good to go at 500F.
Vremi Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven Pot with Lid - 6 Quart Capacity Deep Large Ovenproof - Red via Amazon Read the rest
When I was young, my mom banned plastic wrap from our kitchen because it frustrated her so much when it would invariably cling to itself. Apparently you can avoid this problem though just by storing the plastic wrap in the freezer. The cold temporarily reduces its clinginess. From Mental Floss:
Read the rest
The cold temperature alters the polyethylene at the molecular level, which helps to remove the static and stickiness...
The freezer only temporarily changes the properties of the plastic wrap, giving you enough time to rip a sheet off and cover your leftovers with it while the material is still cool. Once the plastic wrap warms up, it will go back to its old, clingy self.
Carolyn Forte of the Good Housekeeping Institute tried it out and gave the freezer method a thumbs up. "The plastic wrap was a lot easier to unroll and use," she tells Good Housekeeping. "It doesn't stick to itself when it's cold, but still works to cover up a dish. As it warms up, it goes back to being sticky, but it's definitely easier to handle when cold."
I've been using these silicone dish scrubbers for about a year. They are far less gross than sponges.
All the tales of sponge-nastiness got to me last year. I decided that some silicone scrubbers were worth trying out, and a small expense if they did not work out.
These silicone scrubbers work fantastically!
Pictured are the two that currently live in my sink. The blue one gets more use, but both have been aggressively used for scrubbing over the last 12 months. They have not worn out, they have not become so fouled or toxic that I've had to toss one. There are still 3 others in my kitchen drawer waiting to be employed.
The only trick I find to cleaning with these, is that silicone scrubbers don't hold soap like a sponge does, so I'm either applying soap several times during a big wash-up, or I capture a bowl of soapy water at the beginning of cleaning.
You can just rise these off in the sink with water, but every few dishwasher loads I throw one or the other of the scrubbers into the machine. They come out almost as-new. I have heard tales of folks boiling these, but the dishwasher seems to handle it.
I still use a sponge sometimes, but these are where the cleaning starts.
INNERNEED Food-Grade Silicone Non Stick Dishwashing Brush Kitchen Dish Cleaning (5 mix color) via Amazon Read the rest
If you bake, or diet, this $10 food scale is super helpful to have around.
There was a crepe recipe I really wanted to try, but everything was all in measured grams. I am far too lazy to bother converting the 3 or 4 ingredients from grams to ounces, even with the help of Alexa in my kitchen. Luckily, I had this cheap food scale sitting around.
The included batteries were dead by the time I got around to trying this out, but everything else about the scale is exactly as ordered. You can turn this scale on. You may also zero this scale out. If desired you may easily swap from metric to imperial measurements. The scale turns off automatically, if you forget to do so yourself.
I have been told that baking-by-weight is far superior to baking-by-feel.
Etekcity Digital Kitchen Scale Multifunction Food Scale, 11lb 5kg, Silver, Stainless Steel (Batteries Included) via Amazon Read the rest
In 1957, Danish architect Arne Jacobson designed a exquisite set of minimalist cutlery that Stanley Kubrick personally selected as the flatware aboard the Discovery One in “2001: A Space Odyssey" (1968). Now you can buy it on Amazon.com for $100/set. This is the future, baby! From the New York Times:
Jacobsen designed (the cutlery) at the height of his career, in his mid-50s, for one of his most prestigious assignments, the SAS Royal Hotel in Copenhagen. Having established his reputation as Denmark’s leading Modernist by designing first houses and then public buildings, Jacobsen sealed it in 1956 by bagging the most coveted position in Danish design, as professor of architecture at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. The SAS commission offered an opportunity for him to create a new national landmark, a grand hotel for the jet age. This would require him to design not just the building but all of its contents: chairs, furnishings, curtains, lighting, even the cutlery.
Ignoring convention, Jacobsen started from scratch by imagining what eating utensils would be like if they were natural extensions of the human body, and came up with abstractions of the traditional shape for knives, forks and spoons. The light, slender slivers of metal are designed to fit neatly into the hand at one end and the mouth at the other, with wide, flat surfaces for the fingertips to hold on to.
"The Cutting Edge" (New York Times, 2009)
Read the rest
Surprise! Making perfect blackened salmon is easy. Read the rest
I was told that chopping vegetables and fruits would be easier with a Santoku knife. For $25 I gave it a shot. Read the rest
This $7 paring knife feels good in my hand, and unlike my other paring knives it is not lost.
In my home, paring knives disappear almost as frequently as socks and Apple Lightning cables. I was buying really cheap replacements at the dollar store, but they'd pretty much come apart in my dishwasher after a few cycles. This Victorinox will be lost long before it breaks.
Victorinox 3.25 Inch Paring Knife with Straight Edge, Spear Point, Black via Amazon Read the rest
I've been trying these silicone dish scrubbers. They work great and don't get disgusting like sponges.
A few weeks ago some internet meme thingery got into my head, and made me throw out all my sponges. Even before I thought they were dirty! I then made the mistake of cleaning some stuff that immediately had me tossing said new sponges out. I was sick of it! I decided to try some reusable, sterilizable silicone scrubbers.
Guess what? They work.
Not absorbent, but most of what I've used sponges for in recent years is the blue or green scrubbing surface. These do that nicely. You can also just boil them in hot water every once in a while to clean them off.
These scrubbers also double as silicone pot-holders, if you need.
4 pack of Silicone Dish Scrubbers via Amazon
Also, because sponge.
Read the rest