Monday, July 25, 2011

kitchen tools

Our kitchen is small, with less cupboard and counter space than it might have. Some time A.U. (after university) we'll remodel it, but for now we just have to be careful not to accumulate too many dishes or tools. I store infrequently used tools and ingredients in our basement pantry, which also helps.

Two of my favourite tools are two of my smallest tools. My lemon reamer and my citrus zester live in the drawer with our silverware, taking up hardly any space. It's a crowded drawer, nevertheless, so I have a rule: don't lift or shake the silverware tray. We have the standard, divided tray with a place for forks, knives, spoons and a couple more for etceteras. The tray doesn't take up the whole drawer, so there are also things around the edges: an ice cream scoop, carrot peeler, etc. Sometimes it's hard to see what you are looking for around the edges, and it's tempting to lift the tray and let all of the items slide to the centre, thus spreading out for better viewing. The trouble is, it's then impossible to replace the tray without taking all of the "side" items out first. This is something that nobody wants to do, so we end up with a tray tipply-floating on a sea of clanking sliding corkscrews and pie lifters. I'm not a neatinik nor an organizational stickler, but I do not like a wonky sliding silverware tray. So I have this rule (I don't have many): don't lift or shake the silverware tray.

I put these tools (and a few others) to use on Saturday. First, I marinated some chicken. The recipe is from Thrifty Foods website. Look up Greek Chicken Skewers. It calls for chicken breast fillets but they weren't on sale, so I just cut some regular skinless boneless chicken breasts into strips, and marinated them in fresh lemon juice and zest, olive oil, pepper, garlic (I'm not terribly fond of my garlic press, but that's another story), and paprika. While the chicken soaked up this goodness (and partially cooked in the lemon, like ceviche), I prepared the potatoes.

I boiled up a pot of new potatoes. No need to peel these yummy little babies, so my carrot peeler stayed in the drawer. Just give them a gentle wash, making sure any spots of dirt remaining from the field are removed. They take about 10 minutes at a full boil to get tender. I put the hot potatoes into a casserole with olive oil and Montreal Chicken Spice. Then I broke the potatoes up a bit, and tossed them in the oil and spices. I put them into the oven at 400 for about 40 minutes, turning once while they baked.

Next, the corn. I peeled and rinsed it, and broke each ear in half. It was so fresh that the kernels exploded when I broke the corn. Good thing I wear safety glasses in the kitchen. The corn goes into an even bigger pot, with a lid on top, and about an inch of water. It's going to steam, rather than boil.

Time to heat up the grill. We were out of propane for our barbeque on the deck, so I got out the trusty George Foreman machine. We use it almost every day, so it lives in a kitchen cupboard, even thought it takes up a terrible lot of space.While the chicken was cooking, I checked the potatoes. I assembled salad and turned on the stove for the corn. I put out condiments and set a bowl of fresh English peas out at the table for a casual appetizer.The corn cooks quickly. Once it came to a full boil, I gave it about five minutes. Good thing the skewers cooked quickly too.Oh my, the potatoes looked great. They tasted even better...I forgot to take a picture of the whole meal, ready and plated. It was just too darn good to stop for a photo. I served the chicken with tzatziki, and put out sunflower seeds and craisins with the salad for those who like some sweet and crunch with their greens.

The whole meal took just over an hour to prepare and serve, and it was a huge hit with the family. After supper, Andrew and Fiona made good use of another one of my favourite kitchen tools: the dishwasher. I enjoyed a nice glass of wine out on the deck.

question: what are your favourite kitchen tools?

mompoet - employ them, enjoy them, and cook with love and appreciation

1 comment:

mahesh said...
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