The key to making great dishes at home is having a well-stocked kitchen and a few key tools at the ready when you are feeling inspired. Here are a few things that every amateur chef should keep in their kitchen to turn out professional quality meals any night of the week.
Most cooks have at least one old rusty vegetable peeler hidden in the back of a silverware drawer but this versatile tool is so handy that it is worth investing in one of higher quality. Not only can a peeler quickly remove the skin off of vegetables like potatoes, carrots and cucumbers but they can also be used to shave hard cheeses and peel hard fruits like apples. They can also be used to shave off thin slices of butter if you do not have time to let it soften. Look for a tool with a nice sharp blade and a comfortable grip for maximum results.
This versatile tool is a staple in restaurant kitchens but often overlooked by the home chef. Tongs can be used for flipping cooking pieces of meat or tossing vegetables. They keep you away from sources of heat or flame, extend your reach and keep hands clean. Tongs are also great for serving food to guests at dinner parties and for removing cooking food from boiling water, think of them as an extra set of hands in your kitchen, once you make the investment you will find them indispensable.
A Chef’s Knife
If you are only planning on making an investment in one item for your kitchen than make it a chef’s knife. This is one area where it is truly worth spending a little extra money. A high quality knife will have a good weight to it, a sharp blade and be weighted so that it feels like an extension of your arm. An 8 inch chef’s knife can be used to complete virtually any task around the kitchen and when used properly will reduce your risk of injury.