Getting Your Kitchen In Order

When I think about my favorite kitchen tools, they have to meet several criteria. To be my favorites, they have to work harder than I do, be budget friendly and serve multiple purposes. Once  you have your very basics (which is a good bread board and a few sharp knives), here are my top three favorite tools that are indispensable in the kitchen.

To make my kitchen run smoothly, number 3 on my list is my blender for silky “milk” shakes and smoothies. One of things my kids miss about giving up milk is that creamy texture. With a blender, you can whip up a batch of fruit smoothies with frozen fruit, a cup of pineapple juice and a handful of ice. You can usually find a good one at Costco, Bed, Bath & Beyond or Amazon.

Number 2 is my mini food processor with immersion blender. It makes a quick pesto, perfectly emulsified salad dressing and can puree lentil soup in the pot. I use it at Thanksgiving to smooth out my gravy. Plus, it’s one of those appliances that is affordable. My favorite is by Braun, which is hard to find. You can find a good one at Bed, Bath & Beyond or Amazon.

But the big daddy, my all time favorite appliance of all is my crock pot. I don’t think it’s entirely natural for a ceramic, plastic and metal contraption to bring a grown woman so much joy, but the fact is…it does. For my 5-10 minutes of prep time, it works 8-10 hours and it’s big enough to contain a huge piece of meat that translates into several different meals. I have two (both are by Rival), and I use them on those days when I’m gone from morning to night. So when Monday evenings roll around and we are dragging in from baseball and tennis practice, dinner is mostly done.

Plus if you’re cooking for a crowd, you can keep chili warm all day. See what I mean? Multiple purposes and it’s a hard worker, so that I don’t have to be.
In addition to this list, honorable mention should go to roasting pans with sides that double as cookie sheets and my beloved set of cast iron pans, which if well kept, can entirely replaced your non-stick set. The Miss Congeniality Prize goes to my Cuisinart egg cooker which produces soft, medium or hard boiled eggs that are fool proof.

You’d never expect your mechanic to work on your car without the proper tools, so likewise, you can’t expect yourself to cook with ease without a few necessary appliances and utensils. Don’t you love it when you can justify new purchases?

Amy Waczek writes a gluten-free, casein and soy optional blog featuring a recipe index and resource guide at www.amysglutenfreepantry.com.

Amy’s Pot Roast

 

Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: about 9 hours, 10 minutes
Yield: Serves 4 with leftovers

2 1/2 – 3 lb. chuck roast (boneless or bone-in)1/4 c. water2 tsp. salt2 T brown rice flour2 T room temperature butter or butter substitute (Earth Balance)

  1. Place a heavy bottomed pan (I use cast iron) on high heat.
  2. Salt roast on both sides. When the pan is really hot, sear roast about 5 minutes per side until well browned. Remove and place in crock pot on low heat along with water.
  3. Cook for 8–9 hours (while you’re at work), then carefully remove roast to a serving platter.
  4. Pour remaining broth into a tempered glass measuring cup (like Pyrex) and wait for the fat to rise to the top. Very carefully, remove fat with a spoon.
  5. Heat same skillet over medium high heat and add the butter and flour, combining and smashing together with a rubber spatula until combined. Slowly, pour in beef broth, stirring with spatula, breaking up any lumps that form. If the gravy is still too thin, add more rice flour and try to work out as many lumps as you can. Strain gravy and serve. Wonderful with mashed potatoes and steamed vegetables.

Amy Waczek writes a gluten-free, casein and soy optional blog featuring a recipe index and resource guide at www.amysglutenfreepantry.com.

X
- Enter Your Location -
- or -