This week’s blog post is written by THUD’s very own chef and recipe creator extraordinary, Triona. She can be found in the THUD kitchen, testing and cooking up our next culinary masterpiece. She definitely knows her stuff and loves to incorporate exciting ingredients into recipes that are guaranteed to keep you feeling well.
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When creating recipes for THUD, I’m keeping one thing in mind- simplicity. Life is busy enough and cooking shouldn’t be an added stress for anyone. I love simplicity in the kitchen and don’t like to have more utensils or gadgets than necessary. I have a relatively small kitchen (like many other Londoners!) so I love any tool that doesn’t take up too much room- and if possible can serve a dual purpose. It follows then that my list of essential kitchen gadgets would be fairly simple too, but hey they do the job! I’ve also included my favourite recipes that you can make with each gadget.
I’ve had my zester for about 10 years and hope it lasts me a life time, because I can’t bare to be without it! It’s perfect for so many things and I keep finding new ways to use it in the kitchen. As it says on the tin, it’s “grate” for grating the zest of a lemon or lime, excuse the pun! But, it’s also great for grating small, fresh spices like ginger and turmeric, as well as finely grating hard cheeses, like parmesan.
A good peeler is a good thing. I have to confess I don’t particularly like peeling veg and often feel it’s a waste of time. Anyone else agree? Whenever I can, I wash the veg well and keep the skins on. But, when I can’t get away with leaving the skin on and peeling does matter, it makes a difference to have a peeler that is comfortable to hold with a sharp blade. When I’m feeling fancy, I also like to use peelers to make vegetable ribbons out of carrots and courgettes to make pretty salads.
When I got married, I got a set of inexpensive knives with a longer term goal of collecting good knives slowly over the years as they don’t come cheap! Recently I was given a beautiful large knife and it has changed my life – well almost, it’s changed my cooking experience at home for sure! It really does make a difference to have a knife with a comfortable, well weighted handle and a beautifully sharp blade. The great thing is, having this one good knife does the job for everything, I’m happy with the one. So, just remember that one good knife makes all the difference.
4. Pestle and Mortar
I first saw a pestle and mortar being used when taking a cooking course in India. Our teacher gathered her spices and then placed the pestle and mortar on the immaculately clean concrete floor, crouched down and fully committed to pounding the spices until completely blended. I was totally enamoured by the way she became one with her implement and was fully inhabiting her kitchen. I bought a little pestle and mortar for about £1 in India and use it to this day, albeit not crouching on my floor and probably not making such incredible spice mixes!
5. Blender (stick or counter top)
A blender is just plain useful. There’s no super interesting story or history to mine, it’s just one of those gadgets that makes things in the kitchen easy and quick. However, I do get great use out of it. I use it to make bircher muesli, nut butters, and my favourite of all, sauces.
6. Citrus juicer
I think I’d be happy to have lemon and lime in almost every meal I make and for this reason, a citrus juicer is essential in my life. It’s one of those gadgets that I think doesn’t get the credit it deserves. Even if you’re not citrus obsessed like I am, once you have a citrus juicer in your life I promise you’ll find new and creative ways it in your everyday life!
7. Small selection of spoons
Okay, my final choice may seem like a given but much like a good, sharp knife a set of small spoons are essential in my kitchen. I can’t cook in the kitchen without a set of spoons including a fresh combo of wooden, metal and the new fangled silicone ones to do the trick. Who would have thought a small selection of spoons could help sort out all of your cooking woes?
As a special bonus, we’re running a great giveaway where you can win your own toolkit of kitchen essentials. All you have to do is enter your name and email and one winner will be chosen at random in a week’s time. What have you got to lose other than some old kitchen tools?
Enter your email at the beginning of the blog post along with your name for your chance to win! The winner will be chosen at random and will be announced next Friday.