Tag Archives: Cast iron

My kitchen have-to-haves

I’m a kitchen junkie.  I can’t pass up appliances, cookbooks, gadgets, interesting new foods, pots, pans, knives…you name it.  I have enough to start a new restaurant.  Seriously.

At the moment, we live in a generously sized house with a serious lack of storage space, but I know that some time in the future, we’ll downsize, and of late, I’ve been thinking that I might want to disencumber myself starting now, so when we finally do move (someday) it won’t be as overwhelming.

I started thinking about what I use most…those kitchen utensils that I couldn’t live without.  That list includes:

A great cutting board  —  Bamboo ones are also great for serving bread on.  In truth, I have several kinds.  Bamboo, wood and polypropylene. And I have them in several sizes, including one large enough to carve a turkey.

My Santoku knife  (I currently have two, one smaller one)  I use these for everything but  paring and carving meat.  Chopping garlic, slicing tomatoes, cutting up meet.  I think it’s important to have two, so one can be used on raw foods you’re cutting, and the other for every other need.  Unless, of course, you’re one who cleans as you cook.  That’s not me.   Athough I have a fine set of Wusthof knives, I most often use my Santoku.

A cast iron skillet (preferably two: one large, one small).  I’ve gone through every phase of cookware.  Farberware.  Analon. Calphalon. Stainless steel with aluminum, T-Fal, Teflon and all manner of non stick cookware.  But of late, I’ve gone back to the basics and find myself pulling out my cast iron pans more often than not.  Yes, you can’t put them in the dishwasher, but nothing has ever burned on it, and it’s easy enough to clean with a good stiff brush and some kosher salt when needed.  Just remember not to soak, and to season, season, season.  I love that these go from stovetop to oven with no fuss.  (Be sure you have good oven mitts!)

One medium large dutch oven for pasta, soups and stews (preferably a smaller one as well).  Currently I’m still using my heavy bottomed stainless steel one, but I have my eye on a cast iron dutch oven with a top that doubles as a skillet.

A roasting pan  I have three at the moment.  A large one for turkey and holiday briskets in heavy duty aluminum.  A medium sized one with a T-fal surface, and a small heavy duty oval one I use for roasting vegetables and chicken.

Wooden spoons  I love the large oval ones.  They make me feel like a chef.

A set of good quality measuring spoons and measuring cups

Kitchen scissors  (Can someone tell me how I get the husband from using these to cut paper and other items??)

a large Pyrex liquid measuring cup  (also good for microwaving)

2 sheet pans

An oven/microwave casserole dish – I like heavy earthenware in Tuscan colors.  I often buys these at Marshalls and Home Goods.  I fall in love easily. 😉

My nestled glass mixing bowls

My Microwave

My Kitchen Aid Mixer  I got mine as an engagement gift and have been using it without any glitches ever since.  It’s a workhorse.

My Cuisinart Food Processor  I covet a new one, but there’s nothing wrong with my old one.

My immersible hand blender  I love making creamy soups using these.

Now that I have my list, will I actually trim down what I have in my kitchen?  You know, I think I will.

Anyone need some pots?