I would like to take a moment and thank everyone who has visited my blog. I appreciate each and every visitor and am happy to receive any feed-back.
In my message from Christmas Eve day, I talked about using an old fashioned food mill to make mashed potatoes with. Well.....I did.....and I will not be using an electric mixer or a potato masher again.
I first purchased the food mill when making the Barefoot Contessa's roasted tomato basil soup for the first time and have not used it for anything other than that, until now. The food mill gives the soup the best texture. The texture cannot be duplicated with a blender, an immersion blender or with a food processor. So, I would suggest that a food mill (a good one) be a staple in every cook's closet.
For the potatoes (12 large red bliss, peeled & boiled in salted water with 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil until tender), I used the plate with the smallest holes, placed it over a deep container and worked the potatoes thru the mill. I also processed the roasted garlic (2 heads of garlic covered in olive oil and roasted in the oven for about 45 minutes at 350` or until a gorgeous golden brown), added 1 stick of butter, 1/2 cup heavy cream, salt & pepper to taste and ended up with fluffy, buttery, soft clouds of heavenly potatoes.
These were by far the best mashed (for lack of a better word) potatoes that I have made, to date.
Speaking of kitchen tools, here is a rather random "starter" list of other tools that are very handy in the kitchen:
1. Dough scraper (for counter tops). Spatulas are best for bowls, there is a kind of spatula that is made specifically to fit jars...this is very handy, especially for those pesky peanut butter jars that have the left over butter at the top of the jar or along the bottom in that groove.....so annoying to try and get at that last bit. It's kinda like trying to get the last of the toothpaste out of the neck of the tube.....oops...tangent alert!!
2. Citrus reamer (for the one or 2 lemons / limes). For more than a couple of these, I like a press. Mine is chrome and is the kind that sits on the countertop.
3. Ginger grater (porcelain)
4. Chinese "spider"
5. Micro plane
6. Corn holders (I have a set from the 1950's). However, I also have a set that are little piggies. I even have some utensils that are from the mid century and are in great shape, though I don't use them. They are simply for decoration.
7. Nut / claw crackers and picks....I don't actually know the real name for them. I have the set that I grew up with that was originally my grandmother's.
8. Candy thermometer, instant read meat thermometer, and one of those thermometers that can be inserted in the meat while it's cooking.
9. Marble rolling pin with rest, wooden rolling pin and those silicon bands that go on each end of the rolling pin so you can roll out dough to an even thickness.
10. Wooden clothes pins - great for sealing bags of powdered sugar, brown sugar or any other bag that doesn't re-seal.
11. Assorted pastry tips. You can always use a plastic bag instead of purchasing pastry bags.
12. Powdered egg whites.
13. Two dutch ovens
14. Cast iron pans of varying sizes
15. A cast iron griddle that covers 2 burners.
There are more items that I might suggest, but this is a sound start. I am working on another list that I will post as soon as it is done...but for now, no peeking, not yet anyway.
Have a great evening!
Purple Kitchen Treats
Over the past few years, I have been working on a cookbook. During this time, I took time off to finish my Master's Degree. Now that I have accomplished that, I am working again on my cookbook, slowly but surely.
However, over the past few months, something interesting has happened...I have received multiple requests for baked goods, particularly my cookies. I am also receiving multiple requests for granola. So, with all these requests in mind, I have started to make my cookies for sale, along with my granola.
My official web site is available, but will be undergoing a significant redesign. Be sure to visit my "official" web site at: http://www.susanshonk.com and watch for some exciting changes.
From the heart of my purple kitchen to you,