/ The Gadgety kitchen
I do a fair amount of my cooking through the week using electronic gadgets now: steamer, George Foreman, slow cooker, rice cooker and microwave.
I am a bit of a foodie and love to cook good food at the weekend but through the week its so easy to use these gadgets this morning I had rice porridge from thew slow cooker with a couple of chinese buns and an egg all done in the steamer, tonight it will be some veg and fish in the steamer for about 15 min. Sunday morning fry-up? throw sausages, bacon, bludpud, tomato and mushrooms on the george, shrooms strategically placed to soak up the greasy runoff perfect can even do the toast on it!
Any other ideas?
Oh, I've got a mincer/ grater with an attachment for squeezing oranges - rarely mince (cue poor Frankie Howard impersonation), but there's nothing like freshly squeezed oranges with sunday breakfast
We've got a micro-kitchen so I tend to do everything with generic utensils.
But if we had more space we'd get a bread maker.
On a smaller scale, I keep wondering about a mandoline to slice vegetables so that things requiring eg a courgette cut into paper-thin slices don't seem like such a faff.
Learn to make bread properly and you'll wonder why you ever thought breadmaker bread was worth eating!
It's neither as time-consuming nor as difficult as it may seem. By using the fridge to retard the rise, you can mix and knead in the morning (20-30 minutes work), leave in the fridge then shape, prove and bake that evening. Shaping takes a couple of minutes, you can get on with other stuff while it's proving and baking.
I didn't have a freezer until a couple of years ago and now I don't know what I'd do without it. NOt sure that counts as a gadget, mind.
One thing my mum gave me which has turned out to be surprisingly useful is a liquidiser that has a herb-blending attachment. It's like a tiny weeny food processor that sits on the base unit where the jug would normally go - brilliant for making Thai green curry paste.
got given one of those cheesy Bullet chopper/blender things that someone was ditching.
laughed at first, but with a week was blending and chopping everything - until i tried it on frozen berries where it made a burning smell and stopped permenantly.
oh well, no such thing as a free etc...
Don't you find it's a real pain to clean afterwards? I was given one a few years ago and only used it once for sausages. The amount of time and difficulty it was to clean it afterwards put me off using it since, a frying pan was easier!
Other gadgets I have are slow cooker, sandwich toaster and steamer (goes on top of ordinary pan, not a seperate gadget).
The point I was trying to make was that I used to feel the same WRT time and space, but it's entirely possible to make baking bread fit around your lifestyle rather than the other way round, as has traditionally seemed to be the case...
Mr TC's a fan of hand-made bread, especially when he's irritated with people so can channel it into the kneading...
> The point I was trying to make was that I used to feel the same WRT time and space, but it's entirely possible to make baking bread fit around your lifestyle rather than the other way round, as has traditionally seemed to be the case...
I don't make it all the time, but it is no great hassle at all to knock up a loaf from scratch, and flatbreads for soups 'n' stuff are a real revelation. I used to keep a sourdough starter (till I killed it through neglect) and that was simplicity itself - a slow, wet rise and no kneading - plus the most wonderful bread. When it warms up again, I might have another go at getting one started again.
> I used to keep a sourdough starter (till I killed it through neglect) and that was simplicity itself - a slow, wet rise and no kneading - plus the most wonderful bread. When it warms up again, I might have another go at getting one started again.
I've got a wonderfully vigorous mature rye starter and a young but equally vigorous spelt one. They are almost as quick as yeast if I'm pressed for time, but left to rise slow and cool they produce lovely complex flavours, especially if I knock back and prove 4 or 5 times over a weekend...
That reminds me - not sure it counts as a gadget but we've just got an aeropress. I'm off to figure it out now...
Are they much better than a standard french press or stove-top machine?
I just rummaged through some previous threads on here and they get great reviews from some of the UKC coffeeheads. I think they give a much smoother coffee than using a standard cafetiere - Mr TC's been sole user of ours for the last week or two, hence me needing to figure it out.
You need different coffee pots for different brews/times of day IMO. Stove-top pot for the morning 'kick up the backside' cup, then cafetiere for more mellow cuppas later in the day.
As for gadgets, I'm much in favour of spending as much as possible on the highest quality knives available. I couldn't imagine living without my santoku.
Apart from that, a good deep fat fryer for those guilty pleasures & a bit of DIY KFC.
Mr TC really wants a deep fat fryer and keeps trying to tempt me by mentioning tempura vegetables. I'm not having any of it.
Pakora penguin biscuits.
Coffee grinder - i love the way freshly ground coffee has an almost resin-like quality.
Hand held blender - used for everything from soups to smoothies to perfect pasta sauces.
Mortar and Pestle - the original kitchen gadget, maybe? Grind together sea salt, basil, garlic and oil just for the sake of it.
> I am a bit of a foodie and love to cook good food at the weekend
> Any other ideas?
Get a woman to move in with you, cooking problem solved
Ooooo, I've only one word to offer.....
specifically, my lovely A701 kenwwod chef. With lots of attachments.....
Dough hook, (and the k beater and whisk as standard)
slow sppeed slicer/grater
runner bean/peel slicer (my fave)
coffee grinder (the most used, natch)
Liquidiser jug ( a good heavy proper glass one)
I love my George Foreman, too.
They both permanently live out on my work surfaces in the kitchen.
I don't have a lot of other stuff, space and time being a premium, so i have a steamer, toaster, toasted sandwich maker and slow cooker, and that's the lot.
I do love the little gadgets, though, like the egg slicers, egg separators, colour-changing egg timer, another bean slicer,jam thermometer, and so on. I have two kitchen drawers full of this sort of stuff.
Pity there's only me to cook for, so it doesn't get a run out very often!
A sharp knife
And my cooking is brilliant.
Good set of tutorials here: http://sourdough.com/blog/sourdom/beginners-blog-starter-scratch
This is where I started, although I have refined my method slightly since.
I love the fryer, but not so much now I've started my annual spring diet.
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