Writer, cooking teacher, television host, and author of an award-winning book, Amelia Saltsman is passionate about getting everyone into the kitchen.


Tour the Santa Monica Farmers' Market with Amelia Santa Monica Farmers' Market Tour Santa Monica, CA
October 8, 2014
9 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.
Farmers' Market Tour
Cooking Experiences at La Cocina Que Canta Cooking Class and Retreat Tecate, Mexico
May 9-15, 2015
Rancho La Puerta


Helpful Kitchen Tools

Large (3 by 8-inch blade) with short handle for turning fish or lifting pastry.
Offset Spatula.
Have on hand both short and long, easy-to-squeeze tongs.
Handy for slicing bread, tomatoes,
and meat.
Offset Serrated Knife.
Heavy-duty for everything from snipping chives to splitting a chicken.
Flexible plastic sheets for easy transport of chopped ingredients.
Cutting Mats.
Serrated spoon great for removing the fuzzy core of an artichoke.
Grapefruit Spoon.
Inexpensive Japanese mandoline, for cutting paper-thin slices. For safety, leave an inch of vegetable stem attached to hold onto as you slice.
Benriner Slicer.
Have one for black and one for white peppercorns. The difference between freshly ground pepper and long-stored preground pepper is night and day.
Pepper Mills.
For pulverizing garlic, spices,
and herbs.
Mortar and Pestle.
For juicing small amounts of citrus.
For long curly strands.
5-Hole Zester.
For nice small zest.
Small, rotary French hand grater for nuts and cheese.
Mouli Grater.
For fine straining. A chinois is a cone-shaped fine-mesh sieve.
Chinois And Pestle.
Hand tool used for pureeing foods that simultaneously removes the skin, seeds, and fibers.
Food Mill.
Handheld electric blender, for pureeing soups right in the pot.
Immersion Blender.
Heavy-duty pans with 1-inch rims, indispensable for roasting, baking, carrying, and organizing.
Baking Sheets:
Half Sheet And Quarter Sheet.
Handy for lining baking sheets (instead of greasing them), for twisting into cones for piping, and for speeding cleanup. Unlike waxed paper, it is
not coated.
Parchment Paper Sheets.

Handy Pantry Items

Kosher salt, inexpensive and with a pure salt flavor, is your main cooking salt for savory foods.
Kosher Salt.
Moist sea salt crystal “blossoms” harvested by hand from the surface of salt beds. Sweet marine taste and crunchy texture make it a wonderful finishing salt.
Fleur De Sel.
Lovely large-flaked Maldon sea salt from England is used for both cooking and finishing. Especially nice crushed in salads.
Maldon Sea Salt.
Among the mild choices are togarashi, the popular Japanese table condiment available in most supermarkets that also comes as part of a sesame-ginger-seaweed spice blend (nanami togarashi); Argentine ají molido, and Spanish smoked paprika (pimentón de la Vera). Hot examples include red pepper flakes and Hungarian paprika.
Red Peppers, Ground Dried.
Tabasco and harissa (Moroccan
hot sauce).
Red-Pepper Sauces.
Red Wine, White Wine, Sherry, Cider, Rice, and good-quality balsamic, such as Fini Brand.
Maille brand preferred over sharper-flavored Grey Poupon.
Dijon Mustard.
Canola, Grape Seed, and Soybean are mild-tasting oils with a high smoking point.
Other Cooking Oils.
Walnut,* Hazelnut, and Sesame oils are used for flavoring and for dressing salads. They have a low smoking point and are highly perishable; store in the refrigerator and use within 6 months.
Nut And Seed Finishing Oils.
The king of Italian cheeses, often imitated (Parmesan), but never equaled. Long aged with sweet, nutty flavor, slightly granular texture, and excellent melting properties.
Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese.