Helpful Kitchen Tools
Large (3 by 8-inch blade) with short handle for turning fish or lifting pastry.
Have on hand both short and long, easy-to-squeeze tongs.
Heavy-duty for everything from snipping chives to splitting a chicken.
Flexible plastic sheets for easy transport of chopped ingredients.
Inexpensive Japanese mandoline, for cutting paper-thin slices. For safety, leave an inch of vegetable stem attached to hold onto as you slice.
Have one for black and one for white peppercorns. The difference between freshly ground pepper and long-stored preground pepper is night and day.
For juicing small amounts of citrus.
Small, rotary French hand grater for nuts and cheese.
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.
Heavy-duty pans with 1-inch rims, indispensable for roasting, baking, carrying, and organizing.
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
Parchment Paper Sheets.
Handy Pantry Items
Kosher salt, inexpensive and with a pure salt flavor, is your main cooking salt for savory foods.
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.
Maille brand preferred over sharper-flavored Grey Poupon.
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.