I pride myself with being something of a miser in the kitchen, happy with most any ingredients put before me. However, I am rigid when it comes to certain basic ingredients, without which I can’t function terribly well: salt, pepper, olive oil, butter, dried pasta, and Parmesan. Here’s a breakdown of my favorites:
As the year scampers to an end, we would like to take the time to think about all we are grateful for; thank YOU for your support and interest in Fat Rabbit for the past few months!
Our team will be tending to tasks of the season and in early preparation for our January Workshop, but back in full force and with new updates at the start of the New Year!
Until then, we wish you very Happy Holidays!
Have you considered your spice cabinet lately? I have, and its grim—a hodgepodge of bottles, bags, and tins of questionable content and indeterminate age. It can take some serious digging to find anything beyond the handful of spices I use with any regularity—black pepper, white pepper, cumin, cinnamon, fennel, cayenne, pepper flakes, coriander. Heading in to Thanksgiving and all the holiday cooking and baking, its time to get that cabinet in order.
Beyond my three key knives and handful of pans, what do I use most in the kitchen? Tongs, spatulas, and a pepper grinder. In fact, they are so important to my cooking that I typically travel with my own bundled up in a kitchen towel along with a chef’s knife; I live in fear of an ill-equipped vacation rental or in-law’s home.
Tongs can do almost anything. I use them for everything from sautéing and stirring to cooking pasta (perfect for separating stuck-together) and pulling pans from the oven. Think of them as a heatproof hand that can go anywhere.
Next to your knives (last week’s digressive discussion), there are few pieces of kitchen equipment as important as your pots and pans. They can make or break a dish’s ultimate success and make all the difference between effortless dish washing and a Sisyphean nightmare. And they have to look good too, right? We eat with our eyes long before anything ever hits the plate.
It doesn’t take all that many pots or pans to make a complete kitchen. As with most things in my life—beyond knives, boots, and bikes—I err on the side of minimal and only use with any frequency a large 14-inch skillet, a pair of saucepans, a big Dutch oven, a small saucepan/butter warmer, and a couple of incidental roasting pans that I use for a host of odd jobs. I edited my collection before moving and haven’t felt the need to rebuild it.
When asked why I have spent so much of my life in kitchens, I usually say its because I get to play with fire and knives. I’m being cheeky of course, but an abiding love for and use of sharp, pointy things does keep cooking fun for me.
While I have an admittedly large knife collection, a well-prepared kitchen really only needs four: a seven-to-eight-inch chef’s knife (European style or a Japanese-shaped santoku) a four-inch paring knife, a long, flexible slicing knife, and a (preferably) offset-handled serrated knife for slicing crusty loaves. All those other shapes and sizes are pretty redundant.