I’ve been developing my passion for cooking for many years now and wanted to talk about it in any way I could. Whether in writing, in recipes, but also in images by learning culinary photography. For all these reasons, and out of greed, I am always looking for the perfect utensil for this or that recipe. However, after many years of purchases and use, it is clear that you do not need much, or even everything, for cooking: simple utensils are more than enough. Forget the latest fashionable gadget that will serve you twice, prefer quality, robustness, and those that have proven themselves for a long time.
Tool #1: my Microplane grater
When I first heard about Microplane, I was lost. Having always been accustomed to using a vegetable peeler to zest my citrus fruits, I discovered a new world. A wonderful world in which the zest – the bitter white film located under the zest – was nothing more than a bad memory. A world where the zest was fine, precise and pleasant to taste thanks to the formidable efficiency of the blade. However, be careful of your fingers and nails!
Utensil #2: my paring knife
Impossible to cook without my little knife. I have several, but my favorite is a small Opinel notched knife which allows me to be rigorous and precise in my cuts, even on hard products like a very dry sausage, or softer like very ripe tomatoes or saints. -jacques. Thanks to it, I can cut thin strips of just about anything and that, if that’s not a superpower, I don’t know what is.
Tool #3: my vegetable shaver
In the Microplane movement, the vegetable shaver changed my life. Apple peels with lots of flesh are just a memory. Yes, it is possible to peel fruits and vegetables easily (even butternut squash) if you are well equipped! And no, I have nothing against thrifters even if for my part, I am rather a spendthrift…
Tool no. 4: my pastry robot
For my birthday gift robot, I chose the KitchenAid Artisan in its flamboyant candy apple color. I use it as much to make whipped cream as to prepare pizza dough. He is a faithful ally who has followed me for many years now. Plus, I got it at a discount because it was an exhibition model!
Utensil n°5: my cast iron casserole dish
Another utensil, another gift, Christmas this time, with my Le Creuset cast iron casserole dish. I love cast iron casseroles, and this oval shaped one is easy to use. And then, cast iron echoes the dishes that simmer for a long time, the lid that is too heavy, but necessary, the stained utensils, but we don’t care, which are passed down from generation to generation. My casserole dish is already well stained, it was not wanted and I tried as best I could to recover it, but it is still there, valiant. Like humans, life marks us sometimes or even often, and we are always standing, faithful to our post.
Utensil n°6: my baking pan
Ah, the mold missed. I think this is the first mold I used in my life. When I was little, my grandmother taught me how to make apple cakes. Probably a pound cake. Something very simple, very delicious, very round, like the springform pan in which it was cooked.
Utensil n°7: my pastry circle
Little more recent favorite: the pastry circle. A few years ago, I happily discovered Christophe Michalak’s shortbread biscuit in his crumbly raspberry tart recipe. A delight worthy of the world champion that he is. Since then, I have used its gourmet dough, cooked in its circle, and adapt it to all seasons with pears, plums, spices, mango, etc.
Utensil n°8: my non-stick pan
Having a non-stick pan is the basis, even if only for making a fried egg! There is nothing more annoying than a sticky, leaky egg whose yolk inevitably drowns the bottom rather than the intended piece of toast…
Tool #9: my electric mixer
Even though I have a mixer, when I whip egg whites, I always use my little mixer that I had before the mixer. Force of habit surely, laziness to clean, above all.
Utensil n°10: my oven
When I left home for my studies, not having much space in my student kitchen, I had the choice between buying a microwave or an XS oven. A highly unnecessary question concerning me: it will be an oven. Yes, it was small, all yellow, yet it was in this little oven that I learned most of the recipes. It’s the same small oven that I transported to my other apartments and which accompanied me as my passion for cooking grew within me. Since then, I’ve changed my oven, I got one with two cavities to save money and allow it to heat up more quickly. From day 1 until today, no matter the size, the oven is for me the essential utensil in my kitchen. A cuisine made of cakes, biscuits, pies of all kinds, roast chicken, pumpkin with spices, and many others.
In short, delicacies.