Yesterday, I brought you my list of Absolute Essentials for your kitchen. Today, we delve into the depths of Perfect Accessories - those items that you can do without, but add an air of je ne sais quoi to your culinary masterpieces. xx tt
Food Processor: it took me longer to get used to this contraption, but now I am a complete convert. If you don’t want to take the plunge yet, a mini-food processor + a food mill will suffice for making soups, salad dressings, crumbled toppings, etc.
Pastry Brush: not just for pastries, this brush is useful for applying butter/olive oil to roast chickens, croutons, biscuits, waffle irons, etc. I prefer a silicone brush to the traditional boar bristle brush because it is easier to clean and dry
Candy Thermometer: this may seem superfluous if you have a good meat thermometer, but trust me, you need one. When I made fleur de sel caramels, I presumed that I could eyeball the “softball” stage of caramelization… Big mistake. For around $10, you will be able to make delicious confections, and deep fried delights. Totally worth it!
Butcher String: food-safe string is necessary for trussing poultry (tying the legs together), and useful for bouquet garni (herbs tied together for soups/stews) and steaming vegetables. If you are feeling particularly charming, ask your butcher for a free sample, but otherwise just fork over the $4 for your own bundle
Muffin Tins (2): I can smell morning muffins and cupcakes baking by just looking at my muffin tins, mmmm….
Loaf Pan: homemade banana bread, anyone?
Flour Sifter: if you want to skip this one, the sieve in the essentials section will suffice
Rolling Pin: nice to have, but why waste $25 when you can use a bottle of vino?
Citrus Juicer: I HATE fishing lemon seeds out of my dishes…
Steamer: ideal for meeting your daily veggie quotient
Splatter Guard: for the messier chefs out there (comme moi)
Coffee Maker: even if you don’t take coffee, your guests do - and who wants to be a bad hostess?
Microwave: despite what your boyfriend may tell you, these are not essential…
Mortar & Pestle: fantastic for homemade salad dressings
Food Mill: before food processors, this was the only option. I love using this for soups and pommes puree!
Garlic Press: saves you the hassle of mincing
Ice Cream Scoop: much more fun than using a regular spoon, and a sweet nod to childhood