Ever wonder what to invest in when it comes to stocking a good quality kitchen? It goes without saying that you should first invest in quality cookware. Your second investment needs to be knives. However, there are a slew of other gadgets and goodies for your kitchen that are well worth the investment once you have the basics. If you consider yourself a gourmet cook, then these are ten items that you should not be without!
Every cook needs a good pair of kitchen shears. A lot of people overlook having a pair, thinking that you only use them for opening packages, but that shortsighted view leaves much to be desired. True, kitchen shears will cut your packages open for you, but they also are great for cutting meat into cubes for stew, chicken into strips for fajitas, and of course anything else you need to cut! Good kitchen sheers make prep time faster.
Nothing brings out the rustic flavor of a savory dish like fresh garlic. Whether you're adding garlic to sauces or vegetables, garlic adds a layer of flavor that makes the dish more complex and dazzling. Consequently, a garlic press is a must have in the kitchen.
A microplane grater is a necessity in a well stocked kitchen. Once you get a microplane grater you will never want another grater again. It keeps your fingers out of the way, is tidier than a typical grater and these graters bring out the best possible flavor in whatever you're grating be it rinds or cheese.
Mortar and Pestle
This essential is 'old fashioned' but well worth the extra effort. With it, you can grind most of your spices and herbs whole, bringing out the best and most intense flavor possible. Use it to grind fresh herbs, whole spices, or even to make a rub for meats before you throw them on the grill.
Good Mixing Bowls
A full set of good mixing and prep bowls will help you out significantly in your food preparation process. It seems like a bowl is a bowl is a bowl, but mixing bowls are undoubtedly the most used accessory in your kitchen and it pays to invest in good quality ones. If possible, find mixing bowls that come with lids so that you can prep food and stick it in the fridge for later use. Stainless steel or heavy ceramic are best depending on your storage situation.
If you can only afford one piece of stoneware, get a large roasting dish. Stoneware is super easy to take care of, and the best part is that the food never sticks to the bottom. Stoneware is not dishwasher safe, but is still well worth the investment for the quality in baked goods that it provides.
A cylinder cutter is great for things like chopping onions or peppers. It makes chopping quicker and more efficient and consequently is well worth every penny that you invest. It can cut your food prep time in half. A cylinder cutter is especially nice if you are one of those people who tears incessantly when cutting onions. You won't cry anymore over onions with a cylinder cutter.
A Heavy Rolling Pin
A good heavy rolling pin is an absolute must for anyone who bakes in the kitchen. It wouldn't seem that such an insignificant tool would make such a big difference, but it makes light work of rolling out dough for pizza and pies.
Melon ballers are great, inexpensive and store anywhere since they are no bigger than any of your cutlery. What's nice about having a melon baller is that you can enjoy fresh melon without the huge mess it takes to slice it all up. Since they are so inexpensive, there really is no excuse not to have one!
Apple corers make life much simpler, especially during pie baking season. If you can get one that attaches to the table and cuts, cores, and peels all at once, that's the best. However, if you cannot afford that kind or don't think you'll use it enough, get an apple corer/slicer which will core and slice the apple for you easily and painlessly.