Tools and cooking utensils

Tools and cooking utensils

By
Antonio Carluccio
Contains
0 recipes
Published by
Quadrille Publishing
ISBN
9781849491662
Photographer
Alastair Hendy

Every experienced cook knows that the industry has produced a multitude of tools and gadgets to satisfy any requirements. Sometimes a tool can be so specialised that it can only be used for one particular purpose. I remember once seeing a woman in Umbria preparing black truffles with a little knife that immediately attracted my attention. It was so small and sharp that it enabled her capable hands to peel just a very little skin off the precious tuber, so nothing was wasted. The knife was specially made for her.

When you start to cook good food however, you don’t need numerous complicated tools. Instead look at obtaining a few basic, easily available items that will make specific everyday tasks easier.

Knives

I have a bread knife I bought in Vienna 50 years ago. It is made of very good-quality steel and can cut ‘mountains’ of bread. If you are only buying one knife at the beginning, it should be of good quality and medium-sized – large enough to chop parsley and other herbs. A small blade for cleaning vegetables and undertaking various other small jobs will also come in handy. Bear in mind that the sharper the knives are, the better the cut and the easier the job. A knife sharpener, then, is another essential.

Chopping board

This is vital, and one of about 25 x 20 cm, or even bigger, is useful for everything.

Saucepans and frying pans

For cooking you need at least three pans. One should be for frying, medium in size, and I would suggest a Teflon coating is quite practical; this can be used also for sautéing and to make sauces. A good pot for cooking pasta or soups, or for boiling chicken or vegetables, is ideally larger at the base and smaller at the top, with a lid. This enables the water the pasta is cooked in to remain at the same temperature, helping it to cook perfectly. A medium casserole dish, ovenproof and heatproof, is useful for all other operations in the kitchen.

It is important, though, when buying pans, to choose a base suitable for the heat source you use to cook on or with.While a gas stove with gas rings can tolerate most pans, if you have electric rings either with a solid top or coils, or a ceramic hob, you need to make sure that the base of your pans touch every part of the surface of the heat source. Otherwise things will not cook properly, and you are wasting energy.

Other indispensable gadgets

For me these would be a colander for draining pasta and boiled items, a grater for vegetables and cheese, and tongs. A spaghetti scoop or spoon, or at least a slotted spoon, is necessary, as of course are a couple of wooden spoons and a ladle. A blender, either electric or hand-held, is good for puréeing all sorts of ingredients. You will also need some medium dishes of either china or metal in which to prepare roast or stuffed pasta and vegetables. If you are feeling very ambitious and are planning on making homemade pasta, then you should buy a bigger wooden board than the one suggested above, as well as a rolling pin, or (if you want to make it a lot) a small ‘Imperia’ pasta-making machine.

All the above pieces of equipment are, on average, essential parts of a normal cooking household. In time, you may become a specialist in food production, in which case you will need a lot more equipment. I believe, however, that the above is sufficient to show what you can achieve with very little. And, more importantly, that you are capable of producing good food.

    No results found
    No more results
      No results found
      No more results
        No results found
        No more results
          No results found
          No more results
            No results found
            No more results
              No results found
              No more results
              Please start typing to begin your search
              We're sorry but we had trouble running your search. Please try again