Our Favorite Kitchen Tools During Quarantine

1. Forged-Iron Skillet

“My spouse grew up in a rural Appalachian city, the granddaughter of dairy farmers. After we moved into our first dwelling, her minimal possessions included a set of cast-iron pans that spanned the historical past of Midwestern foundries: Griswold, Marion, Wapak, Lodge. Seasoned over a century, they’ll flawlessly prepare dinner something from buttermilk biscuits to seared scallops. So you’ll be able to preserve your All-Clad Copper Core. I’m a Rust Belt lady with an iron coronary heart.” —Kathy Smart

Forged-Iron Seared Scallops with Beurre Blanc

Serves two

Eight giant sea scallops (I get mine from Rex’s Seafood within the Dallas Farmers Market)
Four tablespoons butter
1 small shallot, finely chopped
1/Four cup dry white wine
1/Four cup sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon finely chopped tarragon
1 giant bunch of small-leafed greens, akin to watercress or pea shoots
Sea salt
Freshly floor black pepper to style

Prepare greens on two plates. Pat scallops dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Warmth cast-iron skillet over medium-high warmth. Add one tablespoon of butter to the pan, and prepare dinner till the froth subsides. Sear scallops till golden brown and cooked by way of, about 2 minutes per aspect. Switch scallops to plates, and place on high of the greens. To the pan, add shallot, wine, and vinegar. Let sauce come to a boil, and scrape up any brown bits. Enable to boil till liquid is diminished by half. Scale back warmth to low and add remaining butter, stirring till the butter is integrated and the sauce is creamy. Stir in tarragon and season with salt and pepper to style. Pour sauce over scallops and greens.

2. Madeleine Pan 

“After I really feel nostalgic, I pull out my madeleine pan, and like Proust’s authentic confection, it sends me again to my childhood in France. For me, there could also be no better pleasure than the fragile little pastry formed like a shell, with its telltale bump and loads of butter, vanilla bean, and maybe lavender or lemon zest infusing the crumb. Nibble with tea or espresso, and let the little desserts work their magic: a small, candy Parisian world to whisk you away.” —Eve Hill-Agnus

Honey-Lavender Madeleines

Makes 12

I like to make use of an adaptation of David Leibovitz’s fundamental recipe. I belief him to make wealthy, buttery madeleines which have the comforting crumb and taste of little desserts. I add honey and lavender to spherical them out into springtime reminders (I exploit a lightweight, fragrant honey—the extra floral the honey, the extra it comes by way of). However you’ll be able to brighten up the desserts with lemon zest or poppy seed, too. Powdered sugar dusting is my go-to end; however a easy lemon glaze will seal in additional sweetness, if you wish to go that route. A tip for making certain that telltale madeleine bump: Place the stuffed tray within the freezer for 10 minutes earlier than baking.

1 cup, plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
three eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup granulated sugar
½ butter, melted
2 tablespoons honey
1 ½ crushed lavender buds
1 teaspoon lemon zest (non-compulsory) or poppy seeds

Brush madeleine molds with butter after which flour or spray with cooking oil. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt collectively. Put aside. In a separate bowl, beat eggs, vanilla, and sugar till creamy. Put aside. Add lavender and honey to melted butter and permit to infuse for a couple of minutes. Mix half flour combination into egg-vanilla-sugar combination. Slowly drizzle in half of lavender-honey-butter combination. Repeat. Fold in lemon zest or poppy seeds.

Refrigerate batter a minimum of 2 hours or in a single day. When able to bake, preheat oven to 375°F. Fill madeleine molds ¾ full. Freeze tray for 10 minutes. Bake Eight-10 minutes or till golden brown. Unmold instantly and funky on a wire rack. To complete, mud with powdered sugar. (Or glaze with a easy lemon glaze for shine.)

 three. Tostonera 

“Tostones are my love language. These fried inexperienced plantains are a staple in Latin and Caribbean cuisines, and a tostonera is the important thing to cooking this golden snack. This specific tostonera is older than I’m. Evenly fry a medallion of unripe plantain—the greener the higher—mash it down with the tostonera’s two wooden rounds till the banana is barely flatter, then fry once more. Fry, smash, fry in pursuit of the proper crunch.”—Rosin Saez

Crispy Tostones (Tostones de plátano)

Makes a couple of dozen to 18; function an appetizer or get pleasure from as a snack

three inexperienced plantains
Vegetable oil for frying
Adobo seasoning
A tostonera, or use a slicing board and one thing flat and heavy, like a forged iron pan or griddle handpress

You wish to begin with tremendous inexperienced plantain bananas; these could have essentially the most starch, which is able to make for tremendous crunchy exteriors. Peel, then reduce every banana on the bias into about ¾ -inch thick rounds. (It’s okay if it’s nearer to a ½ inch or a full inch; you’ll be smashing them down anyway.) Warmth a shallow frying pan with a layer of vegetable oil (about ¼ cup). You should utilize a deep-fryer or air-fryer when you have one.

Right here’s the place it will get controversial. Many recipes instruct you to soak the plantain slices in salt water soak with crush garlic cloves. It helps with oxidation and the water will assist incorporate steam (i.e., fluffy inside, crisp exterior). I don’t typically trouble as a result of it’s going to be crunchy and engaging with out this additional 15-minute step. On to frying: oil ought to be round 350ºF to 375ºF but when it’s too laborious to test temperature, a simple trick is high dip the tip of a wood spoon or chopstick into the oil; if it gently bubbles, it’s sizzling sufficient.

Fry for 3 minutes per aspect, switch to paper towel-lined plate, after which one after the other mash with tostonera or no matter you may have readily available—pound flat with the palm of your hand when you’re OG like my Puerto Rican grandmother! Then fry once more till golden brown. Take away and drain on recent paper towel. Season to style with adobo, a pre-mix seasoning that consists of garlic and/or onion powder, floor oregano, salt, pepper, tumeric, typically paprika. You can also make your individual mix. (I just like the natural Adobo by Loisa, or one by Addo Pantry.) Easy sea salt is ok too if that’s what you’ve acquired readily available.

Four. Mortar and Pestle 

“My mother purchased this brass mortar and pestle round 1975 at a Beverly Hills storage sale for, she guesses, about $5. One way or the other, I wound up with them. We bake cauliflower in my home regularly, and everybody is aware of you’ll be able to’t bake cauliflower with out floor coriander seeds. That’s the place the mortar and pestle are available in. I prefer to ring that heavy sucker like a bell. It’s a really sonorous mortar. And the pestle doubles as a house protection weapon.” —Tim Rogers

Roasted Coriander Cauliflower

1 head of cauliflower
Coriander seeds
Olive oil
Mortar and pestle

Lower a head of cauliflower into items which can be sufficiently small to make you cheerful. Smaller items prepare dinner sooner. Duh. Unfold them out on a baking sheet. Drizzle some olive oil over them. Don’t use an excessive amount of! Soggy cauliflower will make you unhappy. Put some salt and freshly floor pepper on there. Do the identical with that coriander. Don’t fear when you didn’t grind that coriander uniformly. A giant chunk occasionally will make you cheerful. Now throw that baking sheet in an oven preheated to 375°F. Or 400°F. No matter. Don’t get slowed down within the distinction between baking and roasting. Let’s all agree that you’re cooking. So prepare dinner these cauliflowers until they’re achieved, which distinction is completely as much as you. It’s a good suggestion to take them out of the oven in some unspecified time in the future and use a wood spatula to combine em up a bit, be sure all of them get some love from the olive oil. Actually, burned-ass, crispy cauliflower tastes nice if it has sufficient salt and pepper and coriander on it. However it is best to in all probability shoot for brown across the edges. May that take 15 minutes? Possibly. You recognize what? Proper towards the tip, you would possibly change your oven to broil and hit these suckers with a couple of minutes of intense high warmth. Experiment. Work out what works finest for you. Have enjoyable.

5. French Rolling Pin

“Certainly one of our favourite meals is grilled flatbreads within the yard. We begin with a glass of pink wine (adults, clearly). Then we roll the dough on the marble countertop with a handful of cornmeal and my Vermont maple French rolling pin. I stack the toppings on a classic slicing board from Patina Inexperienced, and my Four-year-old daughter helps me customise each. I pile recent basil and oregano from my backyard on high. It tastes like summer season and pure love.” —Elizabeth Lavin

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