Every year there is some new gimmick knife that is supposed to replace all others. For my money, I prefer the Wusthof Classic Ikon 8 inch Chef’s knife. Why this particular knife? There are SO many reasons this is THE knife for me. First off it is truly an icon, truly classic in appearance. The lines are elegant and engaging. This knife will add to the aesthetics of any kitchen contemporary or traditional in design. [Read more…] about Wusthof Classic Ikon 8 inch Chef’s Knife
Roux has forever intimidated me. I always burn it then have to resort to the instant roux. But, for a recent New Orleans-themed celebration, I decided it was time to go for the real stuff.
Great news! Roux is not that difficult. No reason to be intimidated. It takes some time…but not as much as I had thought. It takes some attention and stirring, but again, not a big deal. The real secret to roux success is the right kind of cooking vessel. My 8 qt Staub cast iron cocotte (also called a dutch oven or a casserole) made the difference. Cast iron slowly heats and then retains a consistent temperature. That’s the key to great roux. Previously I had used stainless fry pans and, yes had even tried it with non stick (which really doesn’t work). Staub cast iron is my secret to great and easy roux.
In my kitchen, there is one knife that is always being used. As you can imagine, I have a drawer of several top quality brand name knives, but lately the daily goto knife is my Global 7 inch hollow edge Chef’s knife. The main reason this is a favorite knife in my home is versatility. We use this hollow ground edge knife for slicing all our fruits, vegetables, meats and even cheese. The handle is ergonomically designed so it is very comfortable, and such a delight to use. The santoku-like blade shape and granton edge is designed to makes chopping a snap.
Why are is these knife so great? Here’s a little background. Global knives are produced within Seki, Japan in the Gifu Prefecture which has a history of blade making which spans centuries. Japanese industrial designer Komin Yamada blended Italian design, German durability, and Japanese precision when designing Global cutlery. Each knife is forged from a single piece of finest high carbon stainless steel from knife tip to end of the handle. Compared to German knives, Global knives feature a harder steel which is ground to a narrower edge. The result is a supremely sharp edge which makes chopping easy. For more information visit our about Global knives feature.
One thing to beware of — there are many counterfeits in the marketplace, especially on auction sites, which is not of the same quality. MetroKitchen is an authorized retailer selling authentic Global Knives which feature a lifetime warranty from the manufacturer.
This knife has opened up a whole new world in my kitchen, it is by far the most superior kitchen knife I have ever used for just about any cutting task. If you are looking to invest in a superior kitchen knife look to this and other Global chef’s knives. Plus enjoy free shipping on just about every Global knife we carry.
Capresso Z5 vs. Krups 7230 or 7225
Let me first start off by saying that I am not a coffee expert by profession. However, I do have love a good cup of java. The two coffee/espresso machines that I am going to give my review and compare are both great. I’ll start with the Capresso Z5 pros and cons:
Pros: It looks nice, the buttons are smooth to the touch, and it grinds the coffee beans well.
Cons: The display is somewhat lacking for the price of this machine. It is not very user friendly as far as operating it to get more complete brews. It’s also kind of big.
Now for the Krups 7230/7225:
Pros: It’s a good size for small counter tops. The instructional on-screen display guides you in whatever you are making. The buttons and rotary knob are smooth.
Cons: The grind function is noisy.
The two machines both make excellent espressos and coffee. I believe that the flavor of a brew is in the coffee beans. They both give the coffee a nice creme (the foam substance on top of the coffee).
The part that I prefer about the Krups machine is its size. It’s easier to find a counter top spot for it in your kitchen. The Krups machine also has a very informative display. The display walks you through the process of making your desired brew. You can adjust the size of your pour to fit your mug. The Capresso can do all the same things the Krups can do, but you wouldn’t know it until you read through the instructional manuel. Also, if the Krups machine needs a mini tune-up like filling the water tank or cleaning out the coffee grounds, the display shows you how to do it. The grounds also are compacted into mini hockey puck shape pieces, verses just a messy pile like the Capresso. The Capresso just has “terms” in its display. For example, it might just say “System Fill”. That can mean to fill the coffee beans or water. You are going to have to refer to the manual to understand how to use a very expensive coffee machine. Mainl, the Krups does just about everything the Capresso does and costs about a third of what the Capresso costs. If I were to buy one of the two and money was not a factor, I would buy the Krups. If I were to buy on looks alone, I would get the Capresso.
I’ve been wanting to use my new Viking 7 quart stand mixer and its many attachments for a few weeks. Finally, I was able to try it out vs. my old stand-by KitchenAid mixer. In short, I LOVE the Viking stand mixer! It made a great batch of “Chippies,” a family favorite for three generations.
Today we have a special guest contributor – Joe Girard from Rouxbe Online Cooking School:
Okay…We are continually asked to talk about kitchen tools and equipment. I know how important this is because there are so many tools out there that cost a heck of a lot of money and many of them are not worth their packaging. So to help you out, we’re going to start talking about the products we use and believe in.
“Essential Tools for Cooking” will focus on two areas. First, on tools that every cook should have in the kitchen. And secondly, we’ll share some great equipment finds that might not be “essential” but they sure can make life easier in the kitchen.
Is it possible for a baking sheet to heat evenly, prevent over-browning, easily release baked goods and not warp over time? I would think that any number of these claims could be undone by distracted or inattentive baker, but these claims made by the Culinary Institute of America about its baking sheets. Dubious, I tested the CIA baking sheet with a batch of turkey and squirrel-shaped butter cookies. Rolling out cookies requires diligence, and despite my best efforts, the first six cookies I cut all varied in thickness. This posed a unintentional test for my new baking sheet. When I removed the cookies from the oven, I saw that some of them browned while the others remained the perfect butter cookie color. However, much to my surprise, the other claims held true. (At least thus far, the sheet has not warped as baking sheets are prone to do.)
In the price category, this is the best baking sheet I’ve used. I own a number of cheap baking sheets and when I use those, I place a silpat on top of them to make up for their poor baking abilities. On the CIA baking sheet, no silpat was necessary. The cookies slid off the sheet immediately after leaving the oven. Nothing stuck to the sheet, no cookie-shaped oil spots were left behind. While the sheet is dishwasher safe, the manufacturer recommends hand washing, so i did. No scrubbing required. Other advantages of the baking sheet include the three flat sides and one side with a ridge. The ridge allows for easy grabbing of the pan, and the flat sides allow cookies to slide right off the pan. (The truly non-stick aspect of the sheet aids in the cookies sliding off easily, too.) The only added benefit I would wish for on this baking sheet is rubber feet, which I’ve seen on the bottom of some baking sheets so that the sheet can be placed directly on a counter or table trivet-free.
Tying on an apron, turning up my music, and spending time in the kitchen cooking and baking – that’s my idea of a relaxing evening. But after work, I’m hungry, so I like to make dishes that don’t take too long and that don’t require a lot of clean up. My ideal meal can be cooked in one dishwasher safe pot or pan. Recently I discovered a pan that I wish I had found years ago. Known for cooking curry, the All-Clad Karahi pan is versatile and small enough to fit on one burner, as opposed to other bowl-shaped pans that monopolize the stove top. The handles are well-placed, sitting higher than an average pan, and do not grow hot while the pan is on the stove, making it touchable, holdable, and movable without potholders or burning fingers. As to the cooking itself, for my first Karahi pan adventure I stir-fried chicken and broccoli (see this quick and easy recipe below). The stir-fry cooked evenly and nothing stuck to the bottom or sides of the pan. Despite its compact design, I cooked a pound-and-a-half of chicken and two large bunches of broccoli in the pan. It looks small but it cooks large. Like my other All Clad pots and pans, the Karahi is dishwasher safe, which I adore.
Update: All-Clad has discontinued this item as of 2009, but we recommend the the All-Clad Chef’s Pan as a comparable alternative.
With my mom’s recent move to the South, after retiring from her job…she requested something as a housewarming gift that I never would have guessed she wanted in a million years: cookware. The thing about my mom is that she’s never really cooked before! I shouldn’t say never cooked, but she’s no pro. Her idea of cooking is meatballs and pasta with sauce courtesy of Ragu. She makes a mean grilled cheese and wonderful french toast, but beyond that, her cooking ability is limited. Now that she is retired, I guess she has time on her hands to try new things. So I say, good for her, and I’d be more than happy to support anything she wants to do! So I looked to Emeril Cookware for my mom.
In deciding which line cookware to buy her, I remembered that she always had junk, cheap pots and pans, never matching, never well cared for. I was not about to dig deep and splurge on a copper cookware set. I wanted something for her that was practical, functional, reliable, and looked good in her brand new kitchen. The perfect answer: an Emerilware Stainless 10 piece Cookware Set. The Wall Street Journal recently named Emerilware Cookware as the best value for your money. I agree! Made by All-Clad, Emerilware stainless cookware is sturdy, yet not too heavy. My mom has found the set a delight to use. She especially likes the see-through lids. Emeril cookware sets comes with everything you need such as fry pans, sauce pan and even a stock pot. Since its arrival in my mom’s kitchen, the cookware set has been put to good use. The cookware set is not the only new kitchen accessory in my moms new kitchen. She now has displayed for all to see on her kitchen island, a Southern-Recipe cookbook, in an actual cookbook stand. Watch out Emeril!
Update: As of 2010, Marcus Cookware manufacturer Regal Ware USA, has been re-named it American Kitchen Try-ply Cookware. The new line features the same tri-ply construction and continues to be made in the USA.
Marcus Cookware has arrived and is only sold at select retailers, including MetroKitchen.com. Designed by Chef Marcus Samuelson, Marcus cookware offers all the attributes and features you would expect to find in a professional’s chef kitchen. And above all else, it is proudly made in the USA, unlike many of its celebrity chef competitors. A recent article in the Wall Street Journal (June 20th edition), declared Marcus Cookware as “the clear winner” of a recent celebrity chef cookware equipment test. In the article Samuelson states,”his stainless steel line is for the passionate cook who reads one of the great food magazines and cooks for their families…my pots and pans make it possible for home cooks to recreate restaurant flavors.” In the equipment test, the judges at the Journal “praised the classic design, constructed with aluminum sandwiched between stainless steel on the walls and the base.”
Everyone at MetroKitchen received a sample Marcus Stainless 8″ fry pan from Regalware and to try at home, and received rave reviews! One MetroKitchen employee said, “I tried it. I thought it was great. Heating was even and seemed to work as well as the other high end brands.” I was lucky enough to try the 6 quart covered stock pot, creating sauce and the performance was superior. My sauce heated evenly and quickly and never burned. I found the handles extremely comfortable and transported the pot right to my table.
This made in the USA cookware was designed to meet the needs of today’s professional chef. Marcus stainless steel cookware is safe for any cooktop surface, including induction. Additionally, it is oven and broiler safe too!
Made in the USA, Marcus Samuelsson cookware can be bought in sets or open stock.
Special Offer: MetroKitchen.com is currently selling the Marcus 8-inch fry pan at special “try me” price of $29.95!