When it’s time to make a meal, my first inspiration is often not the foodstuffs I have hanging around in fridge and cupboards, but rather the sort of cooking technology I really want to use.
“Time to take my cast iron skillet for a run,” I tell myself. “It’s been awhile since this baby has laid some rubber on my kitchen stove.” What I end up cooking is determined by what this skillet has always delivered up well. It cooks a fluffy frittata, a glistening braised pork chop and caramelized apple dish, and a no-fail lemony chicken piccata. And I’m off to the races, or the grocery store if necessary.
Another case of how technology shapes what I cook comes when looking in the gadget drawers. I’m thinking that funky potato peeler with the blade that creates julienne strips has yet to be mastered, though I had some success with it before. I’ll take on the challenge of the tool with the goal of making a pasta-less dish of strips of zucchini, carrot, summer squash, and sweet potato topped with the pesto I made last summer. Can’t wait. (PASTA JULIENNE from RECIPES, an OTK Featured Column)
Sure, I’ve fallen victim to some new-fangled contraptions– like most cooks. But these fancy and specialized devices end up as rejected clunkers because I can’t master the mechanics, or I struggle assembling or cleaning all the pieces. In reality, I lose interest because they simply fail to inspire good dishes.
Cooks look for cutting edge tools, but not necessarily because they are uber-efficient or impressive gizmos. A truly great piece of kitchen technology invigorates the cook and gets the creative juices flowing. One look at that gorgeous pot or paring knife can coax any cook to turn on the burner and rattle those pots and pans.
What tools in your kitchen inspire your cooking?
Tell OTK about your go-to kitchen technology and the memorable dishes you have created with it.