As promised I am sharing some of my favorite things through August to celebrate my birthday month. As a teaching chef, and food and lifestyle blogger, you can imagine that I spend a huge amount of time in the kitchen. I’m always telling guests of cooking classes about my favorite kitchen tools but If you can’t attend, you don’t get the update on all the great products out there.
Let me be clear, I have a lot of kitchen equipment, and I hate having things that I don’t use. I’m not the person that runs out to buy every new gadget, I have to be practical because there is only so much space to house kitchen utensils no matter how much cabinet and drawer space you have.
Today I am going to share the first 5 of 10 kitchen favorites that I know you will love too! These are the real workhorses of my kitchen,. Next week, I’ll share another 5.
I’ll tell you why the product is awesome and I’ll even link some of my favorite recipes to the products, so you’ll get plenty of fresh inspiration.
These all ALL favorites, so they are in no particular order. Let’s get started!
Fleur de sel is a finishing salt from the Camargue region of France. The tide comes in and then recedes and when it does, a thin layer of salt crystals or crust is formed like snowflakes. This precious layer of salt is collected and known as the flower of salt. What makes it unique, is that it doesn’t dissolve easily. It sits on top of food giving a crunchy briny finish to foods. Fluer de sel is expensive so you dont want to reach for it in regular baking or cooking. Sometimes dishes just need a tad bit more salt like my Salted Caramel Brownie Petit Fours. they are sweet and tasty. Next time a dish needs a touch more salt reach for Fleur de sel!
I can’t imagine making anything citrusy in my kitchen without a Microplane. Most of the flavor in citrus fruit lies in the oily rind but its hard to get the zest without the white, bitter pith, that’s where the Microplane come in.
Shun knives have changed my life. That is a tall claim, I know, but having a quality piece of equipment makes all the difference in speed and accuracy when you are working in the kitchen. If you can only buy one knife, I recommend this Shun, 8-inch chef’s knife. And if you can add a pairing knife, and a 6-inch chef’s you’ll have an entire set. These knives work hard for me and they are the best I’ve ever used.
This delicious spice has become a staple in my home. You can substitute Piment d’Espelette for paprika in any recipe. This pepper is grown in the Basque region of France, it’s dried and ground and it offers up a smoky, slightly spicey flavor to recipes. I like to add it to soufflés, and soups, but one of my favorites is Provençal Salmon, see the recipe below, you will love it!
I rely on my small food processor so much. I use it to make dips and spreads, to chop nuts, make butter compounds but my favorite use this time of year, is for making pesto. I love the fresh flavor of pesto, made with basil right out of the garden, it adds so much flavor to foods like my Caprese Panini.
I hope you enjoyed this list of kitchen favorites, stay tuned for the remaining items coming next week and scroll on to see my mouthwatering Provençal Salmon recipe, just in time for salmon season! Enjoy!
4 5-ounce salmon fillets, skin removed and deboned
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small shallot finely minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 24-ounce jar passata
1 cup tart kalamata olives sliced in half
¼ cup capers
½ cup cherry tomatoes cut in half
Pinch piment d’espelette
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
¼ cup fresh basil cut in chiffonade
Pinch herbs de Provence
Salt and pepper to taste
Add olive oil to a chef’s pan set over medium heat. Pat salmon dry with paper towels and salt and pepper liberally. Place the salmon in the pan, top side down, and cook for 3-5 minutes until it is browning. Flip the salmon and cook for 2 minutes more. Remove salmon and set aside. Add shallots to the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes until they are clear. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add passata and sugar and deglaze the pan. Cook until the sauce thickens, about 7-10 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 4-6 more minutes. Add salmon back to the pan and continue cooking until salmon is the desired doneness. Serve at once over pasta, potatoes, or grits.
See you soon!