Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - HOME - Erina Starkey “Fast Ed” is at Bet­ter Homes and Gar­dens Live from Novem­ber 13-15 at Syd­ney Show­ground, Syd­ney Olympic Park,

COOK­ING be­comes much eas­ier and en­joy­able when you have the right equip­ment. Chef “Fast Ed” Halmagyi rec­om­mends kitchen uten­sils worth fork­ing out for. A cut above A chef’s knife is the most im­por­tant tool in the kitchen, Fast Ed says. “Choose a blade made from Ger­man or French steel, they are the hardi­est and will stay sharp for longer.” A dull knife is dan­ger­ous, so hone the blade reg­u­larly and have it pro­fes­sion­ally sharp­ened once a year. Get on board Ev­ery kitchen needs a qual­ity chop­ping board. “An en­try level cut­ting board should be at least 50cm x 30cm to give you enough room for your food prepa­ra­tion. I pre­fer wooden boards, ny­lon is OK, but avoid glass or mar­ble as they will ruin your knives.” Rub your wooden chop­ping board down with beeswax once a year to pro­tect the wood and en­hance its wa­ter-re­sis­tance. Hot stuff “Many homes have old, in­con­sis­tent or un­even ovens, and this can turn peo­ple off al­to­gether. A re­ally good oven will rekin­dle your pas­sion for cook­ing,” Fast Ed says. A gas oven helps keep roasts and casseroles moist. Bak­ers gen­er­ally pre­fer an elec­tric oven as they dis­trib­ute heat more evenly. In the mix Stand mix­ers take the ef­fort and en­durance out of labour-in­ten­sive kitchen tasks. “There’s sim­ply no way to cre­ate the cakes, bis­cuits, breads, meringues and desserts you love with­out the right power tool. My model gets flogged ev­ery week, but just keeps per­form­ing and per­form­ing.”

“You can also buy a range of at­tach­ments that will trans­form your stand mixer into a juicer, ice-cream ma­chine or pasta maker.” Rock solid Enamel cast-iron cook­ware dis­perses heat evenly and will last a gen­er­a­tion. “French brands like Le Creuset and Le Chas­seur have dom­i­nated the mar­ket for years, but new­com­ers like KitchenAid have changed the game. They re­ally make your stews, soups and roasts taste ex­tra de­li­cious.”

Never use steel pads or abra­sive scrub­bers – soak in warm soapy wa­ter and clean with a sponge.

If all else fails, there’s al­ways the sixth most im­por­tant kitchen tool, a tele­phone, which is great for or­der­ing take­away or mak­ing din­ner reser­va­tions.

Tools of the trade ... enamel cast-iron cook­ware such as Le Creuset will last a gen­er­a­tion, Fast Ed says. Stand mix­ers are es­sen­tial to tackle labour-in­ten­sive tasks.

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