Es­sen­tial for ev­ery kitchen

Among the many gad­gets avail­able, there are seven key com­po­nents that en­sure cook­ing re­mains a fun ac­tiv­ity

The Witness - - FEATURES - EL­IZ­A­BETH MAMACOS

COOK­ING is fun, and even more so when you have ex­cit­ing in­gre­di­ents and all the right kitchen tools to pre­pare a per­fect meal. But there are so many handy gad­gets avail­able, and if you buy them all, soon you’ll have no space for any­thing else in your kitchen. So, which are the most im­por­tant, the must-have, tools that ev­ery kitchen should have?

We rounded up seven of the key com­po­nents to en­sure you have ex­actly what you need and re­duce the over­priced and overly quirky uten­sils fill­ing your draw­ers and counter tops.

• Pres­sure cook­ers are mak­ing a come­back and for good rea­son. These pres­surised pots can create slow-cooked dishes such as stews and soups that takes sev­eral hours, in less than an hour. Pres­sure cook­ers create a high-pres­sure en­vi­ron­ment, thanks to su­per-heated steam, to cook food faster. They come in stove-top pots with a man­u­ally sealed lid, and in au­to­matic pots that stand alone and can be pro­grammed. Which­ever type you pre­fer, just imag­ine slow-cooked lamb shank or a warm­ing ox­tail stew cooked in just one hour.

• A slow cooker is the op­po­site of a pres­sure cooker, in that the food is cooked for many hours, with min­i­mum in­ter­ven­tion. This has its perks and is use­ful in many scenarios. For ex­am­ple, you can place a leg of pork in the slow cooker, along with some ap­ple cider and spices, and head off to work at 7 am. Then ar­rive home af­ter a busy day to the won­der­ful aro­mas of pulled pork ready to be served on soft buns. Slow cook­ers are great for cook­ing legumes, large cuts of meat and can even be used to cook break­fast dishes overnight.

• A scale is in­valu­able for any cook but es­pe­cially for bak­ers where pre­ci­sion is ev­ery­thing! If you want to be ac­cu­rate, weigh­ing your in­gre­di­ents is the only way to go. A gram will al­ways be a gram.

• A stick blen­der is a God­send. You can whip up your own pesto, dress­ings and mayo, and it works won­ders as a way of beat­ing, emul­si­fy­ing, purée­ing or whip­ping in­gre­di­ents to­gether. The best part? It’s su­per small and por­ta­ble.

• Ev­ery kitchen needs a good cof­fee maker. We’re not sug­gest­ing you cook in your cof­fee ma­chine (al­though it can be done)

but even if you aren’t a cof­fee drinker, chances are that when you’re en­ter­tain­ing one of your guests might be. Whether it’s an Amer­i­can diner-style drip fil­ter cof­fee maker, a stove top moer-koffie pot

or a high-end Ital­ian espresso ma­chine, ev­ery home needs a way to make fresh, hot cof­fee from good beans. There are many lo­cal cof­fee bean sup­pli­ers who roast the beans right here in SA, which

means we have ac­cess to some of the best cof­fee go­ing. Take ad­van­tage and en­joy your favourite beans at home too. • Ev­ery home kitchen needs a food pro­ces­sor, even if it’s a sim­ple one, es­pe­cially

if you cook a lot of veg­eta­bles. A food pro­ces­sor can chop onions, dice toma­toes, mince herbs, grate car­rots and slice cel­ery faster than you can say spaghetti bolog­naise. Use the right blade at­tach­ments and you can make bread dough, whip cream or blend a creamy soup, among other uses. A food pro­ces­sor def­i­nitely takes the grunt work out of food prepa­ra­tion and it is su­per quick to clean when all is done.

• Can opener — need we say more? It’s pretty cru­cial to have one handy for when your cans don’t have a self-opener de­vice. — Food24.

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