Do you enjoy cooking? Some people find cooking exciting, and they like everything from choosing what to cook, to slicing produce, to cleaning up after the food is all done. Don't you think it is quite possible for cooking and fun to go in chorus?
One of the things that can make life in the kitchen easier is having the right cooking tools. A simple knowledge on cooking methods coupled with practice using the right equipments often leads to success. I have already discussed the materials of different pots and pans. Now let me suggest on what I think are the must-have equipments in the kitchen. Perhaps you think of high-end kitchen equipments, but to be honest, it doesn't really call for all expensive cookware to make cooking easier and fun. What you need are pots and pans that are entirely functional for daily cooking.
- Experts suggest the importance of having two sizes of non-stick pans. Busy people find frying, sauteing, and reheating food as the quickest way to fix meals. I myself prefer fried eggs for breakfast, which my 5-inch non-stick pan is ideal to use. A 9-inch cast iron skillet is very sensible for those who like Spanish omelets, or easy to bake foods.
- You must have two sizes of saucepans. Pans are the workhorse in the kitchen for the many dishes we often prepare. I always pull them out to cook hard-boiled eggs, making rice or polenta, instant soups, pasta sauces, reheating foods, and even boiling water. Efficient saucepans have tall wide base with straight sides, and a good-fitting lid. My 1-quart and 4-quart saucepans are all-around. They make roasting of small dishes like a pound of tenderloin steak possible.
- If woks are useful in China, having one in your kitchen can be helpful. A wok is a versatile equipment that cooks food quickly over very high heat. Great for sauteing, stir frying, deep frying, stewing, making soups, and smoking. So, enough of the take-out menus, make your own fried rice from leftover rice.
- An absolute must-have in the kitchen is a Dutch oven. My 9.5-quart dutch oven is very functional for slow cooking. I can roast, fry, boil, simmer and stew foods anytime and anywhere. Since I have been using my dutch oven, there were no more shoddy roasts for dinner.
- Likewise, a caldero, or "cauldron", is similar to a dutch oven that is used to cook rice, beans, braise meat, and simmer stews. A bigger one can cook large amount of soups and stews. Latin cooks use their caldero daily, and since this pot is made of cast aluminum, burning food from time to time is common. Latinos call this "cocon", or rice burnt at the bottom of the pot. It is fun for some families who fight for the cocon for a delectable dinner. You don't have to be Latin to enjoy this goodness.
If you are newly-wed, or a novice cook who is just getting started in your kitchen, a good set of pots and pans is a worthwhile investment. A well-organized home depends on several things including your cooking needs. Remember that having the right equipments in the kitchen means hassle-free cooking that brings wonderful meals today and everyday.