A kitchen gadget we couldn’t live without? I thought a lot about which kitchen tool I’d pick for this prompt, but Mike had one answer and one answer only:
Our Cuisinart mini-chopper! We bought this little chopper on a whim while visiting Costco with two of our kiddults. Little did we know it would become our most-used kitchen tool! We use the hell out of it – we’ve already had to replace the canister once! We use it most every time we cook – for nuts, for chiles, for herbs, for ginger, but mostly for garlic. Lots and lots of garlic. In fact, it’s full of garlic in this photo – elephant garlic, specifically, which is what we use in lieu of onions.
Today alone I used it twice! This morning I used it to make some bacon garlic cream cheese for breakfasts this week.
I also used the chopper for dinner tonight. I chopped up a couple of cloves of elephant garlic and several cloves of regular garlic (all from the farmers market) for a gorgeous pot of chipotle broccoli cheese soup (topped with oven-roasted broccoli florets).
By the way, this week’s theme is: soup! It’s soup week!
Though they’re not gadgets, there is another tool that I use pretty much every time I cook.
I love these babies. I use them for everything. And they’re silicone, so they stand up to high heats. In fact, I used three of them today, between the cream cheese and dinner. The white one is our favorite – Williams Sonoma had celebrities design spatulas for charity, and this one was created by Jeff Bridges. It has a doodle of The Dude eating a bowl of noodles (the bowl emblazoned with “Abide”) and it says “Let’s Go Bowling”. Of course we love The Big Lebowski, plus it cracks me up, because I learned in the late ’90s that “going bowling” is slang for “smoking a bowl”. Leave it to the dude who played The Dude to sneak marijuana references onto a spatula. Sneaky Jeff Bridges!
Our adoration of the mini-chopper has one victim, though, and that’s our garlic press, aka our least-used kitchen gadget. It’s a great garlic press – I did a bunch of research and ultimately chose this one because it was Cook’s Illustrated’s top recommendation. It’s just not as quick, simple, fast, powerful, versatile, or easy to clean as the mini-chopper.
‘Til tomorrow, friends!