Tag Archives: kitchen tools az

The Ringer Cast Iron Scrubber – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is The Ringer Cast Iron Scrubber.  As a long time user of cast iron I was pretty interested when I first heard about this little gadget.  I picked one up figuring I would try it out and likely it would be like many gadgets, sure it sort of works but big honking deal and it would end up in the junk drawer.

Um, WRONG!  This thing is awesome, and it is one I am frankly late to the party on.  I have had a lot of folks over the house and if I used cast iron to cook for them, I always show them the ringer, most are like, yep got one of those.  Why?  Because it fricken works and it makes your cast iron better over time.

Here is what I do, I generally heat up my pan with what ever crud is in it to medium hot, I then dump in a cup of water or two, it deglazes the crud.  I take the hot pan over to the sink and dump out the water, add a bit more and give it a scrubbing with the ringer.  This with a well seasoned pan is all you really need, just heat dry and oil and you are good.

What I do a lot of times though, especially if there is a small amount of crud left is put in a big pinch of kosher salt, it acts like scouring powder and give it a bit more scrubbing with the ringer.  This not only cleans it perfectly but it is doing micro sanding of the iron and patina at the same time.

I have a lot of old school milled cast iron, but one thing I have never found is a dutch over like that, well one I didn’t need to sell a kidney to buy anyway.  So I have a modern Lodge Dutch Oven, and with this technique even it is almost as good as old school cast iron.

So if you cook with cast, either old or new, consider getting The Ringer Cast Iron Scrubber into your kitchen today.  At only 15 bucks it is a great deal, I have had mine about 2 years now and it is still as good as new.

Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com

Hamilton Beach Electric Kettle – Item of the Day

kettleEvery day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day the Hamilton Beach Electric Kettle.  This item gets used daily.  Now I paid a bit more for mine to get a red one.  Why?  Dorothy likes and wanted a red one.  Well, when a woman puts up with all the crap that a full time podcaster and part time farmers wife puts up with and asks for red, by God she is gonna get it from me anyway.  By the way since the first time I posted this item, the cost of the red one has dropped to only about 10 bucks difference in price.  And I got to admit while red is not really my color it does look good.

In the end though red or silver they function identically and the silver one is only $24.57 with free shipping on prime.  What do you do with it?  Well clearly you boil water with it but here are my big uses for mine…

  1.  Making mead as seen in this video
  2. I make 4 boiled eggs with no effort in it at a time (more on that below)
  3. I make my tea or coffee with my French Press with it every day
  4. I pre heat water with it for boiling when I am doing a lot of cooking

Okay about those eggs, want perfect eggs hard boiled to this, with any electric kettle by the way.  Put 1-4 eggs in the kettle, fill about half way with water, turn the kettle on, most will automatically stop when they boil, this one does.  When it shuts off, set a timer for 12 minutes, let it just sit for that long.  Pour off the water, rinse with cold water to cool things off and remove your eggs.

Why does this work so well.  Okay when you do the same thing with a pot the eggs sit on the bottom and get hotter on the bottom and get hotter than the 212 it takes to boil the water.  And electric kettle is efficient, heat comes from all sides evenly heating the water, which is why it boils faster.

Due to this your eggs are heated to the exact 212 range of the water and boil to hard perfectly.  Add a tsp of vinegar and they will even peal more easily.  Oh, also use eggs about 2 weeks old for boiling if you have fresh from your own yard eggs, they will peal easily compared to super fresh ones as well.

In any event a good Electric Kettle is something I just could not live without in my kitchen, and the Hamilton Beach Electric Kettle is the best value to price one I have yet found.  Consider that it has 4.5 stars over all with over 1200 reviews and it makes a lot of sense that it is a quality product.  In fact over two years I have sold several hundred of these and have never heard a word of complaint from the audience.  That says a lot.

My personal kettle is over 3 years old now.  I run an average of 3 batches of something a day in it.  3 x 365 x 3 = 3,285 mission this thing has run with my crappy hard water and it is still going strong.

Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com.

P.S. – While I have not yet reviewed it, I will soon review this awesome coffee carafe.  Teamed with this and the French Press I recommend this kettle makes the best coffee I have ever had.  I make up about three batches in the morning and with an initial pour of two cups it all fits in the carafe.

I do this with tea as well.  They are still piping hot hours later with no degrading of quality.  It has saved a lot of waste because one press makes about 3 big mugs of coffee or tea.  That third one was mostly being tossed out because it became tannic and nasty by the time we got to it.  So the way I look at it, the carafe pays for itself pretty quickly.

 

 

 

Lodge Carbon Steel Seasoned Skillet – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the Lodge Carbon Steel Seasoned Skillet.  These are my go to for searing and if you ever go to a professional restaurant where a lot of searing happens you will likely see dozens of these in use, and there is a reason, they work really damn good.

There are quite a few options from 8 inches up to a huge 15 inch one with double handles.  I currently own an 8 and 12 inch and they serve my needs very well.

I am a huge fan of old cast iron but it is heavy and it is not efficient when it comes to getting it hot, what it is good at is staying hot once you get it there.   Thinner carbon steel is efficient at getting hot quickly.  These come pre seasoned and if you use proper care they will stay stick free and last forever.

When I first got these pans I really used them the most for searing off meat in two ways.

One –  I will sear steaks and such BEFORE finishing on the grill or in the oven.  They provide the best sear I have ever gotten and if you are finishing in the oven they can go strait in.

Two – For searing after a sous vide cook.  Again they are just the best thing I have found.

But over this year that has changed.  First I found the factory seasoning on them to be very good, way better than I expected.  They are very low stick, note I didn’t say non stick.  I have pretty much given up on other cookware at this point and use Lodge along with old vintage Griswold Cast Iron (scavenged from antique malls) exclusively.

The primary advantage of the carbon skillets over the cast iron is they heat up a lot faster and are easier to get searing hot.  They also weigh less so they are easier to toss food around with when you don’t want to use a spatula and damage food by doing so.

After trying both expensive and low cost cookware over the years today I do almost 90% of my cooking with the following

My current plans are over time to add a Lodge Mini Cast Iron Wok, a Lodge 10 inch skillet and perhaps a second 8 inch skillet as they offer so much utility.  The mini wok seems like a great idea for stir frying sides of veggies for Dorothy and I when the big wok is a bit of over kill.  About the only other thing I am still in the market for is a great paella pan.  What is paella you say?  That will have to wait for another day.

Lastly as a prepper, when it comes to carbon steel pans, I love the efficiency here. If you are ever in a situation where fuel needs to be rationed you want a pan that heats up fast, cooks fast and finishes fast.  So check out Lodge’s Carbon Steel Skillets today.

Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com

Perfect Cook – Digital Instant Read Thermometer – Item of the Day

Special Notice – These have always cost 22 dollars, and I found them a great deal at that price.  They have been dropped down for now anyway, to 12.99, they are a steal at that price.  I also don’t know how long they will stay at this price.

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day the Perfect Cook – Digital Instant Read Thermometer.  This isn’t a hard item to figure out but there is a big misconception about the most valuable thing it does for you.

Many people feel that a meat thermometer is so you don’t under cook meat.  I refer to these people as “the people who ruin meat and are not worthy of a cows sacrifice to create a steak”.

Now don’t get me wrong there are minimum temps different meats should be cooked to, but very few people would actually eat and under cooked piece of chicken.  The problem tehre is you take the poor bird out before it is done, cut into it and ruin that wonderful roasting you had going as now it must go back in cut open.

So yes, a meat thermometer can help you make sure meat is done, but that is its second greatest use.  Its higher use is to ensure meat is not over cooked.  And that is why you need one of these.  I have gotten pretty good at doing steaks by eye, no matter how, frying pan, broiler, gas grill, charcoal, you name it I can nail it by eye and touch.

Well that is until I am trying to make 4 steaks and they have been requested to be 1 rare, 2 medium rare and 1 medium well (which I call almost ruined).  With a thermometer you remove each steak at just the right time, every time.   What you want your steak “well done”, okay you will have to do it yourself, I don’t ruin meat.  Perhaps I can interest you in say a pot roast

Seriously though, every good cook should have a good instant read meat thermometer.   And the Perfect Cook – Digital Instant Read Thermometer is the best one I have found under 25 bucks, hell it is the best one I have found under 50 bucks but it is only 22 dollars.  There are two things you need in a tool like this, first speed and the second is accuracy.

This one gives you a reading within one degree of accuracy in about 5 seconds or less.  It will change the way you look at your grill because now you will know you can nail the internal temp you are looking for every time.  It will also please your guest and in spite of my humor above, even the ones that insist on a “well done steak” even if you and I never understand their thinking.

Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com

P.S. – This item ships free on any order over 25 bucks, they likely did that since they knocked it down in price by 50%.  So if you don’t have a set of the Zicome Set of 4 Basting Brushes I recommend for 8.99, you may as well add them to your order.  They are simply the best BBQ brushes I have found, they can’t fail since they are molded from a single piece of Zicome.

At about 2.24 a piece they are cheap for something you will use often and that will last for years.  I have yet to wear one out.  But you know what, even with that you are still under 25 bucks, so add in a couple packs of my favorite Thai Dried Chilies which are stupid cheap considering they come strait from Thailand.

With that for under 28 bucks, you get the thermometer, the chilies, the basting brushes, all for not much more than the thermometer used to sell for alone.

Utopia Kitchen Flour Sack Towels – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is Utopia Kitchen Flour Sack Towels.  I am going to tell you that really any quality flour sack towel I have used has been fine, these are just the best price per towel I can find and they are on prime.  The key word there though is quality.  Can you find them for less than about $2.20 a towel?  Yes, but when you do read the reviews.  The common theme will be “very thin” and “gets holes after a few uses”.  These don’t do that, they last a very long time and due to that, they pay for themselves.

Conversely Utopia Kitchen Flour Sack Towels have over 2900 reviews with a perfect A grade on Fakespot.com.  In other words they are top quality.  Remember a key tenet of my philosophy is “always be frugal, never be cheap”.  To be blunt, something is only a “good deal” if it both works and lasts.

Lot’s of people like these because they are lint free and dry dishes nicely, etc.  Some people use them for embroidery.   Also some see them as the perfect cloth diaper.   That is all great but what I use them for is as an alternative to cheesecloth.  In that use they make a much better alternative when making yogurt cheese or separating say buttermilk from fresh made butter.

Cheese cloth wears out fast and doesn’t really offer any advantages for this use, where as flour sack towels last a very long time, you just wash and dry them and use them over and over again.  I am a huge fan of getting good bacteria like lactobacillus into your diet in many different ways and none are more awesome than yogurt cheese.  In fact it may be the easiest and most delicious way to up  your probiotic game.

All you need to do to make basic yogurt cheese is take one of these towels and dump plain yogurt with “live and active cultures” into it, stir in a bit of salt, put it in a metal strainer over a bowl and wait 12 to 24 hours.  You will than have something akin to tangy cream cheese.  But I have never made it so bland.

While your yogurt is still very soft is the time to stir in herbs and seasonings.  Here are a few of my favorite things to add to it.

  • Fresh Basil and Fresh Garlic – this is the universal one everyone likes
  • Chopped Jalapenos and Garlic
  • Cracked Black Pepper, Rosemary and Thyme
  • Cracked Black Pepper and Almond Slivers
  • Lemon Zest and Chopped Walnuts

Honestly if you think it might taste good with cheese it will likely work.  How much, well as in most things I do it by eye, just remember you can always add more but can never take it out.  Here is a save if you ever over do anything, make a plane batch and blend it.

Also if you want your yogurt cheese a bit firmer, try this, take a large heavy can of something, put it on top of the towel and it will help expel a bit more of the whey.  Oh the whey that stuff is probiotic gold.  You can drink it and you will also find that your animals will like it too.

So if getting more probiotics into your diet is in your plans, and it should be, give Utopia Kitchen Flour Sack Towels a shot.

Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com

Anova Sous Vide Precision Cooker – Item of the Day

Special Notice – I am bringing this one around today because due to Prime Day it is on sale STUPID CHEAP.  How stupid cheap you ask?  The WiFi and BlueTooth Version is only $108 and the BlueTooth Only Version is insanely cheap at only 79.99.   This is a Prime Day only sale, so get it today if it has been on your wish list.  In other words this top of the line cooker is selling today for less than many low end cheap ones.

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the Anova Sous Vide Precision Cooker.  I have talked about Sous Vide Cooking a lot on the show and this is my third cooker to purchase before settling on which to recommend.  One worked great until it crapped out in six months and a value model proved to be of little value for consistency.

There are two versions of the Anova to consider, they are,

The difference is you can control the Bluetooth only version with your smart phone when in bluetooth range.  But the WiFi becomes a device on your network attached to an account (that is free) with Anova.  This means you can control your cooker from anywhere you have signal to your phone.  Like the parking lot at your office when you leave work.  More on why you may want this in the PS below.

Here is my thoughts on this though, when I buy anything I think about its disposal value.  If I need to sell or barter it, will the cost of the additional option make it more valuable at hat point, in this case for 10 extra bucks, I say yes it will.  So with no further thought I got the WiFi model.

The Anova on the other hand is what I always look for, it JUST WORKS, always works and also always works.  Sous Vide is a method of cooking that I describe as a dry poaching.  Poaching of course is holding a food item in a liquid until it is cooked to your liking.  This keeps foods moist and prevents over cooking.  It is also simmering in water when you get right to it, for some stuff that is fine.

There are a few primary differences with Sous Vide.  First it uses a precision cooker, meaning if you want 137 degrees you get exactly that, if you want 165, and you might, say for chicken, you get EXACTLY THAT.  Not 162, not 166, not 163, you get precisely the temperature you want.  Most poaching is a best effort process.  It also in general uses higher temps say 180 for instance for eggs.

Next Sous Vide is dry, well not exactly dry but the food doesn’t contact the heated liquid, it is instead held inside a food safe bag.  This can be done with a quality zip top bag but I prefer to use a vacuum sealed bag.  The meat or other item is seasoned as you choose, then cooked to the exact temp you want.  After that it is finished with a quick sear, about one minute per side or less.

For steak the results are a perfect cook to your preferred temp, we are talking end to end pink or red or what ever you want.  Not perfect in the center and darkening to the outside. We just did up some steaks with this tool in Episode 5 of Biltong For Breakfast.

There are other uses too though.  Like today I am thinking a new riff on jerk chicken.  Part out chicken and marinate in Walkerswood  Jerk Seasoning.  Vac seal and sous vide to 165.  At this point the chicken is perfectly cooked, no cool spots, not over cooked spots.  Now just crisp the skin on the grill and done, perfect.  How about fried chicken, imagine just being able to fry to a perfect golden brown and never worry about the chicken being “done”.

There are tons of things you can do with Sous Vide cooking, tune in today to learn some more and check out Episode Five – Dead Cow Flesh of Biltong for Breakfast to see this cooker in action.   Above all if you have been considering a Sous Vide cooker, I truly recommend the Anova for consistency, value and longevity.

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop on Amazon you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

P.S. – So why would you want to be able to control your cooker from miles away.  Imagine you want to come home and have steak for dinner.  Well in the morning you take your vac sealed steak and put it in a pot of cold water and fill it with ice. Your trusty Anova goes in to the pot too.

A one inch steak takes about an hour to cook but still mostly frozen it will take 90-120 minutes.  So as you get in your car, you push start.  When you get home say 45 minutes later, the steak has about 45 minutes to go.  You start your side dish and salad, open the bag when ready, sear and eat.  Oh and while you can run Sous Vide too long for a cut of meat, it will NEVER over cook because it can’t, 135 is 135 period.  More on this in today’s show.

 

Fiskars 7in Take-Apart Shears – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is one of my favorite kitchen tools, kitchen shears.  Here is the issue, my past recommendation was RedYetiWare Shears but they were discontinued, so I now have gone back to my old favorite, Fiskars 7in Take-Apart Shears.  These are great quality shears, excellent steel, very sharp and they hold and edge well.

Once you have a good quality pair of shears the next thing you want to look for is can you take them apart and do they stay together during regular use.  These do that and I am not sure why but so many others that come apart by design also come apart during use.  I mean it really isn’t that hard to make a pair that stays together during use but I guess Chinese chop shops can’t figure it out.

Fiskars makes great quality stuff and always has, while they manufacture some things in China, as many do, they maintain stiff quality controls and offer a lifetime guarantee on these shears.  And at under 10 bucks a pair a set belongs in your kitchen if you don’t already have great shears.

Let’t talk about the take apart feature though and why it is a must have for me.  I use my shears to do things like cut up veggies but I also use them to break down a chicken, these things will take a back bone out of a chicken as though it had a zipper.  So do you want chicken skank on your veggies?  I sure as heck don’t!  And to me the only way to be sure they are fully clean is to be able to take them apart.

These thing have a great grade on Fakespot so you know the reviews are real and they get 4.5 starts with well over 200 reviews.  The only complaints that are somewhat legitimate is that the hinge can develop rust.  This is because the screw that holds the hinge is made with carbon steel to reduce ware, so when you wash them put a drop or two of oil on the hinge screw and they will last damn near forever.

So if you don’t have a set of quality shears in your kitchen pick up a set of Fiskars 7in Take-Apart Shears at 10 bucks with free shipping they are a hell of a deal.  They are also second only to my RedYetiWare Shears that are no longer made.  I have both in my kitchen, why, 2 is 1 and 1 is none, that’s why.  Well that and at least one pair is always available while the other is in the dishwasher, yea they are dishwasher safe too.

Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com

 

 

Chard/Cary 9.5 quart Smart Pressure Canner and Cooker – Item of the Day

canner

Special Notice – I am bringing this product around today for two reasons.  First it has gone out of stock many times and has currently come back into stock at good levels, where me running it won’t sell out all inventory in an hour, annoying people who can’t order one. 

Another reason is we are starting to hit the time of the year where garden surplus becomes over whelming and it is time to break out the canner.

Every day I will bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the Chard/Cary 9.5 quart Smart Pressure Canner and Cooker

In the past I have recommended the PowerPressure Cooker XL, as it was the only electric canner guaranteed to be safe for pressure canning by the manufacture.

The Chard is better in so many ways, while also being guaranteed safe by the manufacturer for pressure canning, it has several additional features that make me want to exchange my PowerPressure Cooker, they are…

  1. The Chard allows you to can quart vs. pint jars.  In fact with it you have the ability to can, four quart jars, six pint jars, eight jelly jars or ten half-pint jars in one batch
  2. It also does a separate water bath or steam function for water bath canning
  3. It uses true petcocks and hence can be used at higher altitudes then the PowerPressure Cooker
  4. It has twenty built in safety features to ensure your safety.

Additionally while I brought this product to you first almost two years ago it was constantly sold out and would go up in price as quantity dropped.  Cary now seems to have supply side worked out and they are readily available for under 120 dollars with free shipping.

Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com

P.S. – The PowerPressure Cooker XL is available in sizes like 6 and 10 quart but that is all about capacity, none of them are tall enough for the lid to go on with quart sized jars inside of them.  I really don’t recommend it.

P.P.S. – I  have changed the item name here to the “Chard/Cary 9.5 quart Smart Pressure Canner and Cooker – Item of the Day” because the same product has been marketed under both names.  This is because Chard was founded Richard Carey, or as the brand came from riCHARD Carey, you can read about that here on the chard website.  Just know if the product says Carey or Chard it is the exact same product, I have verified this with the manufacturer.

King Kooker 12-Slot Leg and Wing Grill Rack – Item of the Day

wingrackEvery day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the King Kooker 12-Slot Leg and Wing Grill Rack.  Oh you out door cooking types are going to love this, though it works quite well in the oven too!  Since I first reviewed this item the price has gone up to 16 bucks but the good news is it is no longer an “add on item” so you can buy one alone if you want to.

There is so much I love about these things, first they hold either 12 wings or 12 legs and they do it in about 1/4th of the space that you’d normally need.  Next is that they end up with perfectly crisped and seasoned skin.  Since they never touch the grill rack and you never have to turn them.

I generally cook my chicken on a low temperature on indirect or very low direct heat until almost done.  Then bring up the temp at the end to crisp up the skin.  It also makes sense to set these in a small pan or toss away aluminum pan to minimize flare ups when cooking over direct coals or flame.

Again they work great in the oven as well, cook until almost done at say 350 then pop up to 425 for a bit to crisp up the skin, want a recipe, tune into today’s show for one!  You cans see in the above photo how the wings are hung from the rack by the tips and in the photo below how the legs hang and are held by the knuckle.

Let me tell you try the King Kooker 12-Slot Leg and Wing Grill Rack and you will never loose that crispy skin off a drum stick ever again.

legrack

Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com

P.S. – Here is a cook I did with these was indoors and let me give you the skinny.  I coated the wings in my famous “chili garlic pepper oil” and then dusted them with a mix of chili powder, smoked salt, garlic, cumin, paprika, onion and black pepper, all about equal amounts ground in a Mr. Coffee Grinder. (FYI this is my everything seasoning mix)

I used the “convection roast” setting in my oven, ran them at 425 for 45 minutes, they were beyond fantastic.

To do this without creating a grease fire or lots of smoke take a large aluminum foil ban like for baking a turkey, put this rack inside it and put about 3 inches of water in it.  This will catch dripping fat and the water won’t let it scorch on the pan when it gets caught.  The extra humidity will be good for keeping them juicy.

On this latest run I got 15 wings on the rack with a bit of fiddling, which is 30 pieces.  The only down side is you can only fit one of these in a standard oven.

P.S.S. – We also featured this item on Episode Three of Biltong For Breakfast – Jerk Bird Salad.  I did some wings on the grill using it that were rubbed with Walkerswood Jerk Seasoning.   These are my new favorite wings though I recommend the mild version of Walkerswood for them.

Microplane Classic Zester/Grater – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the Microplane Classic Zester/Grater.  I love this tool and use it often in my cooking.  The way I ended up with this is a friend who has helped with some of our workshops brought one to us as a gift.

My response was, I have always just used a small grater for zesting, her response was simply try this and you won’t use anything else.

Well she was dead on!  The three primary things I use this for are grating hard cheeses like Parmigiano-Reggiano, zesting rinds of citrus like limes, lemons and oranges and finely grating large spices like nutmeg.

These are all almost like cheat codes in the kitchen.  Here are two examples…

  • Slice up some peppers, zucchini, mushrooms and carrots and slice a big handful of green onion on the bias (that just means slanted) now add olive oil to a pan, season your veg with salt and pepper.  Saute the carrots for a minute or two, then add peppers and mushrooms and saute for about 3 more minutes, then toss in zucchini for about one minute.  Then shut off heat and add most of the green onions and stir in and serve.  Most would be happy, here comes the cheat codes!
    `
    When you start out also grate up finely some ginger and garlic and lime zest.  Add these when you add the peppers and mush rooms.  Then when you serve the dish, top with the reserved green onion and grate a small amount of Parmigiano-Reggiano on top.  The first dish is good, the second is great and it only takes about 2 minutes of extra time to make it happen.
    `
  • Next one, take a whole chicken and cut the back bone out of it with something like these shears.  While you are at it cut the wing tips off and reserve those.  Flatten the chicken out and rub with oil, then season both sides with salt, pepper, thyme and rosemary.  Par boil some potatoes, build a bed in a roasting pan with the potatoes, an onion chopped coarse, some carrots and celery.  Place bird on veggies and roast in oven at 425 till chicken is done.
    `
    While roasting boil chicken back, wing tips, neck, heart and liver with salt, pepper, celery and carrots to make a stock.  Do this in about 4 cups of water and add about 1-2 tsp of Better than Bullion Chicken base to it.  Strain stock and make it into a gravy with a flour and butter roux.  Serve chicken and veggies with gravy and enjoy a great meal!
    `
    Cheat codes, use zester when you are getting the chicken ready, and zest 2 lemons and 4 cloves of garlic, rough chop some fresh basil and parsley, mix thyme and rosemary with basil, parsley garlic and lemon to make a paste.  Gently separate the skin and stuff this paste in between the skin and meat under the breast and thy skin use about 75% of the paste this way.  Oil and season chicken as before, but rub remaining past on it along with the oil.  Place on veggie bed and squeeze lemons on top of chicken and veg.  With a little fresh herbs, garlic, lemon and proper use of this tool, you have gone from good meal to gourmet dinner.

There are so many ways to use this tool, just adding lime zest to your stir fry in addition to the customary ginger, garlic and chili is big boost in flavor for instance.  Zest a bunch of lemons, put in jar with vodka and allow to soak for bout a week, then strain out the zest and mix with 50% of the volume of simple syrup (equal amounts of sugar and water), you have high proof Limoncello at a fraction of the cost at a store.

Heck take some dark chocolate and zest it over that desert you are so proud of and take it to another level in appearance alone, not to mention taste.

One big thing is how well this tool shines at zesting citrus.  The key with citrus zest is you want all color and no white pith.  The colored part is teaming with flavor and amazing oils, the white pith is bitter.  This tool does an amazing job of taking off the part you want and leaving the rest behind.  So check out the the Microplane Classic Zester/Grater and for under 9 bucks you can take your cooking to another level!  For more ideas on using this tool, tune in to today’s show.

Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com