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    The Basics of Pastry Pans, Bowls, Cutting Boards, Spoons, Spatulas, and More
       excerpted from How To Cook Everything: Simple Recipes for Great Food

      ... see great recipes from Mark Bittman the Minimalist on our GREAT CHEFS page!


    Chapter One


    The Basics of Pastry Pans

    This includes pie plates, bread pans, baking sheets, cake pans, tube pans, muffin tins, and the like. Because they're all for special uses, none of these is likely to be essential in your daily cooking, but all are critical when you need them. The sole exception is probably the baking sheet--it's great for broiling, especially if it has a small lip. Go with aluminum; for most purposes, uncoated will be okay here, but non-stick coating never hurts.


    Let's take the others individually:

    * Pie plates: Start with one, nine inches across. Ovenproof glass is very nice here. Add an eight-inch and a ten-inch when you have time. A ten-inch springform pan (with a removable rim) is great for cheesecake, but not much use otherwise. Wait.

    * Loaf pans: You need two, nine by five inches or thereabouts. Non-stick aluminum is best; don't buy glass, which is less than ideal for bread.

    * Tube pans: For angel cake, sponge cake, and the like. Buy as needed.

    * Muffin tins: Cheap aluminum ones, with nonstick coating, are fine. Antiques of cast iron are much more attractive, but chances are your muffins will stick.

    * Cake pans: For layer cakes, nine inches across. You need two or three.

    * Tart pan: May be metal (removable rims are good) or ceramic; the latter is preferable because it will not interact with acidic tart ingredients, as will most made of metal.


    The Basics of Bowls

    I can't get enough of them, but you probably need only small, medium, and large bowls to start. Stainless steel bowls are cheap and extremely useful. Some people (like me) use them as serving bowls as well. If you want attractive serving bowls, buy them, but don't use them for mixing, because you will inevitably chip them. Eventually you'll need many, from those that are very small (for holding small bits of spices, herbs, etc., that you're about to cook with) to one that is very large (to fill with ice water, which you'll use to "shock" vegetables after cooking, or to cool down a smaller bowlful of custard). Add to your bowl collection whenever you see one that appeals to you.


    The Basics of Cutting Boards

    You do need a cutting board; whether it's of plastic or wood is your choice. Plastic can go in the dishwasher, wood is more attractive. You need more than one anyway, so try one of each until you determine your preference. Extremely heavy wood cutting boards are the best, but they also are costly.

    To keep your cutting board from sliding around on the counter (annoying, isn't it?), place a damp towel under it.


    The Basics of Spoons, Spatulas, and More

    Wooden spoons have a pleasant feel and do not absorb much heat; they're best for stove-top use. Large stainless steel spoons are best for serving and transferring wet food from one container to another. A slotted spoon is essential, as is a ladle. Rubber spatulas are handy--especially the spoon-shaped ones. You need two metal spatulas: one narrow (for loosening all around the rim of cakes) and one wide (for turning pancakes). A large metal tongs (get the spring-loaded, rather than tension-driven, variety) is very useful. Asian-style skimmers are fantastic--even better than slotted spoons in some instances--for removing foods from simmering liquids or frying oils.

    Again, these are a matter of taste. You'll accumulate many different utensils over the years; some will become your favorites, others will end up at a yard sale. Keep them all in an attractive jar, or in a used coffee can, right on your counter, next to the stove. You will want most of them handy.

     

    Henckels Professional-S 3 Piece Deluxe Bread Board Set
    Henckels Professional-S 3 Piece Deluxe Bread Board Set J.A. Henckels has been manufacturing top quality knives since its founding in Solingen, Germany, more than 260 years ago. Simple, heavy duty and functional, all Henckels knives are made from high carbon, no-stain steel and crafted using the FRIODUR ice-hardening process for maximum blade strength and a long-lasting sharp edge. Knives in the Professional Series feature a triple riveted Novadur handle with fully visible tang construction for proper balance and great strength. Dishwasher safe.

    Set Includes:

    8-Inch Bread Knife
    Deluxe 2 Pc. Bread Board

    Eva Solo 5 Pc. Spoon, Spatula & Whisk Set w/ Holder
    Eva Solo 5 Pc. Spoon, Spatula & Whisk Set w/ Holder Unique qualities and adaptation to today's kitchen are two of the characteristics of the Eva Solo line. This spoon and spatula set is the brilliant result stemming from the minds of the prize design duo - Claus Jensen & Henrik Holbaek. Today, the kitchen is the room of the house in which most investments are made. Thus, considerable sums of money are often used for the renovation of kitchens, but oddly enough people are rather reluctant about investing in new kitchen utensils. They will place the old, worn-down kitchen utensils in a jug on the kitchen counter, even in a super modern kitchen! This spoon, spatula , and whisk set is made for today's new surroundings, both aesthetically and functionally . The set comprises of a stirring ladle, a flexible spatula, a draining spoon, a whisk and a ladle - all placed in a smart holder making a harmonious whole which can be placed on the kitchen table so that your most important kitchen utensils are always at hand. The utensils are made of nylon and can stand up to 428 degrees (220 Celsius) of heat , are dishwasher safe and most gentle to your kitchenware, treating casseroles and pans with non-adhesive coatings in a gentle manner.

    How To Cook Everything: Simple Recipes for Great Food
    Great Food Made Simple!
    Here's the breakthrough one-stop cooking reference for today's generation of cooks! Nationally known cooking authority Mark Bittman shows you how to prepare great food for all occasions using simple techniques, fresh ingredients, and basic kitchen equipment. Just as important, How to Cook Everything takes a relaxed, straightforward approach to cooking, so you can enjoy yourself in the kitchen and still achieve outstanding results.
    Buy this book at Barnes & Noble

     

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