Category: Kitchen Utensils

Know Your Knives

Knives Block, Photo by jMORTON

Know Your Knives

A good working kitchen has to have a set of sharp knives.

Did you know?

There are more likely to have accident with a blunt rather than sharp knives.  Strange but true, I am afraid.

And there are  knives for every corresponding jobs.

Cheese Knife

There are actually quite a few types of cheese knives as there are of course quite a large amount of different cheeses.  There are hard cheese, soft cheese, aged cheese, smoke cheese, and even spreadable cheese.  So different knife for different kind.  The above though is a favourite one.  It can cut and it can certainly spread.  The pointed tip and even spear cheese.

Cleaver

A cleaver is a rather heavy knife.  Its weight is so useful chopping bony meat or large and rather hard or tough vegetables.

Bread Knife

This is so useful.  Have you had experience of cutting bread with just an ordinary knife and the bread turns into crumbs rather than elegant slices?!!!  You need a bread knife.

Carving Knife

Chef Knife

Boning Knife.  This knife is essential for deboning meat.

Paring Knife.

Favourite Knife 🙂

This is modelled from a Japanese Santoku knife, which is a general purpose knife. Its scalloped blade prevent meat, vegetables and fish from sticking into the blade, which saves time decluttering the blade as you slice.

Sharperner Rod

A sharpener rod is so useful in the kitchen.  As soon as you feel your knife is starting to blunt, just reach for the rod and run your knife against it a few times and you have a sharp knife again.  Couldn’t be easier.

Rice Cooker – Kitchen Hero

Rice cooker, photo by JMorton

Rice Cooker – Kitchen Hero

I am fairly new to using a rice cooker. For 30 years here in London, I have been cooking rice, boiled in normal sauce pan.  Sometimes, it cooks okey, sometimes it ends in disaster; pretty hit and miss and more on the miss.  But I have never thought of getting a rice cooker.  I supposed since living in London, I have not been eating rice like the way I ate it in the Philippines, which is almost 3 times a day, every day.

Here, I would cook rice, perhaps once every 3 months, if that.  And my family here, do not really eat rice, only in curries or chili con carne.

It was watching Korean dramas that I got to notice the rice cooker.  They have one in almost every drama or every household.

I ordered one in Argos.  I chose the Breville model as it was on sale as well as it has just a good review.  It is sizeable enough that you can cook rice for a large family.

I am so glad now that I bought a rice cooker.  The rice is cooked perfect everytime and with such minimal effort.  It automatically cook it and stay heating the rice afterwards, if so wish.  No more burning rice, no more watery rice, no more half-cook rice.

Same amount of rice to same amount of water, that easy.

I can even cook rice late at night and be ready for fried rice in the morning.

Banga – Ilocano Terracotta Pot

Banga, photo by JMorton

Banga – Ilocano Terracotta Pot

Banga, photo by JMorton

These photos were taken at the Ferdinand Marcos Ancestral House Museum, which is located at Batac Ilocos Norte.

The above ‘banga’ can be found in the house kitchen.

Having lived in London for several decades, walking through Marcos’s house is like going back in time, especially around the kitchen.  I suddenly recognised things that I have forgotten.

If you happen to be in Vigan and wanted to have a trip on memory lane, that is if you are as ancient as me, or curious about Ilocano household before the 90s, then I would recommend a visit to this museum.

….

We used banga to cook our viand or ‘abraw’ when we were still living in Marag.  The conical shape of banga sit perfectly on the 3 prong terracotta stove which uses firewood.

Lemon Squeezer

Lemon Squeezer, photo by JMorton

Lemon Squeezer

Lemon has so many uses.   And getting to the juice can sometimes be a bit of a trial.  Therefore, a little mechanical help can be so welcome at the best of time.

I saw this squeezer when we visited one of our favourite Indian restaurants.  This squeezer is neat elegant and so useful, just perfect for the dining table.

I have tried to look for the same style and design at Amazon but so far can’t find any.  Well it looks like I will be busy trawling online for these little babies!

If you have any idea where I can buy a few, kindly let me know.

 

Mortar & Pestle

Mortar & Pestle, photo by JMorton

Mortar & Pestle, photo by JMorton

Mortar & Pestle, photo by JMorton

Mortar & Pestle, photo by JMorton

Mortar & Pestle, photo by JMorton

Mortar & Pestle, photo by JMorton

Mortar & Pestle

I love this mortar and pestle.  They are a useful kitchen gadgets perfect for grinding and crushing spices such as the above garlic into a paste.  Perfect also for grinding whole black pepper corns.

Colander – Kitchen Utensil

Colander, photo by JMorton

Colander, photo by JMorton

Colander, photo by JMorton

Colander, photo by JMorton

Colander – Kitchen Utensil

This folding colander by Joseph Joseph is a fun and colourful addition to modern kitchen.  I saw the colander in John Lewis and I was captivated by how it looks as well as the design.  Very funky looking, and updated version of the 70s Tupperware, much loved by housewives and homemakers. 🙂

A colander is every cook’s gadget in food preparation.  It is a perforated bowl that is useful in straining and draining food like pastas, beans, boiled vegetables prior to cooking and after cooking.  It is also used to drain washed vegetables and salad.

I would love the above colander for Christmas, it would be a lovely addition to my growing collection of Joseph Joseph kitchen utensils.

The above colander is made from plastic but they can also come in metal.  Some come with base and some don’t, which look like a sieve.

Wok – Kitchen Essential

wok 604 wok 602

Wok – Kitchen Essential

My wok or kawali is still with me.  It is a Ken Hom brand given to us as a wedding present almost 27 years ago.

It is a  carbon steel wok that is great in conducting heat.  It heats quicker and saves time and energy.  I prefer it to the non-stick teflon coated wok.

A wok is a combination of frying pan and a saucepan.  Ideal for cooking chilli con carne and curries. 🙂

I find that carbon steel wok is very forgiving.  No matter how much I maltreat it with sharp cooking implements, how much force I put into my stir-frying 😉  it just continue to do what it is supposed to do, cook nice meals.  I do not have to worry whether I was using wooden or plastic utensils.  I don’t have to worry that the teflon coating is now coating my food. 😉

This stalwart kitchen hero needs a bit of  tender loving care after you have given it a good scrubbing.  After the wash before you put the wok away, you must dry it and  wipe it with a bit of oil to prevent rusting.

Having said that a correctly “seasoned” wok needs minimal care; it can even become non-stick if done properly, I find.

If it did rust, you have to “re-season” the wok.

To do this, scrub off the rust.  Then put the wok on high eat on your stove,  tilting it in every way.  Then add a bit of oil, carefully wipe in the oil all over the inside of the wok. Continue heating it for at least another 5 minutes.  Get another paper towel and completely wipe off the oil.

It is now ready to use or let it cool and put away.

 

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