When you’re cooking to impress, it helps to have special tools for the kitchen. How else will you make a beautiful zucchini spaghetti or a chocolaty zabaglioni?
Here’s a look at some cooking aids and appliances that will help you cook like a masterchef.
When you want to eat pasta, but are watching your waist-line – all those low and no-carb diets will never allow you to eat penne in peace – a vegetable-based ‘zoodle’ is your answer. Plus, it looks to fancy. The Spiralizer is a hand-crank machine that allows cooks to make noodle-shaped slices of vegetables such as zucchini. It’s placed between clamps and as you turn the crank, out come long and curly ribbons of veg.
What to make: If you’re using it to cut up zucchini, toss the veggie in olive oil, with some salt and pepper to taste, and sprinkle with toasted almonds and voila! You’ve produced zucchini spaghetti.
Chef Ranveer Brar swears by this appliance. Multifunctional (it combines the functions of 12 appliances), the Thermomix helps Brar safe blending hot mixes to a homogenous consistency, “as well as grate, chop, blend and weigh ingredients”. Make your own ricotta cheese, fruit-and-chili jams or even pizza dough.
What to make: To make your own ricotta cheese, mix milk and cream in a Thermomix bowl. Heat it for about 15 minutes. Then set the machine on a 1 minute/soft stir and gradually pour vinegar or lemon juice in through hole in lid. Let it rest to allow the curd and whey to split. Drain, and all herbs into the fresh cheese for flavouring.
Another of Chef Brar’s go-to appliances is the sous vide machine. He saying, “It helps for perfect poaching and under-pressure cooking. It allows me to simultaneously cook many products in the same liquid.” You will have seen Masterchef Australia contestants poach meats and fish in this hot bath – the machine helps infuse and intensify flavours of different ingredients. Besides meats, create infusions for cocktails you plan to serve – or even make desserts.
What to make: Check out Chef Gautam Mehershi's mushroom burger recipe.
Ice Cream Machine
Serving fresh ice cream will earn you uncountable brownie points among your guests. Most ice cream makers are easy to use, requiring some - but not too much - prep. Top-of-the-line ones will be able to keep your ice cream cool for up to three hours.
What to make: Get experimental with this Mexican Chilli Chocolate Chip Ice Cream recipe
Whether you’ve bought the Ferrari of all coffee machines on one of your trips abroad, or love the simple French Press, you will need a coffee grinder. Because as a coffee snob, you will want the right to grind your own coffee. That’s where Coffee Grinders come in.
What to buy: There are several local companies, including Blue Tokai, The Indian Bean, Nature’s Basket and Starbucks outlets, which sell wonderful whole roasted coffee beans that you can buy and grind yourself.
If you love pizza, you will love this hyper-specialised pizza maker. While it looks like a sandwich machine, with will bake the pizza base to crisp perfection, while melting the cheese to stringy yumminess.
What to make: Roll out freshly-made pizza dough and spread some tomato sauce. Then add grated mozzarella and fresh Italian basil to create a tasty margarita pizza.
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