Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Ask the Chef: What do I need for a kitchen?

Yay! An ask the chef question! I have been receiving emails from GM fans for a while, but I haven't had the time to post an ask the chef in a while! So I thought I would take the time to post a reader's question today...

Sarah wrote me and asked: "Gourmet Momma, my name is Sarah, and I am going to be leaving for collage in just a few months. My mom has purchased an apartment for me, but I don't have any idea what to do with the kitchen. She reads your blog everyday, so she sent me over to ask you. What are the basic tools that I need to cook simple meals for one. Oh, and I am on a tight budget, so saving money is key. Thank you for your time."

Well Sarah, you asked a really awesome question! I didn't have this problem because my college was a huge kitchen! lol But since I don't think you are going to culinary school, I would love to help you out! Lots of people tend to think that you have to get top of the line cookware and spend thousands upon thousands of dollars to be able to cook! That's just not true! In fact, my favorite saute pan is from Ikea, and I paid $2.99 for it!!

So here is a basic kitchen kit, and guess what? It will only cost you $100 TOTAL!! Isn't that great? Here we go.....

First is a sturdy Chef's knife that you use for chopping, slicing, etc. I recommend the Henckels International Fine Edge Pro 8" Chef's Knife from http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/, it is $11.99.

Next knife is a bread knife, which is good for cutting bread, certain cheeses, and crust off toast! I suggest the Henckels International Fine Edge Pro 8" Bread Knife from http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/, it is $10.99.

Now if your going to be peeling anything or cutting up garlic, you will need a paring knife. The Dexter-Russell 3" Clip-Point Paring Knife is perfect for this purpose. You can find it at bowerykitchensupply.com for $4.00.

Your going to need a cutting board to use these knifes on, so I suggest going with a poly board like the Polysafe Very High Density Polypropylene 8 1/2" x 11" Cutting Board from http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/. It is $5.99.

After you slice and dice, you need some pots to cook in, so I recommend one large pot...Essential Home 12-quart Stainless Steel Stock Pot from http://www.kmart.com/, $12.99

And the 2-quart Sauce Pan from kitchenandrestaurant.com for just $7.58. (this is what we actually use in restaurants!!)

But what if you need to cook meat, or saute something? I have just the thing. The Bialetti 10" Sauté Pan from http://www.target.com/, $9.99.

If your going to be making sauces, breads, salads, etc. you will need some mixing bowls. I have the Pyrex 3-Piece Mixing Bowl Set from http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/. They are only $9.99 for the set!

Once the food is in the pan, stir it, flip it, strain it, or ladle it with the 4-Piece Utensil Set from http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/ for just $7.99

And if I know college students, I know that you like cookies late at night for those all night study sessions! So you need a pan that can cook them, and this one is perfect. The Baker's Secret Basics Nonstick Medium Cookie Pan from amazon.com. Perfect buy at $4.99!

Peeling with the paring knife can be tricky sometimes, especially on things like carrots and potatoes, so I suggest having a sturdy peeler like the Hoffritz Stainless-Steel Vegetable Peeler from amazon.com priced at $6.99.

Finally...once you cook your pasta and your veggies, you need to take them out of the water! So why not take the water out of them with this Eurodib 3-Quart Colander, just $2.99 at galasource.com.

So there you have it! A total kitchen for anyone for under $100! Thanks for writing Sarah, and good luck in collage!

No comments: