Kitchen Tool Upgrades and Additions

I was on the hunt for a few things.  I purchased an All Clad tri-ply skillet (12") with lid from Metro  Kitchen.  It was on sales, but still pricey.  I don't have a skillet this size that is not in non-stick format.  In general, the only non-stick pans that I buy are for frying breakfast stuff.  (Notwithstanding my Scanpan ceramic titanium pan that I purchased at the salvage store for 19.95).

I used it last evening to prep some refried beans.  Work very well.  No sticking.   I do not find the handle comfortable though, an must levy the harsh criticism of extremely poor design ergonomics.  

I also had to upgrade my garlic press.  My Zyliss, which I love and purchased as it was recommended on America's Test Kitchen, is aluminum.  That makes it strong and lightweight.  Unfortunately the coating started flaking off, and the aluminum oxidizes giving a nasty hue.  Plus you have to wonder what might be flecking into your dish.  ATK now recommends Kuhn Rikon Epicurean.  I found that at Amazon at significant savings.  Still pricey, but I have a high reliance on the garlic press in the kitchen, and I've not found a suitable replacement for my Zyliss.  I've not put it through the paces yet. {Update...I have and WOW!.  Hopper is small, but darn if it is not one of the finest pieces of kitchen equipment I own.  View it here.

I've been wanting a Taylor folding probe thermometer.  I found the best price at Zoro.  I've never ordered from them before, but the experience was pleasant.  I rely on thermometers quite a bit in the kitchen.  I appreciate that many can touch the meat and know exactly what the doneness is.  Not me.  There's a huge difference in meat quality between 135 and 140 for nice cuts of beef (which we rarely eat beef anymore due to expense and digestion).  And if you are making bread, well this will work to ensure that your water is not too hot, and to test for doneness.  Here's a great website , Crafty Baking, for some temperature (and tactile, visual) guides for testing for doneness.

I've done pretty well on my cooking commitment this week.  Last night, I had to go to Sam's, so I brought back their chicken enchiladas.  They are easy and good.  I did use my new AllClad pan to heat up refried beans with some garlic and onions.  Fast and delicious, though hardly a fulfillment of my cooking commitment--but shopping commitment and cooking commitment cannot be crowded together in a time blight.

And speaking of fast and delicious, here's a link to 5-Minute Dinners. For the starved and time starved weekday cook.  Though not a 5 minute meal, I'm going to try this recipe from Bon Appetit for Weeknight Porchetta.


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