The Clever Root

Spring / Summer 2016

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7 8 | t h e c l e v e r r o o t Clever Pantry by Jesse Hom-Dawson In this issue's Clever Pantry, I'll be spotlighting my favorite kitchen es- sentials that every home (or professional) cook should have on hand! Sansaire Sous Vide Immersion Circulator People love appliances that allow them to put food into a container, walk away for hours and come back to a delicious dish. Crock pots and slow cookers are excellent for stews and pulled pork but have a tendency to muddle flavor for anything more complex. Instead, I'd like to nominate the underappreciated immersion circulator as the ultimate forget-about-it appliance. Using the sous- vide method of a water bath kept at a low steady temperature, it's a multi-use wonder, from steaks cooked perfectly to medium rare, soft-boiled eggs for ramen or ├╝ber-flavorful veggies. A product funded by Kickstarter, Sansaire has dominated the sous-vide game with its sleek, easy to use immersion circulator. All you'll need is a tub for the water bath, a vacuum sealer, a thick rib-eye steak and a Sansaire, and with minimal effort, you can make a steak that would make a steakhouse chef green with envy! Bitterman Salt Pink Himalayan Salt Block and Cookbook A salt block is a work of art: a necessity both for its aesthetic and practical uses. Serve well-curated cheeses on it or a medium-rare steak; preserve lemons with it or use it to make ice cream. The salt blocks by Mark Bitterman, selmier and co-owner of The Meadow in Portland, Oregon, fit the criteria. Available in a range of sizes for every use, it's the perfect thing to whip out when entertaining guests to make your meal look and taste professional. If you don't know how to cook with a salt block, no worries, Bitterman also has that covered. His Salt Book Cook- ing cookbook is full of delicious recipes (I may have drooled a little bit the first time I opened the book) using the salt block, either for serving or for cooking. Yes to Salt Block Cured Gravlax, yes to Salt-Fried Molasses Duck Breast with Scallion Pancakes and Espresso Hoisin, triple yes to Fleur de Salt Block Caramels! The book and block can be bought as a set, making it a perfect gift for the at-home chef. Kuhn Rikon Knife Block One of the biggest misconceptions I see in the kitchen is the storing of knives. Putting them in the drawer with other utensils will dull the blade and lead to a sliced palm. Putting them in a wooden knife block will dull the blade AND the tip. And forget about using a magnetic strip; putting the knife on there at the wrong angle can chip your knife. If you're serious about your knives, (and you should be! They're the most important kitchen tool you have) then the Kuhn Rikon knife block is the way to go. The knives hang suspended ensuring nothing will chip or dull the blade, and the wide flexible rubber slits mean that almost any knife size can fit in there, mean- ing no more playing jigsaw puzzle with your knife block. And the knife block is clear, so you can see exactly what knife you're grabbing. Sharpen your knives regularly, get the proper block for them, DON'T PUT THEM IN THE DISHWASHER, and you'll be amazed at how much longer they'll last. n m m

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