Wednesday, April 27, 2011

New Kitchen Toys

Pretty weird looking things aren't they?

The one that looks like WallE's girlfriend Eve is called a Flavour Shaker. Its inventor is my current favorite TV chef, Jamie Oliver. I've watched him using this on his TV show called "Jamie at Home" on the Cooking Channel. It's a modern version of a mortar and pestle. He uses it most when he's cooking with fresh herbs. Comes in several colors. Mine is the same color as the one pictured. The red one just looked too garish.

My goal this year is to plant lots of herbs; then learn to cook with them. So I thought I should get a Flavour Shaker. Found it on Amazon.

Here's how it works. That thing that looks like a ping pong ball is actually a heavy piece of ceramic. It's resting in the spoon you use to empty the shaker. You unscrew the top from the bottom (top is longer) you place your herbs, garlic, peppercorns or anything else you want to "bash to bits" as Jamie says. Add the ball, screw the top and bottom together and shake vigorously. The shaking pummels the contents releasing all the oils and turns them into a paste mixture. I used it last night. Wonderful new toy. It's dishwasher safe on the top rack.

The other one is also something I saw on "Jamie at Home." He didn't invent this one, however. It's called a green bean slicer; it's made by Krisk. I bought it at Sur la Table. I've never liked green beans no matter who grows them. Jamie talked about how they squeak when you eat them; they do! He also said that they don't absorb flavors very easily. But...if you cut each green bean into thirds you expose a lot more area to take the flavors you are adding. That's pretty tedious work with a knife but not so with this little guy (5 inches long and one inch wide). Pass the green bean through the circle, which leads to some very sharp blades, and you have triple the surface area for seasoning. The hole through which the beans pass can also be enlarged; there are enough blades to enable you to slice a much thicker bean.
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