Santa Mrs Prick was very generous to the inhabitants of Stately Prick Manor this year and the batterie de cuisine is all the better for it. Two new toys rate a special mention. First off, a beautiful hand-hammered Shun santoku has me all but ready to send the old block of Globals off to the tip, or at least stick it in cupboard in anticipation of the government’s next buyback of potentially dangerous things. The word santoku comes from the Japanese “three virtues” or “three uses” (i.e., slicing, dicing, and mincing) but it does a lot more than that, from breaking down birds and slicing meat to doing more delicate work with vegetables. First thing I did when I took it out of the box was slice a tomato in mid-air: it was like a TV commercial.
The other fun kitchen present was an Oregon Scientific remote BBQ thermometer, which comes with a control unit that tells you what temperature your meat has hit wherever you are in the house. As your roast or whatever cruises towards the target temperature, a HAL-9000 voice – if HAL-9000 were a pleasant lady from the American Midwest – announces, “It’s almost done. It’s almost done.” The only caveat is that it is, presumably with liability in mind, too conservative about temperatures. Thus it suggests that lamb cooked (before resting, when the core temperature will continue to rise) to 63 degrees C will come out medium-rare. Desiccated is more like it , so if you invest in one rely on your own temperature targets, not the machine’s.
Did Santa leave anything good in any readers’ kitchens this past year?
I received one of those remote BBQ thermometers a few years back and it took a few frustrated failures before I also realised that the way to avoid briquettes, i.e. instead of roast lamb, was to drop a few degrees off prior to resting.
Yes – a decent-sized piece of meat will go up another 3 or 4 degrees C after you take it out.
That knife looks great. I’ve had Globals in the past, and they are sharp out of the box but need a bit of work to keep sharp, as they are a fairly hard steel, and therefore take longer to sharpen. Japanese knives tend to be harder steel than European knives. A set of graded DMT diamond and ceramic steels works ok, but if you want to be able to impress guests with the tomato trick, you will have to learn to use a stone. Shun have an electric stone, but I couldn’t comment on it.
Santa did not bring me any kitchen gadgets, but then I’m fairly well stocked, and have been going back to basics a bit over the years.
Yeah, a non stick frying pan ($5) Kmart #omelettenotscrambledeggs