MY FAVORITE TOOLS & INGREDIENTS
— My favorite tools & ingredients —
I have many favorites tools and ingredients, I will always continue to learn, grow, and explore with hopes of finding the new… at least new to me. Here you’ll see the tools and ingredients I love. I’m also a big fan of cool crowd funded kitchen tools, I’ll share what I’m watching with you and let you know how it turned out.
After eating the best teppanyaki meal ever in Japan, Kobegyu Steak Ken, I of course I had to try to replicate it when I got home. I found this griddle with 430 Stainless steel construction, 14-gauge stainless steel cooking surface and 4 inch sidewalls to be a perfect way to help capture the memories of that amazing meal.
This griddle has a large versatile cooking surface… great for the teppanyaki style cooking, you can cooking anything from eggs and pancakes to grilling up veggies for dinner.
“Ugly” and “imperfect” fruits and vegetables
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We had to try this out… fruit and veggies delivered for less than I can get at our local farmers market. Everything was fresh, and yes, the veggies were a little misshaped while they taste great. You’'ll start seeing us us them in our Facebook Live Cooking Show (click the Facebook icon above to take you to my group to see what we have cooking in our kitchen or click on the Videos button to see the videos posted on YouTube).
The folks at Misfits Market have a mission…”50% of produce in the U.S. is thrown away. Meanwhile, millions of Americans struggle to eat healthy and eat affordably. Let’s work together to redefine beauty in produce. “Ugly” and “imperfect” fruits and vegetables are just as good as the pretty ones — and far cheaper!”
This will certainly force us to eat more fruits and vegetables!
Spring is here and my Masterbuilt Smoker is ready to work. There’s nothing better than filling our neighborhood with the scents of smoking meat. When we first moved to out home, I warned the neighbors when the smoking began, I didn’t want them to be concerned with the amount of smoke pouring off our back patio.
I couldn’t describe it better than Amazon has - “This gas smoker is has plenty of room to smoke all of your favorite foods. Whether you're smoking at home, or tailgating at the big game, this smoker brings the heat! There's a removable water pan for added moisture and an easy-to-read thermostat in the door. This extra-large capacity smoker has a viewing window, so you can watch your food smoke without opening the door. With easy push-button ignition and gas controls, Master built has made smoking simple.”
The link takes you to a new Atlas Brass Pepper Mill, while I found a vintage ours at a flea market for about $10. My girlfriend Lynn and I love to shop flea markets, you never know what you’ll find. These pepper mills are a thing of beauty and function. I’ve heard it’s from Turkey or maybe Greece. This type of pepper mill’s been made for over 300 years. The grinding mechanism adjusts from fine to coarse and it’s ground in a way that it maximizes the flavor.
The bottom of the pepper mill twists off. If you need to grind a lot of pepper, you can grind it into the base and pour it out of the bottom part when you think you’ve ground up enough pepper. There are smaller versions of these that are often used to grind spices… I use the smaller one for white pepper and it also works great.
I’m a big fan of the Misen Chef Knife, so when I saw the Misen Non Stick Pans, I had to give them a try. They have a good balance, good weight and the rubber handle cover keeps the handle cool. I unboxed them today and used them tonight… clean up was easy.
From Misen: “Our goal was simple. Create an insanely long-lasting and durable nonstick pan, and sell it for a price that’s fair and affordable. We think we nailed it.” “So how is it that we can make a nonstick pan that performs better than expensive ones which cost well over $100, and sell it for a fraction of that price? Simple. By cutting out traditional retail middlemen and selling directly to you online, we’re able to offer incredible quality, at wholesale pricing.”
I knew it was love when I opened Lynn’s fridge and I saw D’Artagnan uncured bacon! D’Artagnan is passionate about quality from the farm to your fork. This fits with my philosophy on ingredients; I’ll drive to 6 different markets just to get the right ingredients for a meal. You’ll see me using many of D’Artagnan’s products on my Facebook Live cooking show The Grateful Chef with Eric Eisenbud - Wednesday’s @ 8pm ET.
I can find many D’Artagnan products in our local markets and if I can’t find them there, I can get them online. I’m lucky to belong to a culinary society, Les Marmitons New Jersey a member chapter of Les Marmitons International, so I can pick up my ingredients right from the D’Artagnan warehouse in Union, NJ. This week Lynn and I stopped in and my dear friend Lily took us on a tour of their facilities. To Lynn’s surprise, as we walked through the office side of the building, we came across the office “pets”… where a rooster, chickens, and a goose greeted us.
They believe food raised right tastes better. For more than 30 years, D’Artagnan has been committed to free-range, natural production and sustainable, humane farming practices. They partner with small farms and ranches that have the strictest standards; to never use added antibiotics or hormones, and sign affidavits to that effect
My perfect dream kitchen… I checked out all the ranges, even the lesser known brands, the ones hard to find in your local retail stores. The Culinarian Capital Range caught my attention with its 5 - 25,000 BTU open burners, where I was able to upgrade the 6th burner to the same… The open burners make cleaning a breeze. With all the cooking I do, I do a full clean of the stove top every week.
The oven is 4.9 cubit feet of fabulousness; measuring 27” W x 15” H x 21” D. It has 30,000 BTU oven burner with an 18,000 BTU Infrared Broil burner.. you’ve got to watch your broiling food closely with the heat. This range fits 2 sheet pans side by side (equaling 1 restaurant size sheet pan).
We installed a Best Range Hood with an external blower. The external blower keeps the hood noise to a minimum
The Culinarian was the last piece of the puzzle to kitchen perfection!
I saw a friend post this out Facebook right after Christmas, my girlfriend Lynn immediately ordered it from Amazon… we had to have it! The menu book offers us a journal of all the meals prepared for friends. And a place where our friends can leave us some notes about our time spent together. This is a great book where we’ll be able to go back and reflect on what we prepared, on the celebrations and fun in the kitchen we had.
For the last fifty years, Jacques Pépin has created lushly hand-illustrated journals to keep track what he cooked for friends, birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, and holidays. In the space on the opposite page, your guests can sign their names and write little notes.
This is my favorite recipe storage app. I can save recipes direct from the web or I can manually type them in. Most recently I shared my whole recipe cache with my dad… I connected to him and sent him the 500+ recipes I’ve saved. The app features pulled from their webiste… Download recipes from your favorite websites, or add your own; create grocery lists automatically; the pantry feature allows you to track what you have on hand at home; it even has a meal planner; it will sync your recipes, grocery lists, and meal plans between all your devices; you can scale ingredients to your desired serving size, and convert between measurements; cook times are automatically detected from the directions. Simply tap on one to start a timer to start the timer; import from existing apps; share recipes via AirDrop or email; and you can print recipes, grocery lists, menus, and meal plans. Now…. how cool is THAT!
This is my go to chef knife. This is not 100% carbon steel, so it doesn’t rust immediately like my Japanese knives do when I don’t dry them immediately. They are AICHI AUS-8 Japanese Steele; this knife keeps a sharp edge, is balanced and has a good cutting angle. I’m left handed and my girlfriend is right handed, we both find the knife comfortable in hand.
Check the knife out on Misen’s website. The knife has a great price point, you even get free sharpening for life. Look for specials and sales throughout the year where you’ll get an even better bargain.
“The WokMon device can help turn your average gas burner into a fire breathing stir frying machine. It also gets you one step closer to the coveted Wok Hei. An underpowered burner will allow the juices to build up in the pan, and the food will stew rather than stir-fry.
It’s all about achieving Wok Hei (pronounced “hay”), the almost indescribable flavor that is the defining quality of great wok cooking.” - WokMon
This is a great way to get the flavor of truffles into your food without an overpowering truffle oil. It’s a fine powder used at as a finishing ingredient. I’ve added it to several recipes just to infuse a bit of umami. And who knew it was one of Oprah’s favorite things!
You can also find this at Amazon, where is costs a bit more. At least when i last looked the shipping was free when ordering direct from the vendor.
We found the perfect little coffee shop, Storyville Coffee, right around the corner from the original Starbucks in Seattle. It’s tucked away on the 3rd level in Pike’s Market; it took us a while to find it and now we always look forward to returning. They have a tagline “Love Everybody” which resonates me.
Their coffee beans are smooth, robust, and dry. Every morning I make a cortado coffee, which is espresso mixed with equal amount of steamed milk; these beans make the perfect crema. After leaving Seattle, I kept thinking about it, so I went for their coffee subscription service. I now get their coffee every two weeks. Their coffee is shipped the same day it’s roasted with premium shipping; you can taste the freshness.
I used this beauty at my buddies cigar shop, I couldn’t get enough of it, it brewed the perfect espresso, every time. When I was home I would google it, waiting for the perfect moment, waiting for a perfect sale price, a used one, I didn’t care… I just wanted THIS MACHINE! One day my buddy surprised me and gave me the one from the cigar shop; he had purchased it at a local church auction and wanted me to have it. I’m pretty sure he was just tired of listening to me talk about it everyday.
Now, I can grind the fresh Storyville Coffee Beans to make the perfect cortado every morning. I’m a happy man!
I found out about avocado oil from my buddy Chef Mike, of Bon Palay, one of our favorite local Thai restaurants. This oil perfect for when you don’t want any flavor carry over from your oil to your food. Avocado oil has a high smoke point, making it versatile with any cooking. This has become my go to oil for cooking.
The salt pig is one of my favorite kitchen things… every kitchen should have one. No more having to shake salt out of the shaker, or pour it from the spout on the salt box. You can grab the salt pig bowl, it has a small magnet keeping the lid securely in place. Swing the lip open and you can pinch, spoon or scoop out as much salt as you need. The original name came from earthenware pottery (good for absorbing moisture) in the shape of a pig, where you’d grab the salt from the pigs mouth.