Use Your Tools

May 11, 2010 § 3 Comments

I hope you all enjoyed the macaroni and cheese as much as I did. JM made this dish single-handedly.  I felt like a customer –  unwrapping the box, pre-heating the oven, sprinkling on the cheesy breadcrumbs and waiting for them to brown.  It smelled amazing and tasted just as good.  JM spent Monday making bechamel sauce using the 9lbs of cheese that I had grated on Sunday.  Which brings me to an important topic: acquainting ones self with kitchen tools.

You may already know, Monday dinners are cooked in a commercial kitchen that we rent part time.  Before Panacea neither of us had spent any time cooking in a restaurant kitchen, and as a result we approach each meal preparation as a home cook would.  Our customer list is growing by the week, and it’s becoming clear that we need to learn a thing or two about how real professionals cook for crowds.  Our mentor has been John,  JM’s husband, a chef, and the full-time occupant of the kitchen we use.  He’s been trying to school us in the advantages of convection heat, making stock in enormous vats, and the many tools that restaurants use to make a lot of good food relatively quickly.  Each week brings a new “A ha!” moment for me and JM as John, very kindly, tells us how we could have done x, y, or z much more efficiently.  Yesterday he breezed through the kitchen as we were preparing the mac n cheese and observed the mountains of cheddar on the counter.  “Whoa.  Who shredded all that cheese?”  I turned warily, and raised my hand.  “Didja use the Robot Coupe?” he asked.  I could tell by his look of amusement and pity that he knew full well I didn’t use the “Robot Coupe”.  Which is a food processor with a grating attachment, in case you were wondering.  Our education continues.  But I have no regrets about shredding 9 lbs of cheese with a box grater because my right bicep is ultra buff and defined now.  So there.

Another marvel, that we were introduced to a few weeks ago: the Vitamix Blender.  I had heard of these things before but seeing it in action takes my breath away.  It reduces herb leaves to puree in seconds. Check it out:


It was awesome.  With the help of the Vitamix our Green Goddess dressing was oh so smooth, and emerald.   We’re both big fans of this dressing, so look for it to make a reappearance.  Tossed with summer cucumbers perhaps?

§ 3 Responses to Use Your Tools

  • Allison Rabbitt says:

    Hi Hannah and JM! I wish I had ordered the mac and cheese- it looked amazing and delish! What’s on for next week? Loved your story about kitchen tools- classic.

  • ayhunt says:

    The crumb topping for the mac was awesome…as was the rest of the dish. I feel like my breadcrumbs are usually too toasty or oily, or something…

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