New to Entertaining? Must-Haves for Your NYC Kitchen
When it comes to entertaining, having the right kitchen tools is key. There are certain kitchen accessories that are so vital to the cooking process that no kitchen should be without them. Following is a short list of items no kitchen should be without.
If you’re new to entertaining and hosting events in your apartment, your kitchen may be a bit lacking on the tool and utensil front. Once you get some of those tools, you experience a strange epiphany. There’s this weird sensation that comes over you when you realize that you could have been having a much, much better experience in your kitchen all along if only you’d had this cutting tool or that blender thingie.
Whether you’ve just moved into your little (or big) NYC home and want to set up your kitchen the right way, or you’re going to be entertaining family or friends, below are some must-haves items that will make your kitchen feel ready for prime time.
Choose Good Knives
Image Source: Flickr/threelayercake
Never underestimate the power of a set of good knives. Believe it or not, a knife can make or break a cooking experience. Poor knives are difficult to hold and don’t cut properly, making slicing and dicing seem more like a chore. According to Chef Brendan McDermott of the Institute of Culinary Education, you should get the absolute best quality knives you can afford; good ones will last you for years and they’ll be the most enjoyable to use. Unless you’re a serious chef or planning to become one, you only need a chef’s knife (8–10 inches in length is best) for slicing things like fruit, fish, and meant; a paring knife for mincing and slicing items like shallots and garlic; a serrated knife for slicing bread and foods with waxy, slippery surfaces; and a boning knife for boning and slicing meats like fish and chicken. Make sure you have a honing steel to help keep your knives in tip-top shape.
Buy, No … RUN and Get a Crock-Pot (Slow Cooker)
Image Source: Flickr/Janine
What’s it like having a Crock-Pot? Having a Crock-Pot is like having your mom live with you. Except in this scenario, your “mom” doesn’t get on your back about your dating life or give you the side eye when you leave your dishes in the sink. Crock-Pot mom takes ingredients from your favorite meals and cooks them in their own broth and spices all day so that you have a delicious, hot meal waiting for you when you get home. And this is not only about soup. This is about tender meatballs, fragrant garlic pork chops, whole roasted chicken, chocolate peanut butter cheesecake, and brownies! Crock-Pots are a must-have for busy New Yorkers who don’t have tons of time to cook but who still want to enjoy home-cooked meals that they’ve put together themselves.
Choose a Cast-Iron Pan
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Buying at least two or three would be ideal, but if you can only get one, invest in a large, good-quality cast-iron pan. Cast-iron pans conduct heat really well and are perfect for cooking foods like cornbread, casseroles, and seared steaks. Don’t worry about the patina (“seasoning”) that builds up in the pan over time; this “seasoning” creates a non-stick surface that the very best chefs love. Choose the best quality cast-iron pan you can buy, and it will last for years.
Get a Good Stand Mixer
Image Source: Flickr/Rex Roof
Sure, they’re beautiful and come in incredibly stunning colors, but stand mixers aren’t just dainty little things; they’re serious workaholics. Far from being mere countertop candy, they can help you do everything from creating fresh pasta to making homemade ice cream. They’re brilliant because they make the dullest and most arduous cooking tasks — chopping, dicing, mixing, etc — as simple as pie.
Main Image Source: Flickr/Jimmy Harris