Friday, November 11, 2011

Thanksgiving: Part 2: The Top Ten Tools

Happy 11/11/11 and Veteran’s Day to all!  There is a lot to be thankful for today.  I am especially thankful for my freedom, both as an American and as a woman.  There is a great article in this week New Yorker regarding Planned Parenthood.  Regardless on how you feel about reproductive rights, Planned Parenthood provides essential services to women of all races and income levels.  Planned Parenthood is a safe place where women can go and learn about their bodies and rights as women.  I truly believe knowledge is the key, and without all the facts, no one can make an informed decision. 

I am also thankful because earlier this week, the Urban Chef and I celebrated our 2 year anniversary!  I cannot believe it!  It feels like forever, yet no time at all.  For our anniversary, we dined at the Tom Colicchio restaurant, Riverpark.  It is a New York Times 2 star restaurant.  I truly enjoyed my dining experience, from start to finish the whole evening was expertly executed.  The location is stunning, it’s right on the East River, and the dining room is dark wood with dark blue walls and upholstery with many illuminating lights overhead (it gives the illusion of stars).  The service at Riverpark was impeccable, attentive but not intrusive, expedient, and competent.  We started with a dozen oysters.  We both are very passionate about oysters and eat them often. These were from the east coast, briny and delicious. They also came with the best mignonette I have ever had.  The mignonette was very traditional, but they cracked fresh pepper on top of it right at the end, so it was very punchy and savory.  The oysters were followed by two pasta dishes.  The first was a black ink pasta dish with squid and hot peppers.  This was fantastic, pasta was cooked to a perfect al dente, and the spicy peppers give it a very nice kick.  We also had a burnt flower cavatelli, served with breadcrumbs and romano cheese.  This was a savory and balanced dish.  Our entrée were slightly disappointing because they were not memorable.  I had a lamb dish over chard, cooked well with an excellent pan sauce and nice char on the lamb.  Jon had a duck dish served with duck liver, which did not add anything to the plate, the dish was interesting, and the duck was perfectly cooked, but I have a harder time giving it any more praise than that.  I applaud this risk, but, I it was my least favorite of the evening.  And for dessert, we had beignets with caramel and vanilla cream, YUMMM!!!! I ate all of those, the Urban Chef prefers amaretto and espresso for dessert, (crazy!). 

And now for this week’s Thanksgiving post, the Top Ten Tools you must have for the perfect Thanksgiving feast.  Click on the title for where to buy online!

10.    Pie pans.  Please do yourself a favor and order classic pie pans from Macy’s, those tin things in the supermarket just won’t do!  Less than $10 piece.

  1. 9. A Stainless Steal Roasting Pan.  We had to buy one of these last year for our 1st Thanksgiving.  I went to Macy’s (at Harold Square) and battled the crowds… the kitchen department is in the basement, scary because you feel like you will never get out and that no one seems to work down there, but, I got it for half off!  $39.99 right now!

  1. A Meat Thermometer.  I never had one of these until I lived with the Urban Chef, but, it is really necessary, don’t trust the pop up thing on the turkey.  It is $5 at the grocery store.  You can get the fancy ones if you want, but, we use it twice a year, only splurge if you have the dough.

  1. Mixing Bowls: you will go through tons of these at Thanksgiving.  These are great to hold ingredients that you have already prepared and while you are baking.  I like the stainless steal metal ones.  At Macy’s you can buy a set of four for $12.99!

  1. 6. A Turkey Baster: We actually do not have one of these, and I am going to make sure we get one!  Last year we basted a turkey with a large spoon, I think I burned myself like 16 times.  Break the bank and spend the $2… it’s worth it!

  1. Potato Masher: Again, we do not have one of these—I do it with a fork… which by the way in fancy NY restaurants means I can charge twice as much for those potatoes.  Save yourself the effort, spend the $10 for the masher.

  1. Wooden Spoons: you can’t have enough, seriously, you can buy a set of three at Amazon for $5.
  1. 3. A Whisk: Can’t have gravy without one, enough said.

  1. 2. A Carving Knife—A good carving knife makes your life so much easier, and is the difference between people thinking you are a Turkey carving pro, or being assigned to “dish duty” for years to come because people won’t let you near the turkey.  This is a higher priced item, but you can buy a Wusthof for around $100, they last forever! (just like your carving reputation)

  1. A Wine Key… the one kitchen essential, the key to surviving and having a happy Thanksgiving! 
Next week: How to make the ultimate turkey using a t-shirt!

No comments:

Post a Comment