When you do recipe testing and food styling on the job, its easy to accumulate a number of gadgets for use in The Star’s test kitchen.
Of course, a lot of what is promised on the packaging or on mid-night infomercials or in press releases turns out to be hype.
But I do have a few reliable go-tos that I would never toss in the gadget graveyard of good ideas.
You can’t go wrong with Microplane zesters and graters for cheese, chocolate, citrus fruits and one for nutmeg or Silpats (or silicone baking sheets) for nonstick baking.
I have tried a number of ginger graters but find the best one is a white ceramic ginger grater with bowl to catch the juices that made its way into the test kitchen collection via a garage sale.
After several months of testing at work and at home, I’ve added a new favorite: the Kochblume Spill Stopper by the Swiss cookware company Kuhn Rikon (available at home and gourmet stores for about $30).
The heavy, round silicone circle with tiny handles is big enough to put over most stockpots and dutch ovens.
At the center of the pot cover is a six-petal flower shape. Bring the pot to boil and the petals open to prevent spillovers when cooking starchy foods like pasta, potatoes and rice.
Jill Silva is The Star’s James Beard Award-winning food editor and restaurant critic. She has won more than 25 national writing awards and been included in the “Best Food Writing” anthologies of 2008 and 2011. She is the author of The Star’s “Eating for Life” cookbook and the past president of The Association of Food Journalists.