Putting kitchen gadgets to good use
May 17 — I have a friend who lives in Noank and he once asked me why he had to keep his big Cuisinart. I was literally bankrupt.
There are two reasons to store your kitchen utensils. One, of course, is because you always use it you want them to be close to you. The second is that you probably adore them, as I love mine, and regard them, if not as pets but as best friends in the kitchen.
On the other hand, if you have a unique but very small kitchen, sometimes things have to go.
I only have a galley kitchen, but there is a bay window and shelves downstairs. That shelf is rather utilitarian but extremely ugly, covered with the same low floor tiles. I asked lumberjack Josh Friedman in New London to make the maple board exactly the same size as the shelf. Now the shelf has large and small Cuisinarts, a 6-quart KitchenAid mixer, an Instant Pot, a Slow Cooker, a Ninja Pro blender and two small grinders (one for spices, one for coffee). I always use all the gadgets. I keep them brighter than my desk. They are my own pieces of art.
This weekend I was asked to make a coleslaw and potato salad for an unspecified number of friends. I used my large Cuisinart thin slicing disk for the cabbage and the grater disk for the carrots. I use my Instant Pot for the potato salad. Both dishes are ready for the refrigerator in half an hour. When summer comes, my counter appliances will cool my kitchen.
Yield: serves 10 to 15.
1 cup well -bought store -bought mayonnaise
5 1/2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon Chinese five-spice (or celery spice, if not five-spice)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
fresh white pepper to taste
about 6 to 8 cups of green and red (Savoy) cabbage, chopped in a food processor
2 carrots, chopped in a food processor
Using a whisk, mix the mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, five spices, salt and pepper.
Mix cabbage and carrots. Pour the dressing over the vegetables and mix well. Cover and let cool for at least a few hours. Better yet on the second or third day.
Lee’s Favorite Potato Salad
Yield: Serves 6 to 8
2 pounds of potatoes (I love small potatoes at The Little Potato Company; you don’t have to peel them)
1 small onion, thinly chopped
2 sprigs of celery, finely chopped
About 3 to 4 tablespoons bottled Italian salad dressing (I love the Wish Bone brand, full of fat)
salt and pepper to taste
about 4 tablespoons Hellman’s mayonnaise (full fat)
In a large pot of water, bring the potatoes to a boil and simmer until tender, about 10 minutes.
Drain the water and, in the same pot, sprinkle the potatoes with the onions and celery and stir. Wait a few minutes before you add the Italian dressing and mayonnaise and sprinkle. Add salt and pepper to taste. Allow to cool on the counter to room temperature before covering and cooling.
Lee White lives in Groton. He can be contacted at [email protected]