Monday, 26 March 2012

Kitchen Inventions: The modern dinner party

As I sit here in my kitchen surrounded by the latest kitchen inventions and pondering on what makes a modern dinner party such a success  – it has to be partly due to the developments in technology that help make cooking so enjoyable and fun!  I smile to myself as I write this post because actually if it was not for these inventions, I don’t think I’d enjoy cooking so much as I do.

So I’m going to run you through my last dinner party preparation, and lets just see how heavily it features on gizmos and gadgets.  Of course not to be taken for granted is the simplicity and beauty of the everyday items we use and take for granted, such as chopping boards, knives, and kitchen scales, but I wonder just where we have got to today in 2012 in the modern kitchen…

The largest and most expensive item that I have just switched to is an Induction cooker.  I have used these at different cookery schools and demo’s I have attended and I was in love!  So willing my old oven to die a quick death, I am now the proud owner of this stylish cooker.  I started off prepping my pudding which was a boozy chocolate mousse topped with strawberries and Microplaned chocolate shavings.  Did I need to bring to the boil a pan of water, and sit a glass bowl over the top, etc, etc, etc?  Oh no – Induction allows you to melt the chocolate directly into the pan!  Fantastic!  It really is the future. Nothing burns on, so spillages wipe off instantly, and water comes to the boil in no time at all – there is a boost button to quicken this process too.
I wanted to create a funky little palette cleanser so I made some gin and tonic sorbet in my ice-cream maker.  This can be done by hand but everyone who has tried knows that it crystallises and you have to constantly keep opening the freezer to stir it! TIP: If you ever make sorbets try add popping candy to give it another dimension of fizz (but don’t tell your guests it’s in there!)

We kicked off with spicy marinated prawns with aioli.  I remember spending hours researching different stick blenders/whisks to find something that was not too bulky but that would meet all my needs in one machine, so I settled for a Bamix. It is a stick blender with several attachments that aerates, beats, blends, chops, and minces all in one piece of kit.  When you make mayonnaise with an electric tool you have to trickle the oil in slowly, but the Bamix has amazingly high speed with a heavy duty motor that allows you to put the ingredients in at the same time and just whiz it up!  Will even turn skimmed milk into a creamy thick shake consistency!

The main course was fillet steak cooked on a griddle pan to give it those distinctive charcoal lines we all fall for, served with blue cheese bonbons where I made use of my potato ricer, and mini deep fat fryer.  This was served on heated plates thanks to my ovens plate warmer.
We enjoyed a nice bottle of Merlot to go with the main course.  I won a cheesy electronic bottle opener, which everyone laughs at, but hey it’s a talking point, so we had to get that out too!
We finished off with coffee made in my husbands Nespresso coffee maker that also has an Aeroccino to froff up the milk.

When the night was over we waved goodbye to our guests, got the energy to stack the dirty dishes in the dishwasher (nothing worse than facing that the next day!) and retired to bed

I love experimenting with kitchen products and I love putting them to the test.  Blogging about food allows me to share my experiences with others, and it becomes an interchange of encouragement.
Start>Shut down>Goodbye!

-Recipes available upon request