Earlier this year I took a short trip to a couple of my favorite kitchen, housewares stores, Sur La Table and Williams-Sonoma. I found a few things that I didn't already have but decided I really needed to update my modern, well equipped kitchen and as it turns out I can't live without them!
The Collapsible Silicone Pop Colander™ is a gadget you shouldn't be without. So run out and get one, NOW!
The legs fold under and the silicone strainer expands and collapses so it's not only great for space saving but most importantly it fits neatly into the dishwasher along with all your dishes and packs away flat and neat. Heat resistant to 500°F. Silicone and nylon. Dishwasher safe. 10 in. diameter, 2.4 qt.
Since Paul and I both have discerning palettes I try not to fry or saute food too much. I'll bake, broil, boil or steam rather than frying. In which case my new colandar really comes in handy. I've used it not only for pastas but also when I make beer boiled shrimp (which sounds strange but is scrumptious), boiled crabs with white pepper, lemon and red potatoes or any other shellfish, boiled fingerling potatoes and jerusalem artichoke which I then drizzle with a little olive oil and oregano. I've used it for various boiled vegetables and believe it or not, even chinese boiled chicken (to which I add cooked ginger, garlic, onions, sesame oil and soy sauce) mmmm, delish! If you boil any of your food, you can't go wrong with this item.
Available colors: Blue with white trim or red with white trim. Price is 29.95 http://www.surlatable.com/
I also picked up a set of 3 Wusthof cheese knives ($229.00, Williams-Sonoma) that come with a bamboo storage box. Each knife is tailored for cutting different cheeses. The 5 1/2" soft cheese knife has a holed surface so that soft cheeses like Brie or Camambert don't stick to it. The 5 1/2" hard cheese knife if perfect for cutting through semi-hard cheeses like, my current favorite, Mil Ovejas which is a spanish sheep's milk cheese (by the way, this pairs well with banana chutneyand key flower), the knife is equipped with a pronged tip for picking up slices or small cubes. The 2 3/4" knife is a Parmesan knife with a wide surface so you can get long thin slices of cheese.
Wusthof is a reliable name in cutlery. Unfortunate for American cutlery products though, the german engineered steel far surpasses any american made steel knife. It just lasts longer and stays sharp longer. I'll be sure to use this for my next wine & cheese party. Who am I kidding, we love cheese around here...I'll be using it like, today!