Family life in LA


Kitchen tools for meal kit cooks

Meal kit delivery services that ship groceries and pre-measured ingredients, along with step-by-step cooking directions, are giving confidence to would-be cooks.   While services like Plated, HelloFresh, Blue Apron and SunBasket are helping newbie foodies find their way in the kitchen, these aspiring chefs are learning that their steak knives just don’t cut it anymore for food preparation.  For those ready to step up to some real kitchen tools, here are the essentials that go hand-in-hand with meal kits.
Nearly every meal kit preparation calls for a large pan.  A great size all-purpose pan that suits most of these recipes is the All-Clad Pan Roaster from the d7 Stainless Collection, designed for expert cooks but will work for beginners as well.  The 3-quart pan’s layers of stainless steel and aluminum are 25 percent lighter than cast iron and diffuse heat for consistent results on all cooktops.  The roaster includes a lid which comes in handy for many of the meal kit processes.  Available at Williams-Sonoma, $300.
A cut above
Knife cuts are the first skills culinary students learn, but to really cut it, a cook needs a great set of chef’s knives.  An excellent versatile set fit for a pro as well as a budding chef is the Global 2-Piece Knife Set (Available at Sur la Table, sale priced $99.96). The duo includes two high performance razor-sharp essential knives of CROMOVA stainless steel — a six-inch chef’s knife and a three-inch paring knife – with double-beveled edges for clean cuts, lightweight design, and balanced ergonomic handles with comfortable and secure grips for ease of use. Global also makes an excellent pair of kitchen shears ($99.95) for opening all those individual bags of ingredients.
Here to serve
Presentation matters, so once your meal kit masterpiece is ready to eat, showcase it elegantly yet simply with a set of Blanc Oval Swoop Bowls (exclusively at Sur la Table, 7,” 9,” and 12″ diameter, $7.96 to $23.96), or the Coupe Porcelain Serve Platter (exclusively at Sur la Table, in small, medium and large, sale priced $15.96 to $23.96). These classic yet modern porcelain serving dishes complement any décor and allow an array of plating and serving options. They are also easy care — stackable for easy storage; and dishwasher, freezer, microwave and oven safe.
Spinning in control
Once budding cooks have graduated from bagged salad kits to cutting up a real head of lettuce, they will need to wash up and dry those leaves, made easy with the OXO Salad Spinner ($30). The spinner’s plastic basket can spin rinsed fresh greens or berries, and features a tight-fitting lid and nonslip knob to prevent salads from tossing prematurely.  As a bonus, both the basket and bowl can be used separately. Available at Sur la Table.
Sure mix a lot
The directions for most meal kits require many bowls, but rather than fill your cabinet with space-hogging mixing bowls, stack up a set of three Melamine Mixing Bowls ($30) that fit together for space-saving storage. This nesting set of mixing bowls is great for baking, meal prep and even serving in a stitch, and they clean up easily in the top rack of the dishwasher. Available at Sur la Table.