The Fabulous Beekman Boys' 10 Essential Kitchen Items
Immersion Blender: We make a lot of soups, many of which need to be pureed. Transferring the mixture to a food processor is not only messy, but can be dangerous if the mixture is still hot. An immersion blender takes care of both of those problems.
Lemons, Lemons, Lemons: We make sure we’re never out of lemons. We use the zest to garnish and brighten the flavor of all sorts of dishes. If we don’t need the juice right away, we freeze it in ice cube trays. And we don’t even throw away the juiced carcass; we use them with salt as an easy way to keep our copper polished.
Demitasse Saucer: No cup necessary. No, we’re not being precious. For years we would get annoyed by the ground pepper "footprint" left underneath the pepper grinder no matter how well we would shake it after use. Now we set it on a random demitasse saucer we found at a flea market, which is the perfect small size not to take up more counter space but still capture the spilled pepper.
Panko: Better than breadcrumbs, and now readily available in most grocery stores.
Instant Tapioca: We feel confident enough to settle the flour vs. cornstarch thickener debate once and for all: neither work as well as instant tapioca to thicken fruit for pies and sauces.
Corn Meal: We like to add a little corn meal to pie crusts and other cold-weather baked good. It adds a flavor and texture that using 100% flour can lack.
Real Cultured Butter: For greasing baking pans and sautéing vegetables, regular grocery store butter is fine. But when baking desserts, real cultured (often European branded) butter adds a much richer flavor. And if you’re taking the time to bake from scratch, make it count. Check your farmer's market for local sources.
Beekman 1802 Apron: This might seem self-serving, but we designed our apron to fulfill a need we couldn’t find elsewhere. Our apron has two thermal-resistant pockets sewn into the hem, so there's no more looking for potholders.
Nylon Pan Scrapers: Much easier to use and longer-lasting than steel wool pads.