Learning to feed yourself can be one of the most terrifying things. Am I about to give myself food poisoning? If I eat this too often will I end up with scurvy? How can I get the most nutritional bang for my buck? Why does this still taste like ass?
With Ode to My Pantry, learn to navigate a grocery store without having a meltdown in aisle three. Give a man a fish and feed him for a day, teach a queer to cook and stave off malnutrition for another semester.
It’s the holiday season where everyone’s jing-jing-jingaling to get together, crack open a carton of nog, hoist the aluminum pole and tie one on to forget the exams, exes and empty bank accounts that have plagued you this season. When it comes to party planning, there’s a tool worth having that’s almost as important as your corkscrew. Nope, I’m not talking about your bottle opener (because duh yours should have both), I’m talking about immersion blenders.
This particular piece of kitchen gadgetry’s history is a bit easier to trace than say a fork or a whisk. Roger Perrinjaquet dreamed up this cooking propellor back in 1950 and patented the design as a Bamix, or battre et mixer. Could he have come up with a better portmanteaux? Probably.
Even though food processors, blenders and Magic Bullets seem to have the Market of Chopping Things into Tiny Pieces covered, my immersion blender’s still my BFF. Clean up takes little more than a quick blend in some hot, soapy water! Plus I can fit it in a drawer, tote it around and never have to worry about the aftermath of broken blender glass and hot soup. What, you don’t bring a blender to your sleepovers? Uh, maybe you’re not going to the right parties.
Souper Tasty Soups
I’m pretty sure everyone buys an immersion blender to make their way through the winter. Got a pile of squash? Bam, now you have a soup! Got a bunch of lentils? Now you have a lentil soup! Take a thing, boil a thing, blend a thing and it’s soup o’clock!
If you’re scared to add ER visits to your Christmas List to Santa, you can remove the molten soup-splash from your soup’s ingredient list. Take a paper plate that’s wider than your pot and cut a whole in the centre. Pop your immersion blender through the middle and the plate’ll protect you from molten hot splashes.
The go-to party companion has to be hummus. It’s vegan, customizable, delicious and really fucking cheap. The only way to improve on this already perfect treat is to make it mess-free.
Throw a can of chickpeas, lemon juice, garlic, salt and tahini into a jar and chase it down with your hand blender. Give it a few good swirls, dribble in some olive oil and you’re done in a matter of seconds without any extra bowls to clean! Do you prefer yours with lemon rind, pesto or roasted beets? Toss that in too. All you gotta do is throw on a lid, throw it in your bag and you’re ready to head out the door!
Preservative Free Dressings
I do love a basic vinaigrette, but sometimes I want something more than just vinegar and oil. You can use a quick zip of an immersion blender to emulsify your dressings or mayos in an instant, but you can also harness the power of pureed vegetables to keep your dressings together.
If you’re a fan of Japanese-style salad dressings, just make your own! Use the emulsive powers of pureed carrots, onions and ginger to carry the flavours of miso, sesame seed oil and rice wine vinegar. And plus fibre! Who doesn’t love extra fibre?
Hearty stews, gravies and creamy sauces all benefit from thickeners, which normally come in the form of a roux. This particular combination of flour cooked in butter holds onto several times its weight in liquid, but it also manages to hit the double whammy of dairy and gluten.
If you’re ever in the situation where you can’t reach for a roux, grab your onions instead. Saute until they’re softened, caramelized and sweet and throw it into your dish and blend your way to thickness.
If you get a meh bottle of red and want to turn it into an okay bottle, pour it into a decanter to let it breathe. The added oxygen lets aromas develop, but if you only have a few seconds as opposed to a few hours, give it 30 second spin first! Hyperdecanting is supposed to instantly aerate your wine, plus it’s definitely a cool party trick.