A few months back, I mentioned a few good tools to use in the kitchen in order to cook with a lighter touch, mainly to cook with less fat. Here are a few other favorites that help keep it light.
Silicone Brush: This is just like a pastry brush but made with silicone bristles, bristles that do NOT fall out as you brush your food lightly. I like to use the brush to very lightly brush a skillet with oil or to brush a roast with the tiniest bit of oil to get a nice crust on it, or if I am indulging in butter, to brush the lightest coat of butter onto a piece of toast.
Silicone Baking Mats or Parchment Paper: I remain partial to parchment paper because I like that it is natural, but use either one of these to make sure food doesn’t stick to things you are baking. Manufacturers are making lots of cooking forms from silicone these days that may let you cut down on fat even more.
Grill: This might seem obvious, but I don’t want you to forget about your grill in the winter time! If you’ve got a gas grill, then you’re good to go, but you also might want to invest in a countertop grill (can anyone say George Foreman) or a small, butane fired gas grill for an apartment-sized balcony. When you grill, you can cook without adding any fat.
Steamer: I will be playing with steamers more in the months to come. You can get a metal insert for your stockpot (a space saver, as it folds almost to nothing, an insert designed specifically for your pot or you can get a stack of bamboo baskets to place over a pot of simmering water (not such a space saver!). I like to steam vegetables for sure, but I’ll be steaming other things as I develop recipes this year.
Microwave: If you can’t buy a steamer but you already have a microwave, know that the microwave oven does a nice job steaming vegetables. Put fresh veggies into a microwave safe dish, add a few tablespoons of water, some seasonings if you like and steam. All ovens vary, so check your ovens settings for suggested vegetable-cooking times, but experiment.