Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Tools I Couldn't Cook Without: Getting the most out of spices with a Mortar and Pestle

I love to use a Mortar and Pestle. It brings out the best of flavours. There are many many varieties available, but I love these two (although I do want a glass one with the frosted glass, just out of purely aesthetic commodity fetishism--> translation: I love the pretty things! heehee.)

The small one is just your average marble one. I like to put my hand over it (like an inverted cup) when doing things that hop-- like peppercorns or coriander. The larger one was a purchase inspired by my family friend Nee--who lives in Thailand and visits occasionally (when she makes the World's most aromatic sauces and dressings in a big one like it.) So when I saw it at Granville Island Market I had to have it. It was surprisingly affordable.

I wouldn't be without my mortar and pestle for crushing spices, bringing out the oils in herbs and spices (even premixed seasonings benefit from a grinding!) It is also indispensable for marrying (smush-smashing!) garlic and herbs and spices and oils and other lovely saucy bits. However, if you can't afford a mortar and pestle, just use you hands to rubs the mixes of seasonings (better than nothing and it leaves nothing to wash up after.)

Thanks for lookin' & happy cookin'!
:0) Mel

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