In case you had not read between the lines yet, I am incredibly lazy. I hate to drag out my food processor when I really don’t have to. It’s heavy, takes up a lot of counter space, has many blades, graters and parts – and all that washing up! Who needs that?
So I have a variety of tools that are light-weight, quick and easy. My favorite of which is probably my Microplane.
I first encountered the Microplane being used as a cheese grate for Parmesan by a waiter, table-side, in an Italian restaurant. I was fascinated by the idea of using a woodworking tool on food. Once the light bulb moment had passed, I realize that the kitchen held endless possible uses for this culinary rasp.
The kitchen world is full of impostors.
Kraft grated Parmesan is not real Parmesan. Once you have shaved delicate tendrils of parm from a fresh block o’ cheese with a microplane – that’s Parmesan!
Pre-ground nutmeg that is sold by spice a company may just as well be sawdust. Shave the whole nutmeg with a microplane and the aroma will convince you that you are only, just then, experiencing nutmeg for the first time.
The same is true of the zest of any citrus fruit. No longer come away with bleeding knuckles and chunks of lemon peel. Some of my worst experiences in the kitchen came at the hands of the old-fashioned “knuckle-buster” grater.
Want to shave chocolate onto the top of your cake – heck, even your cappuccino? Guess what you need to do it… ah hah.
Want to pulp garlic or ginger into recipe, but don’t want to bite down on chunks when you eat later…. yup, you know it…
Coconut flaavor (Karl tries to sneak coconut into everything he can get away with), but no chewy flakes…. um …
Got a fussy kid who swears that they don’t like onion and you know that it is a texture thing. Pulp it and get the flavor without any of the tell tale evidence that you have used onion.
Hate the way that lemongrass is often fibrous? Pulp it.
Horseradish/Wasabi? What do you use to turn it into the pepperiest, fieriest condiment ever? See how smart you have become?
This versatile piece of equipment retails for around $12.50. What a bargain!