Chip Fisher's Newsletter
Chip Fisher formerly of Lamalle Kitchenware

Basic Knives
One of two areas where quality really counts. Make sure the knives have a high carbon content (for sharpness) and that, with the exception of the serrated knife, they are forged (for strength). You'll need a paring knife (3-4") for small jobs, a cook's knife (6-10") for vegetables, meats and herbs, a serrated knife (10-12") for bread and cake and a carving knife (8-10") for cooked meats.

Basic Cookware
Once again, quality is essential. Be sure that your cookware is of a sufficiently heavy gauge and that you are utilizing a highly conductive metal (usually copper or aluminum). You will need one large saucepan to cook nearly a gallon of soup, rice, small amounts of pasta, blanch or steam vegetables and reduce sauces. A three to five quart saute pan can be used to brown meats, wilt spinach, stir-fry vegetables and braise almost anything. Use the pan to make any kind of sauce for pasta and then toss the pasta right into the pan. A ten-inch omelette pan (cast iron & non-stick are both good choices) for sauteing meats to add to salads or pasta, mushrooms, onions, the occasional omelette and even a tarte tatin. Lastly, use a large stockpot for the obvious as well as pasta, soup and boiling potatoes. If you opt for a pot with a pasta insert you can use the insert as a colander.

Measuring Tools
Stainless steel measuring cups & spoons for flour, sugar, cornmeal, baking powder, nuts, or even melting butter on the stovetop. Liquid measuring cup(s) can also be used for warmed broth for risotto if it's tempered glass.

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