You can never have too much kit in the kitchen I say. Mine is jam packed with products but always room for more. Now I'm a touch, well, older, I seem to be replacing them all with good quality versions. Other than the IKEA garlic press (you will find no better), I think kitchen tools need a little investment and they will always repay you in the end.
Anyway, one of my favourite brands, as you may have noticed, is OXO Good Grips. Their products are mid-priced and on the whole really fantastic quality. Their other USP is that they have higher design considerations than other products. The way you use, hold and store them have really been thought about. Clearly, they hire exceptional product designers!
I'll be showcasing three new products this week but today I'm testing out the Complete Grater & Slice Set (rrp £30.00). This is a compact set compromising of a fine and coarse grater, mandolin style slicer and julienne cutter. I like how they have been designed to store neatly inside the box.
Handily, you have the option to use the individual cutting plates over your bowl or plate or slide them onto the box lid, which doubles as a container to catch the food.
The base is non slip and the blades razor sharp. It was a good idea to include a finger guard, and one that is actually useful and grips onto the vegetables! All my other mandolin finger guards have been too bulky or don't grip well.
It's been a great little tool to have and I've been happy with the results from all the challenges I've thrown at it from cheese and fruit zests to root vegetables. If I could change one thing, it would be to have the julienne slicer s touch lager as there was a tendency for the vegetables to shred up rather than form neat matchsticks.
As summer is here, crunchy, vibrant salads tend to feature more on our dining table. As hardier vegetables are used, I like to prepare a huge bowl so I can grab and go lunches on the fly. Being a new mum again, you can easily put yourself last and healthy eating can go down the pan! So I always stock up on fresh meals so I have no excuse to eat out of the bread bin. Again.
This Vietnamese style salad recipe is a favourite and you really do need a decent set of grater and slicing tools to make it unless your knife skills are ace. The different textures are really nice and the dressing has a real zing. Salads boring? As if!
This Vietnamese style salad with chilli garlic prawns
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into fine matchsticks
half a small white cabbage, cut into fine matchsticks
quarter of a cucumber, cut into fine matchsticks
firm mango, peeled, stone removed and cut into fine matchsticks
Chilli prawn ingredients
300g raw king prawns, defrosted if frozen
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
Red chilli, finely chopped
3 tbsp olive oil
Juice of 1 lime
handful of cashew nuts
Prepare all of the ingredients for the salad base using a grater, mandolin, food processor or sharp knife.
Heat the olive oil for the prawns in a large frying pan, add the chilli (to your heat preference) and garlic, fry for a few seconds then add the prawns. Fry for a few minutes, turning regularly until cooked through. Season.
Dress the salad and divide between bowls.
Top with the prawns, coriander and nuts.
I was sent OXO Good Grips products for review. Words and views, as always, are my own.