kitchen jewellery

what’s the scoop!

four scoops

Pulling four ice cream scoops from my kitchen drawer…straight away it was obvious which ones were “dishwasher safe”.  It is something that I usually check before washing but I guess we are all guilty of throwing utensils into the dishwasher only to discover on emptying… “oh hell” did I really put that in there! The photograph speaks for itself.

 

Making that perfect scoop of ice cream requires a spoon- shaped metal head with a handle that can be held comfortably with a firm grip…that is if you want the perfect scoop! Many a dessert spoon I am sure will have been bent trying to dig scoops of hard ice cream out of it’s container. Each of the four ice cream scoops being different, two mechanical scoops (half-globe shape) with a leaver, one simple ice cream scoop and one that has a handle which can be filled with warm water.

do I really need an ice-cream scoop?

Well, I like having a utensil made specifically for the job and yes sometimes I do want that perfect scoop of ice cream.

scoop number one: The mechanical scoop (half-globe) has a leaver at the side which moves a blade across the scoop’s  interior that helps eject the ice cream ball successfully. Actually I never bought this scoop with ice cream in mind…it was potatoes! Great for serving up nice creamy mounds of mashed potato.

great for serving mounds of mashed potato

scoop number two: The leaver is positioned on top of the handle and when pressed pushes up a metal leaver on the scoops interior, which helps to eject the ball of ice cream. This scoop was not very successful when used on a soft ice cream because the leaver got stuck in the ice-cream itself and you ended up trying to shake it off instead. Works better with a firmer ice cream. Even though it was dishwasher safe, I had to wash it manually because the metal leaver inside the scoop had to be pressed up to wash underneath it properly.

can be used to portion out even sized fish cakes

scoop number three: A plain metal scoop, no leaver and no filling of water. To use this scoop I would  dip it into a mug full of warm water, giving it a wipe with kitchen paper before dragging the warmed scoop over the surface of the ice cream, it worked… but then along came scoop number 4!

the interior of the ice cream scoop with red handle is very pitted…into the bin it goes!

scoop number four:  This has a handle covered with a rubber grip which can be filled with hot water (no more dipping and wiping) which transfers heat to the top of the scoop, this aids in forming nice rolls or balls of ice cream when dragged along the surface. The ice cream does not stick to the warm scoop.

my favourite ice cream scoop is number four and one that I use all the time… but there is an ice cream scoop which has an anti-freeze liquid sealed inside and is non stick which is supposed to be really good. Maybe I need to up-grade!

before that perfect scoop!

In my experience when dealing with any frozen hard ice cream it requires some softening first and this should be done slowly in the refrigerator, anywhere between 10 to 20 minutes, depending on size of ice cream container. The aim is to soften it enough to scoop and serve.

 

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will I or will I not keep my herb mincer

off to a rolling start

Looking at this rolling herb mincer with its nine blades I thought it should make short work of mincing parsley for a simple garnish called Gremolata. Taking out the chopping board, parsley washed and dried, the herb mincer at hand…and its off to a rolling start…or so I thought.

A couple of quick rolls over the parsley and my thoughts were “you’ve just ruined my lovely fresh parsley.” The parsley very quickly got stuck between the blades and looked mangled, bruised, wet and started to turn my chopping board green. Not good! The blades are very blunt and I am sure that is one good reason for my badly bruised parsley. Also this herb mincer has a curved top which dragged the parsley into the blades and it all just got stuck. So, putting the herb mincer aside and taking the reliable chopping knife out, I finished the job in a breeze.

quick and easy

Gremolata is a combination of lemon zest, garlic, parsley, and olive oil, preparation only takes a couple of minutes and is best made close to serving time. Traditionally an addition to Osso Bucco (braised veal shanks), Gremolata is also great as a garnish on grilled meats and seafood.

Geremolata

Ingredients:

  • zest of one lemon
  • 1  small garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • pinch of sea salt
Useful Kitchen Jewellery:
  • knife
  • chopping board
  • citrus zester

 How to make: In a small bowl mix all the above ingredients together and let the Gremolata stand for about 10 minutes before serving, so all the flavours can blend together. Sprinkle over grilled meats and seafood of your choice.

the last word

There are many brands and designs of herb minces on the market and I am sure some may have better blades, however the herb mincer is not a kitchen tool that I would rush out to buy, a chopping knife or mezzaluna is my preferred choice for chopping herbs. I will not be putting this rolling herb mincer back into the kitchen drawer for further use. It has been suggested that I use it for cutting fresh pasta sheets into ribbons but I think I will leave that job for my pasta machine.

 

do you have a herb mincer?

forgotten kitchen tool

This rolling herb mincer was right at the back of the kitchen drawer and I had nearly forgotten that I  even owned one. I have no idea how long it has been in the drawer, but I know it has been there for some time.

The herb mincer was given to me, possibly by my mother on one of her visits to see me. Mum knows how much I like kitchen tools and I guess she thought I just might need one of these. With all it’s rolling blades the herb mincer looks like it will deliver as a kitchen tool, and I do like how it looks. However if memory serves me correctly I do not think it had lived up to what is was supposed to do.

The herb mincer is not a kitchen tool that I would go out and buy because I generally chop or mince herbs using  a knife, scissors or a mezzaluna. Everything deserves a second chance so lets see if I find this herb mincer useful with some of my recipes…will keep you posted.

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