Fun fact: There are enough restaurants in New York City for a person to eat out every night for 54 years and never visit the same place twice. And guess what, most of them deliver. So it’s no surprise that when faced with the choice of whipping up a meal from scratch or going out/ordering in, most of us choose the latter. It’s not that we’re lazy; we’re logical!
But, we’re also missing out.
As conveinent as it is to press a few buttons on our phones and have spicy pad thai, brick-oven pizza, or fresly-made sushi at our doorstep in 30 minutes or less, there’s nothing like the aroma of homemade tomato sauce simmering on the stove or cloves of garlic roasting in the oven.
With a little planning and patience, anyone—and we mean anyone—can prepare a gourmet meal in the time it takes for delivery to arrive even in the smallest of kitchens. But first, you need the right supplies. Not sure where to begin? Here are the top 10 items all New Yorkers should have in their kitchens.
MORTAR & PESTLE
To really bring out the flavors of all those fresh herbs you’ve been growing, invest in a high-quality porcelin mortar & pestle. To avoid spills, choose one that’s heavy and stays still while you grind.
Save yourself the headache of waiting in line for coffee at your local bakery and brew your own using a chic stainless steel french press. Chances are, it’ll taste better than whatever burnt beans Starbucks is shilling, plus it’s a great way to save $5 every day.
Full-sized blenders are great, but let’s face it, they can be quite the pain to clean (and store). To make fresh guacamole, dips, or smoothies without sacrificing prized counter space, reach for the magic bullet. It’s just as powerful as all those fancy models—and the top fits in the top rack of the dishwasher.
Think all knives are the same? Think again. To chop vegetables with the precision of a chef (and avoid injuries!), it’s vital to invest in good knives. For easy and safe storage, choose a set that comes in a sturdy oak block. It’ll protect the edges of your knives—and your fingers!
Throw away that chemical-tasting container of imitation vanilla in the back of your pantry and pick up a bottle of 100 percent pure vanilla syrup straight from the Heilala plantation in the Vava’u Islands of Tonga. Unlike other vanilla-infused products, this syrup is extracted from Heilala pods so there’s no synthetic additives. Pour it in smoothes, cocktails, or over fresh fruit… the possibilities are endless.
TRUFFLE SEA SALT
Add bold, earthy flavor to even the simplest of dishes—from air-popped popcorn, to crispy french fries—with white truffle sea salt. Sprinkle generously over risotto, salads, and vegetables to enhance any entree, or add a dash to vanilla ice cream for a sweet and salty dessert.
SRIRACHA KAFFIR LIME RUB
Everything, and we mean everything, tastes better with a squirt of the iconic spicy red sauce. To capture the same Southeast Asian-inspired flavor with a hint more sophistication, pick up a tub of sriracha kaffir lime rub. Dust it over pork, chicken, or fish before baking or sprinkle it over roasted potatoes for an unexpected punch.
The secret to adding a hint of sweetness to salad dressings, cheeses, or glazes isn’t artery-clogging white sugar, it’s honey! But don’t just settle for any grocery store variety (despite the cuteness of the honey bear bottle). Pick up a jar of artisan honey produced by non-commercial beekeepers using traditional low-impact methods.