We’ve been focused on the outdoors recently, and some fun gadgets before that. But it’d be a shame to think that we’ve been leaving our test kitchen for long. We spent the holiday launching the new look and feel, but made sure to leave plenty of time to prepare the traditional Thanksgiving feast. Our 20+ pound turkey got special treatment in a beautiful roasting pan that we’ll tell you about tomorrow. But we used today’s pair of tools to help fix up the fixings.
Emile Henry’s Juniper Mortar and Pestle is made of the same Burgundian clay, fired in France, that they’ve been using since 1850. We’ve seen their ceramic ovenware and tableware before in the form of a cassoulet pot and a dutch oven, and like most everything- the designs, color choices, styling, and durability. It cleans up well, is able to be taken directly from the oven to the freezer without cracking, and is even dishwasher safe. It looks fairly delicate, but is tough and sturdy.
The Mortar and Pestle set might seem like the sort of thing you might not deeply need. But we found plenty of uses- from grinding up some fresh cloves for use on ham, mincing garlic, breaking up the softer leaves of cilantro, or preparing some pesto with fresh pine nuts. If you haven’t used one before or for awhile, there’s a natural motion and rhythm that you’ll find with some practice. At only $40, it’s a great stocking stuffer for the chef in your life, and is available in a wide range of colors from olive to citron to slate.
But if your chef is more likely to be found baking or making brunch, mixing eggs or batter, then consider the Rosle Flat Whisk. You probably have a whisk, and frankly if you don’t have one already, a normal full-size whisk is pretty handy. But for lighter use, when you don’t need a lot of air beaten in to a mix and want a gentler touch, then a flat whisk is a better choice. Theirs are well-made (in Germany), with the requisite hanging hook and is dishwasher safe (unlike many, the handle is sealed against water). Available in two sizes, ours was 27cm (10.5 inches), they are also available in silicone or stainless steel. Running $22-$25, they are available now, and nearly a platonic ideal of the whisking form.