Chef Tim Says...

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Dr. Tim Says...

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Chef Tim Says....

Stick Someone With This Gift

I did something that I have never done for the holiday this year. I gave a small appliance to someone for Christmas. Not to just anyone but to my sister. Okay, at least it wasn’t a toaster or a George Foreman grill either.

At Thanksgiving my mother made a soup and pureed it using a stick blender that I had given her. I love this appliance (sometimes called an immersion blender) and use it constantly. It is one of the most versatile kitchen gadgets you can purchase.

The one that I have is made by Braun and I love it. I have used most of the other brands. Because I travel to different cities for television spots I often use a food stylist to help get things ready. One of the items on the equipment list is frequently a stick blender and, consequently, I have been able to try those made by almost every manufacturer -- Farberware, Cuisinart, Quick Stick and even some restaurant models.

This is a great product. They make a 200 watt and the stronger 400 watt. Maybe I love the Braun so much because of the elegant, functional design. It’s made of white plastic like an iMac. Think of kitchenware as if Jonathan Ive of Apple Computer designed cooking appliances. The handle contains the motor and there are interchangeable parts (everything except the handle can go in the dishwasher).

Buy Your Own

With the 200 watt model for $30.00 you also get a mini-chopper and a motorized whisk. The mini-chopper is wonderful for small jobs and the perfect size for making pesto or chopping nuts or just a few bread crumbs. Be careful, though, once I burned up a motor by stuffing the chopper full of dried porcini mushrooms. It appears that it can handle only so much.

There’s a tall cup to mix dressings in using the electric whisk or the immersion blender, and both the tall cup and the mini-chopper come with plastic lids so you can finish your pesto or salad dressing and pop the top on and put it straight into the fridge.

So I got one for my sister for the holiday. Not the most stylish gift, mind you, but one that is very cool. This is an essential time saver in the kitchen. When I went to purchase it they had a new version with an interchangeable handle more like a hand mixer that had a hand mixer attachment! Even cooler!

My sister gave me a lovely (and most elegant) pottery dish. As I was writing this I thought that it was OK that this was the only time I have given an appliance for Christmas and then I realized I gave my fiancée’s sister a rice cooker. Ah, well… something else to tell you about soon.

Dr. Gourmet
January 5, 2006