At The Cookery, this is our kitchen mantra and the weekly inspiration we wish to share with you, our loyal customers, friends, and readers.
Of all the chef’s tools, it is the whisk that ties us back to our fondest kitchen memories and proves indispensable in many of our favorite recipes. From watching our grandmothers whip up a meringue to emulsifying a salad dressing for our Sunday brunch guests, the whisk will always be a symbol of something good to come in our homes.
And no greater word exists to describe the culinary experience than relish. At once a tasty treat, a tantalizing experience, and a master chef’s finishing touch, relish engages everyone involved in the preparation and partaking of good food.
In our blog’s banner, you’ll find The Cookery owner Cary Kelly’s grandmother’s whisk, and in our blog, you’ll find every interpretation of the word relish. We’ll share our stories with you - from our culinary journeys exploring the world’s best food staples and practices, to our kitchen conundrums tackling the cooking world’s trickiest questions. In the process of investigating foodie favorites and reporting on the latest tasty trends, we will introduce you to some of our favorite kitchen tools, as well as share recipes that put those tools to use.
Above all, our goal is to foster delight through food, and we hope to inspire you to do the same at home, by joining us in implementing our mantra to whisk and relish every day! We look forward to sharing our stories with you and to hearing your own in the comments below.
Our Favorite Kitchen Tool
Our first and favorite kitchen tool is, of course, the whisk.
Today’s whisks come in countless shapes and sizes. From balloons to twirls and spirals to cages, just when we think we’ve seen them all, a new design appears to beat out all the rest (no pun intended).
But which whisk whisks best?
It all depends on the ingredients you’re whisking and the receptacle you’re whisking them in. Balloon whisks are best used in bowls to follow their curved sides. The longer French whisks are designed for deep pans with straight sides. Then there are gravy whisks for, well, the obvious, along with other thick sauces, and roux whisks (aka flat whisks) for whipping ingredients cooking in a shallow skillet. Form follows function.
One of our favorite more recent inventions is the cage, or ball, whisk that incorporates a smaller wire cage containing a marble-sized ball in the center of a traditional balloon whisk. This tool is particularly great for quickly whipping liquid ingredients into an extra-smooth, creamy blend, thanks to its increased wires and advanced aerating effects (think whipped cream, pie fillings, puddings, condiments, etc.). And it is perfect for emulsifying a salad dressing in a flash.
Speaking of which, we love using our cage whisk to make this easy and delicious basic dressing.
Our Go-To Salad Dressing
dresses 4-6 salads
¼ cup balsamic vinegar*
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp dijon mustard
a pinch of salt, to taste
*for an elegant, more classic vinaigrette, substitute balsamic vinegar with our Virginia-made Lindera Honey Vinegar
Combine all of the ingredients in a tall, cylindrical container, preferably with a lid (a wide-mouth water bottle or Mason jar works great). Immerse your whisk into the ingredients and rapidly roll the handle between the palms of your hands until the ingredients are well-blended. Dress your salad to taste, and store the remaining dressing in the fridge for up to one week. Enjoy!
Kitchen Hack: How to Fix a Broken Vinaigrette
If the oil and vinegar do not mix or emulsify, your dressing is “broken.” Here is a quick fix:
- Whisk one egg yolk in a medium bowl.
- Slowly whisk in some of the broken dressing.
- When emulsified, add the remaining dressing, and continue to whisk briskly until fully combined and creamy.