Whatever the final outcome of the Super Bowl, there will be winners and losers on the field. Yet when it comes to the playing field that is your kitchen, you can become the hero of the Super Bowl party. And unlike the big game, cooking is a sport you can't lose.
But if you want to win in kitchen stadium, you need the right gear.
Let’s be honest: you're willing to spend $1,500 on a set of good golf clubs despite your 'handicap.' You bought that $80 Nike softball glove for your weekend league. So if you want to be considered a decent cook, you've got to buy some serious gear. And unlike the clubs or the glove, an investment in the kitchen makes you instantly better.
Make the Cut
Begin with a high-quality chef's knife. Just like that new graphite racket, the most important consideration is how comfortable it feels in your hand. Look for high-carbon, stainless steel, one-piece construction, usually eight to ten inches long. But don't hesitate to buy a six-inch version if it feels better. As Scarlett Johannson once said, there's no need to impress anyone with the size of your sword, just the way that you swing it. I think it was Scarlett Johannson. Wüsthof, Henckels, and Global are well known, but expensive brand names, whereas Victorinox offers excellent choices for under $45.
Take the Heat
Now, upgrade your cookware. There are two things to know about pots and pans. One is that there is no perfect material. The second is that thickness is the name of the game. Yes, you can scramble an egg on grandma's hand-me-down tin pan, but to boost your game, get some quality pieces blessed with heavy bottoms. Begin with a good-size sauté pan.
Cast iron works well and it's inexpensive, but generally heavy and somewhat impractical for everyday cooking. Aluminum is fine if you choose a heavy gauge (try Calphalon). The same holds true for stainless-steel, which I like best for its longevity. In fact, All-Clad has an excellent portfolio of stainless-steel cookware sets that last longer than most marriages. Great value for the money can be had with the Tramontina 12" Tri-Ply Stainless Steel Frying Pan.
Find Utility Players
Now you all you need is a deep bench, and you are ready to play. You’ll look like a pro, and you're already more confident. Remember, on this field, your sports drink is a big old beer or goblet of wine. Enjoy the game! Stocked with the essentials, it's time to make your cooking experience even easier. Introducing the rest of your "team..."