Gift Ideas For The Foodie
Himalayan Salt Block
I first discovered Himalayan Salt Block cooking when I went to dinner at a Japanese restaurant in my NYC eastside neighborhood. I ordered a steak dish that came out sizzling on a salt block. When I asked the waiter about this preparation he told me that the chef doesn’t season the meat because he cooks it on the salt block. The meat was absolutely delicious so I immediately found out that a shop called, The Meadow, on Hudson Street specializes in Salt Blocks. Of course I purchased one right away and have been experimenting with it ever since. I’ve cooked steaks, seafood, duck and sliced potatoes on mine and each item has been outstanding. It’s best to use on a gas stove, grill or in the oven. The only drawback is that Salt Block cooking is a bit messy so be prepared to do a bit of cleaning up when done using it. Himalayan Salt Blocks cost from $40.00 on up.
If you’re in New York City you can stop in at The Meadow located at 523 Hudson Street, NYC (212-645-4633). They also have two stores in Portland, Oregon. Along with carrying high quality Himalayan Salt Blocks they carry a special salts, chocolates, and a variety of kitchen gifts. You can also order online at www.atthemeadow.com.
Mr. Romano Cheese Grater, made by Fred & Friends, is the funniest cheese grater that I’ve ever run across. Why not share your table with Mr. Romano and he’ll be the perfect guest, shredding your cheese with his manly 5-o’clock shadow. Mr. Romano is molded from a high-tech engineered plastic that is dishwasher-safe and highly durable. I bought a dozen of these graters to give away as holiday gifts this year. I found them for sale at www.amazon.com and cost about $11.00 plus shipping.
A few weeks ago I saw a mandoline slicer review section on a popular cooking show and the Good Grips V-Blade Mandoline Slicer, made by OXO, was highly recommended. The thing that I like about this mandoline is that it has a nice food holder so that your fingers are protected which definitely saves a trip to the emergency room. It slices fruits and vegetables with ease and has four blades, with a height adjuster; to make straight slices, crinkle cuts, French fries and julienne strips in a variety of thicknesses. The blades store on board and are easily removable for cleaning. Fold the feet and lock the mandoline for compact and safe storage. You’ll need to hand-wash the blades, but the body and food holder are dishwasher safe. You can find the OXO Good Grips V-Blade Mandoline Slicer at www.oxo.com, www.amazon.com or www.williams-sonoma.com. The cost is $39.99.