Wondering what to get the cook or food lover in your life? You could go with a big leg of juicy Australian Lamb, complete with a snazzy red bow. Of course, there are other perfect gifts out there too that they’ll need to prepare that Australian Lamb. Here’s our handy guide:
Hands-down, the one item any cook needs to have. Ideal heat conductors famed for ensuring even cooking, they can be used on the stovetop or in the oven, for sautéing, frying or even as a makeshift Dutch oven, for lamb stews and soups. Their remarkable durability also tends to make them a highly cherished item (ask Grandma or Mom about hers). Snag a basic 8″ or 10″ skillet for the beginner cook, or a more unusual size for the more experienced cook (just remember to keep their oven size in mind).
Mortar and Pestle
Handy for light mixing, crushing, grinding and mashing, to prepare blended foods like pesto (actually named for the pestle pounding) or guacamole, a mortar and pestle can be an indispensible kitchen tool. Quick to use and easy to clean, they can also double as eye-catching kitchen décor. While available in a variety of materials, many cooks tend to prefer ultra-non-porous ceramic and stone. Whatever material you choose, make sure both mortar and pestle are made of the same material, for even pressure and grinding.
Another essential and cherished kitchen item—for amateurs and experienced cooks alike—is a good knife. If you’re gifting for a beginner foodie, you can’t go wrong with a good chef’s knife, for chopping, slicing and dicing. Or, you can always round out their collection with one of three other essential knives: a longer, thinner slicing knife; a utility knife (a smaller, 4–6 inch version of the chef’s knife); or a paring knife. Quality tip: “forged” knives, while more expensive, tend to be sturdier and longer-lasting than their “stamped” counterparts.
Artisanal Oils, Salts or Spices
Every recipe needs some sort of oil, acid or seasoning—and while all cooks likely have regular old salt, pepper and olive oil in their cabinet, what about Meyer lemon olive oil, or classy French Fleur De Sel (delicate sea salt that can provide the perfect finishing touch to many a dish)? Hip, elegant and worldly, artisanal variations of basic ingredients can really appeal to a foodie’s creative, experimental nature. You may even get an exiting new lamb dish as a thank-you note!
Considering what your foodie likes to cook is always a good approach. For fans of savory, slow-cooked dishes, you can’t go wrong with a tagine. A word that refers to slow-cooked dishes like this lamb leg, it’s also a cone-shaped pot traditionally used in Mediterranean and North African cooking. Comprised of a flat, circular base and a tall lid (designed to facilitate even heat and moisture circulation), it can be used to prepare tantalizing meals. It also makes an eye-catching conversation piece, with styles ranging from slick and modern to traditional and hand-painted.