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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Crazy Kitchen Gadget That's Not That Crazy! - With Bonus Recipe

I Love My 4 Burner Stove-top!
    Have you ever found a kitchen gadget and thought, "This thing is ridiculous!"? I have, many times. While perusing through a local dollar store a couple of days ago, I came across something that seemed like a dumb idea. It was a plastic/silicone ugly green "chopper." At first, I couldn't figure out what it could possibly be used for. At closer inspection, it purported to break up clumps of chopped meat while browning or frying. Hmmmm....I do that quite often, also with sausages and other things. I wondered if it would make that any easier. Hey, for a buck....why not try?


Weird Looking, I Know.
Once home, I searched a bit in the freezer and found a 2-pound block of hamburger to try it out on. I figured it would make some meat sauce/sort-of bolognese that would get used with lots of recipes later on. So, I defrosted the meat in the microwave using the built-in weight defrost function and turning it over halfway through. Make sure you watch carefully so it doesn't begin to cook. Slightly frosty is OK as long as you can get it apart. While it's defrosting, heat up some olive oil in a large skillet and add fresh chopped garlic (or freeze dried!) and some finely chopped sweet onions. I finely chop some carrots as well and toss them in. By the time these are in the pan, the meat is ready to go. Dump it into the skillet and use the tool to break up the large chunks until you get the size you prefer. Add some salt and pepper to taste.

 When the beef is mostly cooked through, add your choice of canned tomatoes. I prefer crushed (28 oz.), but stewed or whole would be fine. I'd break up the whole ones with this handy tool, but you don't have to. Add some water or consomme, lower the heat to simmer and cover. Cook until done. It will be a rich, thick sauce.

The Business End.
There are some obvious uses for this aside from chopped meat. I make a killer Chili that begins with cubes of chuck. They would be easier to break down (even though they are fork soft) with this beastie. Then there's my favorite beef and barley soup that uses the same cubes...except you have to fork split it before it goes into the soup. This would be perfect. Pretty much anything that you can cook in a skillet that needs to be broken up (even frozen veggies and the like) are great candidates for this thing.

This handy dandy tool works great as a stirrer as well. The more I look at its design, the more I believe it could be used for other purposes. Not sure what...maybe a back scratcher? Give me some time, I'll find some other uses for sure.

Be Seeing You...Down The Road,

Rich "The Wanderman"
www.thewanderman.com

6 comments:

  1. My daughter freezes punch in ice cube trays then combines the cubes with lemon lime soda in a bowl; the chopper makes quick work of turning this into a slushy delight for a party.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. JRZ,
      Now THAT'S a great idea!

      Rich "the Wanderman"

      Delete
  2. where did you get this for a dollar. it's $8.66 on Amazon

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wolverine,
      This one was at dollar tree, a local chain dollar store.

      Rich "The Wanderman"

      Delete
  3. LOVE this gizmo - been using one for years!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Donna,
      It's nice to be pleasantly surprised. I'm still coming up with new uses!

      Thanks,

      Rich "The Wanderman"

      Delete

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