The three KitchenIQ products we would be testing were:
- V-etched Better Zester – an award winning zester
- The Grate Ginger Tool – this one tool can peel, grate, slice and extract juice from ginger
- V-etched Spice Grater – the ultimate grater for the freshest spices
Note: KitchenIQ has supplied these three products to me for free (and a set to giveaway to one U.S. reader below) in return for a fair and honest product test and review so I'll give you my thoughts on each of them--how easy they were to use, how well they worked, and (important to me) how easier they were to clean, care for and put away.
The V-etched Better Zester:
I have a microplane zester that I was given by and friend and that I use pretty much constantly so I wasn't sure that I needed a new one but the V-etched Better Zester lives up to the name, it is actually better than my microplane for a few reasons. It has a comfortable handle that is easy to grip--which I like as my old zester is one long strip of teeth/blades. This zester also has 300 tiny teeth that really catch the peel well, without the pith (as long as you don't press too hard). My main love and something I didn't realize I loved so much is the storage container on the back of the zester that not ony collect and measures whatever you are zesting, it has a tiny "squeegee" that removes the moist zest from the citrus from the back of the blade, making clean up a snap and giving you dry, sprinkle worthy citrus zest. Love it! I also tested it with Parmigiano-Reggiano and bittersweet chocolate and it was equally handy for grating, measuring, and cleaning up afterward. Sorry old zester, you have been replaced!
The Grate Ginger Tool:
As I mentioned, this was the tool I was most interested in trying and I was not disappointed. Everything you need to work with ginger is together in one hand-size tool. This one took its first test with the back-of-the-package instructions handy to review as I went through the different steps to peel, juice, grate and slice a piece of fresh ginger. Probably everyone knows the best way to peel ginger is with a spoon but the hard green plastic spoon that is attached is equally as effective in in removing the skin as a regular spoon. Juicing and grating sort of happen together and this was my favorite part about the tool--you simply grate your peeled ginger, remove the grater tray and use the grater cover to press the juice from the pulp--with no waste. You can then use the juice--or reserve it for other recipes and use the finely grated ginger. There is also the magic "squeegee" that runs along the underside of the blade as you pull it out and cleans the ginger from the grater making it easy to clean. I tried the slicer and it works pretty well with the blade slicing fairly easily through the tough ginger root. I usually slice my ginger thicker than this blade does, but I don't see that as a problem for most recipes and it in fact might be better for some. Out of the three tools, this one has the most pieces and I realize I am going to have to be careful not to lose the clear blade cover and forget to put the spoon back in ;-) but it does clean and go back together pretty easily. I did not try it with the other aromatics it was recommend to be used for like garlic and daikon, but I am sure I will soon. Another win--I would buy this one for myself or as a gift.
The V-etched Spice Grater:
I have an electric spice grinder that I seldom use because I hate dragging it out of the cupboard, cleaning any leftover spices that I didn't clean well the last time and plugging it in, then repeating the whole process. So I either tend to use my spices whole--as in my chai tea blend or I resort to quickly grabbing my jarred powdered spices. This grater is easy and fast to grab, has tiny sharp teeth for hard spices, and makes quick work of cinnamon, nutmeg, and one of my favorite spices, star anise. There is a tray to catch the grated spices so you can easily measure them for your dishes. I saw on the package that you can grate nuts (walnuts and pecans are shown) and I am looking forward to trying that. The blade and tray are easily rinsed and wiped clean and it is a lot more convenient than dragging my grinder down on a regular basis for hard spices. Sometimes a bit of the spice I was grating flew loose, or I found that I lose a little more of the spice at the very end than I do with an electronic grinder, but the consistent fine powder I got and the ease of using it outweigh that in my opinion. A great tool for any spice-loving cook.
I have a very small and too-full-of-stuff kitchen so as much as I love them, I try to limit my kitchen tools to those that I use regularly, have more than one purpose, and really work. All three of these KitchenIQ tools pass the taste and I will be using them all often--plus they are just fun to use and to look at with their bright colors and shapes. An honest thumbs up to all three of these tools from me.
Be sure to check out the giveaway below for a chance to win your own set.
Besides testing the tools, we were asked to come up with a recipe that allowed us to showcase the tools in action. I had several things in mind but in the end, it was a craving for a brothy and flavorful bowl of zucchini noodles that came to mind. I wanted something quick and easy but with a good mix of flavors and my own touch, so I enhanced prepared green curry paste and white miso with grated ginger and ginger juice from The Great Ginger Tool, added a kiss of star anise to add complexity with the V-etched Spice Grater, and finished it with lime juice and perfect zest from the V-etched Better Zester.
This is a light lunch dish that goes together quickly and is about the flavor of the broth so I kept to spiralized zucchini noodles but you could of course use any quick cooking noodle and add other veggies and/or tofu or another protein to bulk it up however you like.
Gingery Green Curry Miso Broth with Zucchini Noodles
By Deb, Kahakai Kitchen
1 Tbsp coconut oil (or olive oil)
2 green onions, chopped
1 Tbsp finely grated ginger
2 Tbsp Thai Green Curry paste (I use Thai Kitchen brand)
1 Tbsp ginger juice (optional)
4 cups good veggie broth
1 cup water
1/2 tsp star anise
2 medium zucchini, spiralized into a fettuccine noodle size, or rice noodles, or noodles of choice
2 Tbsp white miso paste
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
1/2 Tbsp lime zest
salt and pepper to taste
fresh lime zest and sesame seeds to garnish
Heat oil in a medium sauce pan and add green onions, grated ginger, and green curry paste. Cook until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Add ginger juice if using (I recommend), veggie broth, and water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer soup about 10 minutes to meld flavors.
Add zucchini noodles and let cook for 3-4 minutes until just tender. Place the miso paste into a small bowl and ladle in a cup of the hot broth. Whisk thoroughly with a fork until miso paste is dissolved into the broth, then add broth back into the soup. Add lime juice and 1/2 Tbsp of the zest. Taste for seasoning and add additional lime juice and salt and pepper as desired.
Divide into two large bowls. Garnish with additional lime zest and sesame seeds. Enjoy!
Notes/Results: This is a simple dish that really packs in the Asian-inspired flavors and totally hit the spot for my ginger, green curry, and miso cravings--why should I have to choose just one? The lime juice and zest keep it bright and the star anise is there--subtle in the background--but making you wonder why this broth is so darn good. I won't lie, I ate both servings myself because I didn't want to stop eating it. ;-) I will happily make this again using my fun new tools.
I'm linking up this tasty soup to Souper Sundays, hosted here at Kahakai Kitchen. Each Sunday we feature delicious soups, salads, and sandwiches from friends around the blogosphere--please join in if you have any to share. Here's this week's post and linkup.
***KitchenIQ Tools Giveaway!***Note: KitchenIQ is generously providing a Three-Tool Prize Package to one lucky U.S. resident (in the 48 contiguous states--sorry!) Winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter and notified here as well as email and have 48 hours to respond or the next winner will be chosen. We cannot be held responsible for items lost in the mail.
To enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway below, leave a comment (Because I like to read them!) ;-) telling me about either your favorite kitchen tool to use or your worst kitchen chore to complete.
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Deadline for entry is Tuesday, June 6th.
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