Hard-to-find kitchen tools and gadgets

One of the things that La Belle Cuisine is best known for is its assortment of hard-to-find kitchen tools and gadgets. Your kitchen arsenal is what makes cooking fun and interesting, and is a great way to entice family and friends to get involved in meal preparation. Our best line of tools is made by Westmark of Germany. This is a line that I’m so proud of because of the quality built into each piece. Westmark tools are lifetime pieces that you will buy only once. They perform some remarkable – and some rather unremarkable – functions, but you’ll have lots of fun using them. Here are a few customer favorites.

The Westmark Cheese Slicer is a great tool for slicing soft- to medium-soft cheese. One of my favorite uses for this slicer is slicing fresh mozzarella for a caprese salad. (The mozzarella should be fresh within a day or so.) This salad is always best during tomato growing season when you can go outside and pick the reddest, ripest tomatoes from the vine. Slice the tomatoes and the mozzarella (with the cheese slicer) so that the pieces are similar in size to the tomato slices. On a plate layer first the tomatoes then the mozzarella. Add a fresh basil leaf to each, and drizzle with a good extra-virgin olive oil and balsamico (aged is best). Top with some freshly ground salt and pepper. This is as simple as it gets. Ingredients such as these don’t need too many enhancements to draw out their beautiful flavor. They do it on their own quite well.

The Westmark Mushroom-Egg Slicer is a tool that I sell to a number of restaurants that want beautiful, uniformly even slices of fruits and vegetables. One of my favorite uses for this tool is slicing mushrooms for a really simple and delicious marinated mushroom dish. Here’s how it goes: With the mushroom-egg slicer, slice a bunch of white button mushrooms. Add them to cold water in a pan. Bring to a boil and cook for about three minutes. Drain the water and let mushrooms dry. Finely mince a bit of fresh garlic and onion and set aside. In a bowl, whisk together extra-virgin olive oil and a little apple cider vinegar. To assemble, put dry mushrooms, garlic and onion together in a bowl. Pour dressing over mushroom mix, and sprinkle a little chopped fresh parsley, dried oregano, and freshly ground salt and pepper. Let set overnight or for about eight hours. Serve either cold or at room temp. I listed here only the ingredients – not proportions – because it is a recipe that is very much open to individual interpretation. For instance, I tend to use much more garlic than the average person. So, please put these ingredients together according to your own preferences.

The Westmark Duplex Egg Slicer is a tool that’s been around since forever. While the egg slicer doesn’t do anything remarkable, it does slice eggs remarkably well. The design of the Westmark egg slicer is special, because it allows you to slice hard-boiled eggs in two different directions so that the egg emerges not in slices but almost chopped. If you are making egg salad, for instance, you’ll get a chopped egg that will nicely hold its texture and not turn into a mushy egg salad. To get the “chopped” effect, put the hard-boiled egg onto the slicer and slice the egg. Carefully pick up the sliced egg – keeping it together – and place it on the egg rest in the opposite direction. Slice it again so that the egg is “chopped”. For a delicious egg salad, put chopped eggs in a bowl with some mayo, a tablespoon or so of grainy mustard, and freshly ground salt and pepper. The egg slicer also does a beautiful job slicing eggs for antipasto platters.

Finally, since cherry season is almost here, I have to mention the Westmark Cherry Stoner. For harvesting large quantities of cherries, this (remarkable!) device will remove the pits from 30 lbs. of cherries in an hour. And it’s a tool that everyone will enjoy using. To get an idea of its design and how it works, pay a visit to the web page https://cooksite.com/product/westmark-cherry-stoner/. If you enjoy cherries on a much smaller scale, the Westmark Hand-Held Cherry Pitter might be more your style. This tool easily pops the pit out of cherries without tearing them apart. It works well on olives too!

For more than 50 years, Westmark has been making unique kitchen tools that stand the test of time. If quality matters to you, choose Westmark for your kitchen. I hope you enjoy reading about the Westmark tools we offer in our web store. Bon appétit!