by Chris Davis
There are few things I dread like the awkward post-holiday period when I sit and stare at the weird kitchen gadgets that have been wrapped up and dropped on my doorstep like orphans by friends and family members who claim to love me. Deep down inside I sincerely want to want the pancake shooter, and the avocado toaster, and the grow-your-own-lobster kit. But, fact is, I don’t. My entire kitchen design philosophy is built around the idea that unnecessary crap should be targeted and eliminated with extreme prejudice, and as a result, most kitchen gadgets, even perfectly good ones, only make my face twitch.
Now, I’m not completely invulnerable to a good gimmick. For example, I was quite smitten by these Lékué silicone steam roasters when I first stumbled across the company website a few years ago.
I didn’t buy one though. They weren’t available in the states at the time and even though the elegant stove-to-place-serving creations seemed like a great idea, I couldn’t justify the expense. Besides, nothing that seems so nifty ever is, right?
Well, guess what showed up under the tree this year?
Four of them. Two chocolate brown, one green, and a beige. And as it turns out, they’re even niftier than I’d imagined.
For my first meal I roasted lamb chops with garlic and rosemary over a bed of spinach with turnips and multicolored organic carrots. Everything went from the cutting board directly into the Lékué bowl/roaster/things which roll up into perfect cooking envelopes.
After roasting at 450-degrees for 25 minutes I took the roasters out of the oven and took them directly to the table where they transform back from envelopes to bowls. The chops were perfect as were the vegetables. The garlic head was the best part. You can squeeze some garlic-y goodness out in the pan drippings or rub onto toast.
I’ve since made spicy carnitas and turnip greens for tacos and a fantastic pesto-coated pork chop with green beans and potatoes. Everything has been a hit. And since I’m cooking in the place setting, cleanup is nominal. Best of all, when the gift-giver asks how my Lekue roasters are working out, there won’t be any white lies or strained silences.