Whether you consider yourself a home cook or a pro, there's one kitchen gadget that reigns supreme in the kitchen drawer. The simple microplane, which looks like a small grater, is marketed as the perfect tool for zesting citrus. But did you know that this fine grater can be used for many different kinds of food?
When purchasing your own kitchen tool, look for a stainless steel model about 8-inches in length. The microplane should fit comfortably in your hand. Most microplanes come with a protective cover and we highly recommend using it to prevent cuts while rummaging in the drawer.
Toss out that box grater, this sharp microplane blade cuts through chocolate easily for a decorative sprinkling on anything from cookies to coffee drinks. We recommend that the chocolate be cold or room temperature to grate properly. Any warmer and the chocolate will melt and make a mess.
A microplane grater and whole clove of garlic make the perfect match. Rub the garlic against the blades, making sure to watch your fingers or use a cutting glove. The garlic will make a fine paste, perfect for salad dressings or anything with raw garlic.
Once peeled with a spoon (not a peeler), rub the ginger root against the microplane to mince. It breaks up the fibrous parts of the ginger as well as makes it into a paste. Once you grate it once, you'll never by store-bought again.
When it comes to must-have tools, a microplane is on the top of the list. Nuts like almonds and pecans can be grated onto salads and desserts for a fun and crunchy topping. We love grating walnuts onto our yogurt parfaits.
There's nothing more tantalizing for your senses than the smell of freshly grated nutmeg. Buy the whole nutmeg and grate a little into bechamel sauce or a mug of steaming hot coffee.
Lemongrass, which can sometimes be a bit grassy when chopped up with a knife, is beautifully presented while grated using a microplane. The popular Asian ingredient is found in dishes like curry and even cocktails.
7. Hard Cheese
Hard cheeses are no match for a microplane. Grate up light-as-air parmesan cheese to top pasta, stir into sauces and even sprinkle on salads. It's a cheese tool you'll love forever.
Believe it or not, chile peppers are amazing when grated. If you are looking to add a little zing to your dish without feeling the fire on your tongue, grate a small amount of the chile pepper over your food.