Thursday, April 15, 2010

A Kitchen Fit for a Gringa

One of the very first things we did when we got engaged was get registered.  Hey, if people wanna buy us presents, I'm gonna give them that opportunity!  We were sure to include kitchen items that were conducive to Cuban cuisine.  I thought y'all would appreciate those ideas for your own cocinas!

A roasting pan is the cornerstone of any Cuban kitchen.  Why?  Because pork is the cornerstone of Cuban cuisine.  It is important to have a good roaster, and this one (by Calphalon) is rather inexpensive!

A muddle is essential to good mojitos.  Mashing limes and mint together perfectly blends the flavors together.  This muddle, by Crate and Barrel, is especially good because it's long enough to use directly in the pitcher.  Which brings me to my next point...

This pitcher is acrylic.  I know, I know, it's not as fancy as a glass pitcher (which is why we registered for one of those too), but it is a necessity.  Good mojitos need to be made directly in the pitcher and you need to be able to keep muddling them to refresh the flavors each time your guests would like a refill.  I've seen people try to do this in a glass pitcher.  It does not end well.  Get an acrylic pitcher or don't try mojitos at home.

Okay, so fun margarita glasses aren't really a necessity.  But look how fun these are!  A blender is also important, not just for margaritas but for mojito daiquiris (more on that later).

We did not actually register for a chip and dip platter because I have a really fun Florida Gators one, but I definitely think it's a necessary addition to a cocina.  Especially if you're into entertaining, this is a must have.

Source: CSN Stores
A mortar and pestle is critical to grinding fresh spices.  It's also very useful in making guacamole.  We'll have to ask our recent giveaway winner how this particular mortar and pestle worked out for him!

Source: CSN Stores
I cannot overemphasize the importance of a good skillet.  Not only that, but it's not a bad idea to have several skillets specifically made for specific dishes.  I have an omelet pan that I'm pretty much obsessed with.  This particular pan by Rachel Ray would be perfect for plantains.

I recently discussed the importance of a good cast iron skillet.  My favorite thing about this particular tool is that the older it gets, the better it is.  There's something really fun about that, and I love it.

An espresso maker is essential to good Cuban coffee (more about that later).  Some people use a stove-top kettle, some people use something as fancy as this.  We have one by Krups that I like a lot, but I couldn't resist posting this one because it's so pretty.

I always thought flan could only be served round, but I recently discovered that a loaf pan is a perfectly suitable and much easier choice!

Do you have a favorite piece of Gringa Gear in your kitchen?


  1. Black and Decker One-Touch Chopper
    (I have the small one.)

    Black & Decker food chopper simplifies meal preparation. Chops onions, garlic etc etc in a breeze. Under 20 bucks.

  2. Ooo that sounds absolutely perfect for pico de gallo! Great suggestion, Charlene!

  3. Must. Have. One-Touch Chopper.

  4. When I bought my house through costa rica homes for sale
    I expected to have a big stove in the kitchen with a huge space, now I am really happy because I can cook every kind of recipe in my huge stove. I really love it.