Sunday, September 26, 2010
A Grate Idea
I have a Microplane grater/zester. That's it, right next door there. It is a fabulous, fabulous cooking tool of many talents. One of which is zesting lemons without getting any of that bitter white underbelly pithy stuff in with your bright, tart essence-of-lemon stuff.
But I have always used this grate tool in the same way I use all graters.
The wrong way.
That way is when (Oh grammar mavens hide your eyes. I'm sure this sentence has just begun with a major usage faux pas and I do not care.) you secure your grater with your non-dominant hand and scrape whatever you're grating across its sharp little teeths, letting the grated whatever fall down into wherever you need it to fall.
That works. But in my opinion it's dicey at best and kinda messy and hard to control. When you're using the Microplane to grate and zest there's Another Option.
Lemon Example: Hold the lemon in your non-dominant hand and draw the grater across the lemon one direction. (I like the "towards me direction" which, in my right-handed case, is left to right.) The grater is upside down. The zest collects inside it. Go slow. It still zests fast.
You can zest in a controlled area, methodically covering the entire lemon, missing nothing, but not going too pithily deep. The zest fills the plane, as shown in the photo. You dump it out into whatever you're adding zest to and continue until you've got all the tangy, citrusy bits you need.
It works for Parmigiano Reggiano as well.
You can thank me now.