Local Chef and Foodie Sharon Badian shares 8 gifts for a delicious Hanukkah this year!
1. Every chef needs this tool, the Microplane Ultimate Citrus Tool, $12.95. Microplane makes the best graters and zesters on the market. A repurposed wood-working planer, it takes off just the fragrant zest, leaving behind the bitter pith. Doubles as a ginger/garlic grater. This Microplane also has tools for stripping citrus so you can make the perfect lemon curl for your martini.
2. Need a gift for a 20-something foodie? Give them a subscription to Lucky Peach, an edgy quarterly journal on food and cooking. Subscriptions are $28 for 4 issues (https://store.mcsweeneys.net/products/lucky-peach-subscription). This hip journal is edited by David Chang, of Momofuku, one of the hottest restaurants in NYC. Contributors include chef turned travel raconteur Anthony Bourdain, and the Mr. Science of Cooking, Harold McGee. It’s full of food tips, recipes, and some entertaining ranting.
4. Need a gift for an up and coming foodie? The Food Matters Cookbook by Mark Bittman, $35, is an excellent starter cookbook that brings together delicious food with responsible eating, both for your health and for the planet. Bittman’s recipes are simple, economical, and geared towards everyday eating, but tasty enough to serve to guests.
5. Slow-cooking is a tried and true Jewish cooking method. The Cuisinart 3 ½ quart Programmable Slow-Cooker, $60 at Amazon.com, makes the whole process easy. It can be programmed to cook for up to 24 hours, then it automatically switches to a “keep warm” setting for up to 8 hours. Start your slow-cooked dinner in the morning (even the night before!), and you can come home to the great smells of your Bubbe’s pot roast. A great gift for college students!
6. Hanukkah means oil. Any chef in your life will appreciate this delicious olive oil – Castelas Fruite Noir Virgin Olive Oil, $27 for a 500 ml bottle at Amazon.com. From a small producer near Les Baux de Provence, this olive oil is rich and nutty, with a hint of hazelnuts. Pressed from ripe olives, it makes sensational vinaigrette or drizzle it on vegetables or fish as a finishing oil.
7. Boulder is home to one fine spice shop, the Savory Spice Shop on Broadway near Pearl, and it’s filled with gifts for the foodie. They carry spice and herb blends, all milled in-house, a large selection of pepper grinders, and an amazing variety of extracts. They have gift packs in a variety of sizes. If there is a BBQ aficionado in your life, you can’t go wrong with their 6-bottle Best of BBQ gift set. The Pearl St. Plank is great on planked salmon or roasted sweet potatoes.
8. And, finally, we must give chocolate. No gelt here, just rich, delicious chocolate from Endangered Species Chocolate, available at Sprouts, Natural Grocers, and Whole Foods, about $3 for 3 ounces. For the adults, the Dark Chocolate with Espresso Beans is very dark with a jolt of coffee. For the kids, try the milk chocolate bar with tart cherries. 10% of net profits go to organizations that support species conservation, habitat preservation and humanitarian efforts.