Good Knives Change Everything
Who doesn't love eating a good stew? It's hearty, tasty and hot -- perfect for a winter's evening.
Who doesn't love making a good stew? Anyone who doesn't have good knives, probably. Knives are about the most important cooking appliance out there (chefs all bring their own wherever they go -- at least on "Top Chef"). They slice, chop, filet and mince with precision and ease, making food both look and taste better. They're also safer and more comfortable.
They don't come cheap, though. Fine, well-designed cutlery, often made of high-carbon steel or ceramic, can be expensive, in the area of $100 or $200 for a single knife to start. But most cooking pros will tell you it's worth it. You don't need a whole set. One or two good go-to knives (including a chef's knife) is enough for most home cooks. If you hardly ever de-bone fish, for instance, the boning knife might be the place to go cheap (stainless steel, usually).