Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Cooking 101 ~ Home Depot and PVC pipe are a chef's best friend

Good morning bloggers!! Last night as I bravely drove home in 2 inches of snow, I thought that I would be greeting you from my winter wonderland home. Instead, I'm wearing my Lilly Pulitzer pink elephant Swellies boots and it is raining cold rain. BOO rain.

Cooking is a passion of mine and I enjoy making differnt kinds of foods. Lately, I've been equally concerned about the taste and the presentation of the food and have been trying some unique garnishes. At Thanksgiving, I made butternut squash soup and served it in little pumpkins. So adorable.

Today I'm going to share a tip with you that you probably won't believe. PVC pipe is a chef's best friend. You can buy molds of all shapes and sizes in specialty cooking stores. These range in price from $10 to $40 or more for 1 mold. I wanted an inexpensive mold that could be used to pre-plate an elegant dinner or party. PVC is the perfect solution.

I went to Home Depot to the plumbing section and found a 2 inch diameter 10 foot long pipe. The kind associate at the store cut the pipe for me in about 4 inch long sections at no cost. I now had about 40 dishwasher safe, freezer ready molds to make jello, ice cream, mousse, or other fancy dishes.

The recipe I tried, Sicilian couscous with basil tomato chicken, turned out to be incredibly delicious. It's going to be my go-to recipe for my next party. Here are some of my ingredients:

First I prepared the couscous and left it in the pot to steam. After I sauteed the vegetables, I added chicken, chicken broth, tomato juice, and tomatoes. Now for the fun part ~ plating.

The couscous was nice and fluffy and I added some red pepper for color. I put the PVC (that I washed in the dishwasher) on a plate and packed it with the couscous, very much like the way you would pack brown sugar.

Then I slowly slid off the PVC and drizzled the chicken sauce mixture over the top and garnished with a basil leaf. Easy and delicious.

Hope that you can use this helpful tip for your next party. My next experiment with my new found cooking tools is going to be layering different flavors of ice cream for a dinner party!

Be sure to watch my favorite chefs, the Voltaggios, as they compete in the final of Top Chef tonight. Have a wonderful day!



  1. Wow, what a great idea! Stay dry :)

  2. love the idea! I will have to try it out this holiday season!

  3. Thanks, peeps! I appreciate your comments. Have a great day!

  4. What a fabulous idea! I would have never thought of using PVC pipe, but I'll definitely be making a trip to get some soon!

  5. Hi Emily! The PVC was such an inexpensive solution to having multiple molds. I can't wait for a party!

  6. How neat!! What a fun idea! Love it!!



Related Posts with Thumbnails