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The Francene Marie Show

Saturday 6:00am-7:00am

MIAMI BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 28: Cupcakes on display at the Southern Kitchen Brunch Hosted By Trisha Yearwood - Part of The NYT Cooking Series during 2016 Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival Presented By FOOD & WINE at Loews Miami Beach Hotel on February 28, 2016 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Sergi Alexander/Getty Images for SOBEWFF®)

My favorite place in my home is the kitchen, and one of my favorite utensils in the kitchen is actually one of the simplest. A nice wooden spatula. Whether you are using cast iron, stainless steel or nonstick pans, a wooden spatula is a must-have in the kitchen. It won’t scratch your pans but is sturdy enough to get all the delicious food off the bottom of the pan.

After cooking the protein of your choice, there are often brown bits stuck on the bottom of the pan. This provides an opportunity to create a delicious pan sauce to go with your meal. Simply leave your pan on the heat, add a flavorful liquid of your choice, I usually use chicken or beef stock depending on what I’m making, and scrub the bottom of the pan with the wooden spatula. Continue to simmer the sauce until it’s reduced by about half, add a pat of butter to finish it off then spoon over your dish. Not only will this up the flavor, it has the added benefit of making your pan easier to clean later.

When shopping for a wooden spatula, pick one made from natural wood, olive wood is always a good choice. The handle should be thick and sturdy but easy to hold and the spatula should have a nice flat surface with a shallow bowl so it can be used as a mixing spoon as well.