Saturday, May 28, 2005

Sharp

Bill: They all fell under her Hanzo sword.

Budd: She's got a Hanzo sword? I thought he swore a blood oath never to make another sword.

Bill: It appears he has broken it.

Budd: Well, you seem to have the ability to bring that out in people.

...later...

Budd: Guess what I'm holding in my hand right now?

Elle: What?

Budd: A genuine Hattori Hanzo sword and, man, that's what I call sharp.

That is dialog I recall from my favorite film, Kill Bill 2. There's a mythology built around Hattori Hanzo and his cutlery. It's the best. It's sharp.

I appreciate sharp knives in my cooking. With enough room in my kitchen I could see myself wielding a Samurai sword, like John Belushi, slicing carrots and onions. I might even sport an obi just for effect.

My main tools of creation are made by Chicago Cutlery. I like the rosewood handles because they grip well when your hands are wet or greasy. The heft of the blade makes slicing and chopping easy. The iron is soft, but takes a keen edge with a few swipes of my sharpening steel.

Recently, though, I bought some Japanese knives and I must say, man, that's what I call sharp. The steel is thinner than my Chicago knives, and harder. But the edge is not to be trifled with. The knives are shipped with a package of Band-Aids.

Tonight's fare is an invention. I will use my Hanzo knives to prepare it. I was asked to do something with shrimp and pasta. Here's what I have in mind. First, I'll peal and de-vein the shrimp and put them aside. Next, I'll saute some onions, red and orange bell pepper with some sliced Cajun andouille sausage. Toss in the shrimp. I'm not sure of the next step, whether I'll use fresh tomatoes or some canned chopped tomatoes, but in they will go along with some spices: red pepper flakes, garlic, fresh basil and some Worcestershire sauce. I'll toss the mixture with fresh pasta, garnish with basil leaves and serve.

I bought some ante-pasta fixings that I'll work into a salad with some feta cheese: olives, pickled this and that, and anchovies.

Liberal splashings of Chianti and it's dinner.

Postscript

I used a box of chopped tomatoes having reduced a cup of white wine in the shrimp, sausage, onion, pepper mixture. I added fresh chopped basil and simmered a few minutes.

Rave reviews! Chianti in crystal was a nice touch.

3 comments:

Andrew Purvis said...

I have a block of badly abused Chicago Cutlery in my kitchen. My wife seems to believe that dishwashers are miracle workers, and the knives have suffered. I can't win, so I am just pleased that the block is inexpensive.

I got the block as a gift from my brother for my first marriage, in 1991. I had opted for Chicago Cutlery because the block of Henkels that I had wanted seemed too expensive. My brother told me, "I would have bought the Henkels, but since you put down Chicago Cutlery, I figured it must be better." Gah!

OK, the Henkels knives could use a little better curve. I made up for it by getting a 30-inch Boos Block cutting board more recently, though.

Brian said...

My knives are my favorite tool in the kitchen as well. I started with a 10" stamped Chicago Cutlery chefs knife, which was alright. But then I found LamsonSharp. Forged knives that are well put together, nice balance, and I think they're more attractive than Henkels or Wustof.

Anonymous said...

Can anyone tell me where I can fine the Chicago Cutlery Rosewood handle knives? I lost a steak knife and I would like to replace it. Email me t.roberts981@sbcglobal.net