Silpat of My Dreams
Home cooks, do yourself a favor: buy a silpat. Seriously. Most of the things that make a restaurant kitchen better than a home kitchen are things that just can't be replicated: a deep fat fryer, a cleaning staff, a professional dishwasher (the person, not the machine), infinite quantities of plates, bulk ingredients. But a silpat is one of those bits of restaurant kitchen equipment that you can buy and it'll make your life so much easier.
What's a silpat? It's a flat, flexible piece of silicon with glass threads suspended in it so that it won't melt at high temperatures. That's it. They're priced between $13 and $24 and while that's expensive for what's basically a flat slab of wobbly stuff, they last a long, long time. What do they do? They're a non-stick baking surface. That doesn't sound like much, but think about it: you'll almost never have to line a pan with parchment paper again, you'll never have to grease a baking tray, you'll never have to pry cookies off a sheet pan leaving half of them behind, you can make caramel popcorn without gunking up a tray, you can spread thin layers of sauce and dehydrate them then peel them right up. In short, your stuff will never stick to other stuff in the oven again.Vegetables: Friend or Foe?") and they're worth it if you bake. While there are lots of off-brand versions of the silpat, and plenty of people sell equivalent products, the inventor of the original technology founded a company called Sasa Demarle in France and that's all they make: silpats. Once you try one, you can never go back.