Kitchen Accomplice: An iPad in your kitchen

If you have become addicted to the iPad, as thousands have, you have already recognized its promise for cookery. There are Apps (those little logos that when touched open a new world of possibilities) designed just for us kitchen creatures.

But just how do you use it and protect it at the same time - the spatters and splashes that accompany every cook's endeavors?

I am far from the first who has discovered this need. In fact, a rack has been developed that allows you to read your favorite recipe and prepare it without fear of spots on the "cookbook." My cookbooks are so tattered and splashed that my wife accuses me of trying to taste the pages to give me a hint of what the recipe was like when I prepared it. The iPad and rack change everything. And what a wonderful change it makes.

For one thing your iPad cookbook is at an eye level. For another, its resources are countless. And forget those spatters. The iPad rack is well out of reach of your kitchen vagaries. I particularly like the ability to enlarge the print on the recipe by stretching my fingers across it. Don't laugh. This feature will come in very handy for you some day. And while you do not have to have it connected to a TV in your kitchen, that is a feature available to you - so when you are not looking at Ina on Food Network, you can look at the recipe you are preparing from an iPad App. And getting your gooey finger prints erased from the iPad screen could not be simpler. Use a soft, moistened cloth, and rubbing it gently in a circular motion will return the screen to an as new condition. I actually ordered a small packet of chamois sheets from Amazon that do an amazing job - but this is not essential. An ordinary lintless cotton cloth works just fine.

What Apps should you think about downloading? There are many. I would like to share with you some of my favorites. You will notice when you download these, they all have one thing in common: they are nearly all free. That is a word I have grown quite attached to.

David Letterman confessed one night on the Late Show that he was awakened with a headache. He felt it was caused by an inadvertent question he asked Martha Stewart on his show - about any continuing contacts she had maintained with the inmates of the prison where she served her sentence. Whatever her past, it is unquestionable she has changed the face of American cookery. A free App of hers is illustrative. You will enjoy it for its content, its format and its beautiful colors.

Are you a pasta person? There is an App devoted exclusively to pasta.

And if you have decided to delve into medicinal herbs, yes, that, too has an App prepared by an herbalist from Austin, Texas.

An App called "Key Ingredient" allows you to search its large inventory of recipes, by what else, the key ingredient, of course. I keyed in "corn" and recipes and pictures popped up for everything from cornflake cookies to corn and chicken chowder.

A particularly appealing App is simply called "Delicious." It is divided into main dishes, soups, salads and snacks, desserts, cakes and pastries and handy tips. Whole Foods, not to be outdone, has developed its own App - one I find especially compelling. You will love this one.

The few recipes I have tried from these Apps have turned out superbly.

You can add a whole new dimension of use to your iPad if you consider what it can do for you in the kitchen.

This recipe, from the Whole Foods App, is illustrative. I copy it as presented

Vegetable Biryani with Cashews (Serves 6 to 8)

Top the finished Biryani with a fragrant mix of sliced jalapenos, tomato wedges and chopped cilantro, if you like. This recipe was inspired by Whole Planet Foundation microcredit clients and their projects. The Foundation funds microcredit in India where Whole Foods Market sources a variety of products, including cashews.


1 cup brown basmati rice, rinsed until water runs clear

1 tablespoon expeller-pressed canola oil

2-3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 large red onion, cut into small wedges

1 (2-inch) piece ginger, peeled and finely chopped

1/2 cup chopped roasted cashews, divided.

1/2 teaspoon salt, divided

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided

1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt

1 tablespoon curry powder

5 cups chopped fresh vegetables, such as cauliflower, carrots or green beans

2/3 cup water

1 cup frozen peas


Preheat oven to 350. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add rice and simmer for 30 minutes. Drain well.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a large ovenproof pot over medium high heat. Add garlic, onion, ginger, half of the cashews, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring often, and adding a splash of water when the mixture sticks to the pot, until deep golden brown and soft, about 15 minutes. Add yogurt and curry powder and cook until thickened, about 2-3 minutes more. Stir in the vegetables, water, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, cover and simmer until vegetables are tender on the outside but not cooked through, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in frozen peas.

Arrange hot, drained rice over vegetables, cover pot with foil and a tight fitting lid and bake until rice and vegetables are tender, about 25 minutes. Uncover, carefully transfer contents of pot to a large bowl and toss together gently. Spoon into bowls and serve garnished with remaining cashews.

Judge Kirkendall is a retired probate judge. He has taught cooking classes for more than 25 years at various cooking schools in the Ann Arbor area and has himself attended classes at Cordon Bleu and La Varenne in Paris, as well as schools in New York, New Orleans and San Francisco. He is past president of the National College of Probate Judges and can be reached at Judgejnk@

Published: Mon, Apr 18, 2011