Kitchen Essentials: Pots & Pans
I feel very attached to my pots and pans. Good cookware is essential for good cooking results. It does make a difference what kind of knives you use, and what type of cookware is being used to create a dish.
When I got engaged in 1990, my grandparents purchased us an entire set of stainless steel pots and pans from B. Altman's department store in NYC, which has since closed. The name of the cookware was BELGIQUE.
It was a middle of the road, stainless steel, copper bottom lined set of pots for about $199. for all 5 pieces.
I actually still have the set and use them once in a while. It has held up very well for 18 years, no rust, no warping, and heavy enough to tough it out through the years.
When I realized that I loved to cook early in my marriage, I knew I needed to upgrade my kitchen tools. So, each year, I purchased one piece of All Clad Pro Series stainless cookware, as my budget allowed. Though pricey, it was worth every penny. My favorite piece being the large 18" covered skillet which I use to fry my crab cakes & veal cutlets for my Veal Milanese. They come out perfect every time. Nothing sticks. The handles stay cool to the touch, and you can put these pieces in the oven as well.
A few years ago, I coveted a huge enamel cast iron Le Creuset 7 quart French oven (stockpot) for about 200 bucks.
Hmmmm, where will I store it? It's so big.
Do I feel like spending that kind of money on a pot? I could buy a pair of shoes....
Well, I did finally purchase it and have never looked back.
It is my absolute favorite pot of all time. It is a pretty blue. It sits proudly on my stove, since my tiny kitchen has not an inch of room to spare for storage.
It braises, browns, makes beautiful stews and soups in the winter and cleans up like a dream (my husband will attest to that). It will last the rest of my life, and probably someone else's after me!
By the way, I NEVER use nonstick cookware for anything but an omelet.
Nonstick does not brown foods, it steams them. Don't invest your money in a set of nonstick pots & pans, you only need one piece in your repertoire.
PS. I couldn't resist buying this pair of STAUB mini cocotte pots at TJ Maxx the other day. I loved the color. They are individual serving size. What the heck am I going to make in them?????
What is your favorite cookware?