Thursday, August 12, 2010

Is it Wrong to Love a Pan?

Meet "Little Green", the object of my affection, the one item I would grab if the house were burning and I could only carry one thing. Ok, this might sound like one of the craziest things you've ever heard, but before you log out let me state my case.

Cooks need tools too. I'm not talking about a world-class professional kitchen, just something to make your life easier. My first set of cookware was a 12 piece (and that included lids) Teflon coated, almond colored mess that came from a hardware store and cost $20. It got the job done, but soon all the Teflon flaked out and everything stuck no matter what. Then about 15 years ago the Galley Slave bought my first LeCreuset pan. It was love at first sight. These are French enameled cast iron pans. They are available in a variety of beautiful colors and sizes. This particular one is 4 1/2 quart size.

Now you might ask what is it about this pan that will nearly make me swoon. You can cook anything in here and it cleans up. There is no non-stick, it just works like magic. This 4 1/2 quart size is just right for stewing a chicken, making pasta sauce, cooking dry beans, frying anything in oil (if we really do fry in oil, wink, wink). You can put a nice roast in the pan with potatoes and carrots and little red wine, put on the lid and throw it in the oven and a few hours later you have a tender, scrumptious meal. This pan allows you to embellish your heart out.

I have accumulated some larger versions of this pan (Big Green, Big Orange, Little Red) but this is the one that gets used several times a week. I dropped the lid once and the knob broke, I can't bring myself the replace the knob, it's like a badge of honor. So the moral of this story is, there are more cooking gizmos and gadgets out there than you can even imagine, but you really only need one good pan and this is it.

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