checklist: le creuset

To make a proper pot of stew, beef bourguignon, roast chicken, chowder, bouillabaisse, coq au vin, cassoulet, or just about anything braised, slow-roasted or simmered, you’ll need to use the best and freshest ingredients you can get your hands on… but to make it out of this world, you’ll also need the proper cookware, and that’s where Le Creuset comes into play.

Le Creuset’s enameled cast-iron, round French oven is probably one of my best investments in cookware as I’ve already seen profitable returns in the form of countless [...]

special ops: splatter screen

If my kitchen were a battlefield (and sometimes it can be when I’m cooking for a crowd), then the knives would be my swords, the spatula my other weapon for mass destruction, and the splatter screen my shield of armor. The splatter screen’s fine mesh combats grease splatters and even erupting bolognese sauce, protecting the stove, kitchens walls, and most importantly, me! Those of you who’ve fried up bacon, pork chops, fish & chips, or seared meat know that what a messy and painful experience it [...]

food finds: piment d'Espelette

If ever there was a spice that Chef Caals absolutely could not live without, it would be his dearest piment d’Espelette. Just about every one of his dishes got a pinch (or two) of it and every time, Chef would ask us, Pourquoi pas? “Why not?” Being that he was trained by Master Chef Alain Ducasse we had very little doubt that he knew what he was doing. And naturally, of course, once we tasted his food, whatever doubt we had disappeared faster than [...]

food finds: san marzano tomatoes

Once you’ve had homemade tomato sauce, there’s just no turning back. Jarred tomatoes sauces like Ragu and Prego will never be able to measure up =P Standing in the pasta aisle at the supermarket, with those crystal clear glass jars filled with pre-made sauce glaring back at you, you might just be tempted by their convenience, but only for a second. Because after that one second, that unbeatable taste of homemade pasta sauce… the rich, bold tomato flavor, personalized with your own selection of fresh [...]

food finds: pancetta

With a bucket full of salt and a handful of spices you can turn any meat into deliciously cured meat and pancetta is surely no exception. Similar to bacon, Italian pancetta is made from salt-cured pork belly, but it’s usually rolled up like a jelly roll and left to dry unsmoked. Sliced thin and pan-fried to a crisp, pancetta adds extreme flavor to just about anything, especially pasta sauces. Mixed into stuffing, topped on a gourmet slider, or tossed into macaroni & cheese… the possibilities [...]

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