My list of favourite kitchen items continues with... cookware! See Part One. See Part Two.
1. Cast Iron Fry Pan and Cast Iron Grill Pan - Sear on the stove and finish in the oven. Makes pretty grill marks when you don't feel like grilling outdoors. Easy to clean, in fact, barely any cleaning at all! Simply wipe out with a dry paper towel. For tough, baked on messes, use a paper towel soaked in vinegar. (This is up for debate, but occasionally, a very gentle cleaning with soap and water is okay in my books.)
2. Basket Steamer - Steams vegetables in no time at all without resorting to the microwave! I also like to use it when making mashed potatoes. Steamed potatoes mash nicer than boiled potatoes. Michael Smith told me so!
3. Dutch Oven - Stewing and braising with ease. Stove to oven to table is a breeze! Some may call this a French Oven - some being the French cookware company Le Creuset. There is absolutely no difference, and since I have Dutch heritage, I prefer the Dutch moniker. Although in France and the Netherlands I suspect they simply call this a "cocotte" or casserole dish. :)
4. All-Clad Sauté Pan - This was a gift from my mother last Christmas and I really don't know how I used to cook without it. A good quality sauté pan is a must! Large base, high sides, even heat distribution. A sauté pan IS NOT the same as a frying pan. And please - none of that non-stick nonsense. How are you supposed deglaze your pan and scrape up all those flavourful crunchy bits in a non-stick pan?
What are your favourite pieces of kitchen cookware?