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Everything posted by Blondelle

  1. Thanks so much for the summary. I'm going to save it to refer to for my first braise. I'm really surprised though at the poor showing for All-Clad, as Cooks Illustrated rated the A-C 8 qt. stockpot a better braising vessel than Le Creuset. There is one tiny discrepancy in your post. In one part you mentioned browning in nonstick to avoid the formation of a fond, while at the end, in the procedure section you mention a cast iron pan is better than nonstick. Thanks much for posting your notes, as it was very helpful to me, and I'm sure to others too.
  2. I've really enjoyed reading about the braising experiments, and also the photos showing the progress along the way, as well as the finished products. I looked forward to daily reading all the new posts. There was so much info though to absorb. Will there be another post summarizing the findings from all these experiments, as to the best vessels, cooking methods, best temps, best amounts of liquid, best braising liquids etc.? I think that would be very informative and helpful to many people, as there were so many threads to follow. Thanks much :-).
  3. There are also less expensive options. Staub makes a 5 qt. pot called Staub Basic that is sold on QVC. It has had great reviews. It's less than $50. You can see it at: Staub Oven Also do a search for Innova Color Cast on Amazon. A lot of the people using it have both that and the Le Creuset and say it compares favorably. Staub Pot
  4. There is an article right now about gratins at the cooksillustrated.com website. They don't like cast iron gratins saying that by the time the cast iron heats, the top is already crisped, and the filling is still not cooked. Here's a quote to the article but it doesn't remain on the site long. Gratin Article << I got hooked on the cast iron gratin by none other than Jeffrey Steingarten. In one of his books he describes a Potatoes Dauphinoise and regales on the properties of the cast iron gratin. I took him at his word and bought one. He was absolutely right. >>
  5. FoodMan, I was admiring your wok. It looks like cast iron. Would you mind telling me where it's from, and how large it is? Are there two loop handles on it? Thanks ;-).
  6. I've just tried stir frying some beef round cut into strips and I wound up with beef flavored shoe leather. The beef is always so juicy and tender in the stir fried dishes the Chinese restaurants serve. What is their secret?
  7. If you wait Amazon will probably have them for less! I bought a 6.75 qt. oval there for $99 last year, and that included a free $45 demi LC matching teakettle. They also just had a promo where they offered the 2.75 oval free with it! I think it was $150 for both after the $25 off. It might have been with 5 qt. though, as I forget. Anyway I would wait for a better deal there. Caplanduval.com has them for less too. $108.99 for that size. See link below! 6.75 oven << Amazon is currently selling one of the 6.75 quart ovens for $130 ($155 plus $25 off any kitchen purchase over $125). What is the likelihood that I will be able to find this particular item for less at one of the outlet stores? >>
  8. From reading the braising tests and seminar, it seems that Le Creuset has the edge on producing more tender, flavorful meat. I think Cooks Illustrated gave the slight edge to All-Clad in their Dutch oven article. For those who have made the same recipe in both vessels, do you also find Le Creuset having the edge? It seems the All-Clad was a bit easier to clean over the LC, but have you noticed much of a difference between the two? I'm trying to decide between keeping an All-Clad 4 qt. braiser or the 3.5 qt. Le Creuset buffet casserole. I also wanted to say how much I'm enjoying that article and this board in general. I also love the photos posted of the cooking process and the finished dishes. I'm a newbie cook, and I'm in heaven here ;-).
  9. I usually make brocolli rabe by just sauteing some oil and garlic, adding the brocolli, a bit of red paper flakes and a bit of water and steaming till soft. I've seen some recipes that say to blanche the greens for for about 2 minutes first. The color stays bright green without it unless I overcook it, and then it goes a bit grey but still good. What would this do, and why do it?
  10. I usually make pizza using a flour tortilla, and it comes out great if you don't require the standard crust. I mention that as on the Low Carb & Loving It show on Foodtv, there is a recipe listed for a low carb tortilla, you can use. The recipe is listed at FoodTV.com, under the show name. Low carbers also make pizza using a crust of ground beef, or using a large portabello mushroom cap as the crust.
  11. I too live in a NYC apartment with an old range without a vent hood. I used a ridged, cast iron pan coated with matte enamel. Mine is by Staub. This BTW is much easier to clean than the Le Creuset one. I make steaks all the time on it, and don't notice too much smoke with it. I get a nice crust on the steaks too, and I lower the heat and finish cooking them on the range until the middle is done. I don't use very thick steaks either. Maybe the ridges help as there is less meat to smoke in contact with the pan. The enameled surface might also help, as there isn't as much seasoning to burn off.
  12. I wish I could get them for $7.69 here. In Manhattan they were $9.99 a pound at Food Emporium, and $14.99 at D'Agostinos. I was going to buy that large Le Creuset rissotto pot to make a big batch of them in, but realized 7-8 of them would be about $60-$90 in just meat costs. I here I was complaining about the cost of the pot! Then I was thinking about short ribs which are $5.99-$6.99 here. A decent pot roast is about $5.99 a pound too, and so was stew meat! So here I am with all this expensive Le Creuset I got to do all this braising, and nothing to make in it....LOL! I guess I had better search out some creative ways with chicken...sigh! << I paid $7.69 a pound for some beautiful veal shanks at Wegman's today. I don't consider that very expensive considering what most meats cost. I got 2 gorgeous shanks for a little over $13.00. Big marrow bones too...yummy. I think in general shanks are less expensive since they are considered to be an inferior cut of meat that needs braising. You & I both know that with some TLC and a great slow braise, these veal shanks will soon become....HEAVEN!! >>
  13. These as we know are wonderful for braises, long slow cooking, and heartier fall and winter fare such as stews and roasts. What types of recipes do you make in yours though, when the weather is hot and humid and you don't want to heat your kitchen for such long cooking times? They are so pretty and wonderful to cook with that I hate to retire mine for months. I've just acquired several, and I'm looking for ideas for spring and summer cooking in them.
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