Monday, January 3, 2011

Holiday Hangover

So the holidays are finally over and the tree is bagged and sitting on the curb.  After an entire year of cooking (I promised to cook 2 new things a week) and hosting for Thanksgiving, it only made sense to try to complete my kitchen stadium for Christmas.  Here are a couple of things that I received:

- Lodge 12-Inch Cast Iron Skillet: all year I've been hearing / reading about the benefits of cooking on cast iron (even heating, browning, and the ability to put it in the oven).  My test run of fried buttermilk chicken came out noticeably better (crunchier and cooked faster).

- Lodge Grill Pan: I'm guilty of taking pictures of food and nothing says "food porn" quite like grill marks.  I make a lot of tuna and pork chops, so I should get a lot of use out of this pan.

- Lodge 5-Quart Dutch Oven: Notice a Lodge theme?  They are the only domestic maker of cast iron cookware, they're reliable (they've been in business for over 100 years and I've read numerous reviews on other celebrity chef's cookware's enamel peeling after a few uses), the top cover doubles as a skillet for browning meat, and its reasonably priced.  I've already used it to make risotto and short ribs and was happy with the results.

- Good Eats: The Early Years and Good Eats 2: The Middle Years: Alton Brown is one of only a few Food Network personalities that I actually like (don't even get me started with Sandra Brown, Bobby Flay, or the Neely's).  He's quirky and scientifically knowledgeable about food.  These two cookbooks contain episode recaps of his show Good Eats with recipes, techniques, his side notes, and a short food history lesson.    
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