Monday, December 26, 2011

Where Have You Been All My Life?

So I have overcome the brain-washing and the duping and have learned that a cast iron skillet does wonders for the simplest most humble grilled cheese sandwich, and everything else, too. And I have this base desire to own a whole set of Le Creuset in yellow - no, green - no, yellow... well, whatever. That will have to wait until I have my own TV show or something.

This holiday, though, found me gifted with a beautiful enameled 5 1/2 quart dutch oven. (My coworker listens to me when I talk!) We have a plain cast iron one, but you can't do just anything in those. So this was a welcome addition to my kitchen. And I did not wait long to try it.

How I feel about mine!
I'm convinced I will not have awesome pasta sauce again until I make it from my own home-grown tomatoes and I jar it for a supply over the winter (this IS the plan for next winter), but I thought, well, let's see what we can do here. Chopped my onions, chopped my garlic, got my chicken "sausage" ready. Put my onions in with a little oil. Oh, this is troubling, look, it's getting brown stuff stuck on the bottom. Well, I guess this will take some getting-used-to. Can't be great and right the first time out all the time. Garlic in. OK. Definite stickies. Sigh. I'll do better next time. Sausage, in. (Meanwhile it smells extra good, I AM noticing that.) But wait... what's this? The brown goodness stuck on the bottom came right up and off! Could it... could it be... stuff doesn't STICK to this when used properly????

The lid, so nice and heavy, is keeping all that flavor in! That iron is keeping the heat so nicely distributed! OK, so I still have a little mark on my hand because I had the heat up a LITTLE high and the bubbling sauce got over-zealous. But I am pretty sure that is the best sauce (I'm not from Jersey, it's sauce, not gravy) (and it's not "red sauce" it's just sauce) I have made while relying on those horrid jars of crap. (Yes, I do feel dirty, why do you ask?)

It's the wonderful beautiful heavy pot that made my sauce extra good, I know it. I just made chicken noodle soup in it today. My Hunny got a cold for the holiday, and what better excuse to try it out on soup from scratch? Yes, it rocks.

So where has this stuff been all my life?? Yeah, it's pricey, but with good care, it will last probably the rest of my life. Remind me again why we stopped using this stuff in favor of lighter cheaper just-plain-crappier crap? Because I cannot remember. Piece by piece, I will grow my collection. And when I make sauce from my own home-grown tomatoes with my own home-grown garlic and my own home-grown onions and herbs, it will be EPIC. :)