Growing up, I was indeed spoiled. My mother’s kitchen had the top of the line cookware and utensils. My mother always illustrated that great cookware was just as important as using fresh local ingredients (shout out to the local farms in Upstate New York). There were four brands of cookware that I saw used on my mother’s stove growing up: T-FAL, IMUSA, Le Creuset and Mauviel. I enjoyed out trips to Williams and Sonoma to check out the latest merchandise (http://www.williams-sonoma.com/). Each brand was used for specific recipes, something that I would later understand the importance of as an adult. In my own kitchen I use IMUSA, Mauviel, and Le Creuset. Below I’ll introduce you to each brand and when and why I use that particular brand for certain recipes.
IMUSA has various collections, however I mainly use the calderos collection and the kitchen gadgets. The calderos collection, caldero literally means cauldron in Spanish, includes durable cooking pots, which are similar to Dutch ovens. They have a tight-fitting lid. The calderos are great for soups, stews, beans, and most importantly rice. There is no need for a rice cooker, when you have an IMUSA caldero.
IMUSA also makes great gadgets, that I remember seeing in my great grandmothers’ kitchens. From their kitchen gadget collection I use the wood mortar and pestle. It is perfect for crushing and smashing fresh herbs and spices. If you never use fresh herbs or roast your own spices, you are missing out. Such amazing flavor!
The last 2 must have gadgets from IMUSA are both associated with my favorite snack… plantains! Plantains are a staple in my cooking and can be steamed, fried, or boiled. When frying them for tostones (patacones) I use IMUSA’s tostonera which is made from wood. It makes the plantain just the right thickness and shape, easily flattening sliced plantains and prepares them to be fried.
Lastly, I use IMUS’s plantain slicer. This slicer not only is great for slicing perfectly thin plantains, but can also be used to slice vegetables, fruits and cheeses.
MAUVIEL COOPER COOKWARE
I was first introduced to Mauviel Cooper Cookware on one of my trips with mother to Williams and Sonoma. I was attracted to the cookware because of the color, at first. But I later found that the “color” attributed to the great results I received when sauteeing items. The Mauviel Copper Collection is a heavy gauge 2mm cooper, which ensures that the heat is quickly absorbed into the pan. The stainless steel inside of the cookware results in easy clean up, while the handles provide an elegant French look. The Mauviel sautee pan with lid is a must for your kitchen! The Mauviel collections can be rather costly, so I recommend starting with the sautee pan with lid. It costs approximately $500 for the 3 1/4 QT sautee pan, but is well worth the price. Great for breakfast items, vegetables, and sandwiches.
LE CREUSET COOKWARE AND BAKEWARE
I use Imusa and Mauviel when cooking atop the stove, but when utilizing my oven, Le Creuset is a must (especially when baking and roasting)! When roasting a chicken I always turn to my 3 QT rectangular dish. This dish allows for room for the juices to follow from the bird and moisten the meat, even cooking, and durability in high temperature cooking. For $50 you cannot beat this! They even sell Le Creuset at Marshall’s and TJ MAXX Homestore. Also, they come in an array of bright colors.
The Heritage Pie dish is another great addition to your kitchen if you enjoy baking pies. This dish will ensure that your pie crust is perfectly browned and flaky – never burnt. The dimpled edge can also be used as a guide for an evenly fluted top crust.
That’s a quick introduction to my favorite cook and bakeware! I’d love to hear about some of your favorite cook and bakeware, as well as general cooking utensils! I hope this inspired you to cook, bake, and entertain!
With a servant’s heart and hands,
The Ebullient Epicurean