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new cookware set

The Ramsey set is made by Royal Doulton and has the aluminum core that runs up the sides of all the pans and seems to have some good heft to it. I think there was a video of it being sold on HSN, and as much of a joke as it all is (the selling out, the name branding, the hsn and all that), the pieces looked to be top quality. The price coincides with the sets just below All Clad...roughly 300 for 10 pieces.

I have a Le Creuset piece that I love, but those Staub items just look fantastic, and are maybe just a hair below in price.

Nov 14, 2008
dwillm in Cookware

new cookware set

Just as an update, I am leaning towards the Gordon Ramsey set. Before you all roll your eyes, look into them, they seem to be some pretty solid pieces. The only thing is that it is hard to find reviews on them (but all that I have seen has been way positive). I am almost getting burnout on looking at cookware, so this might be the final decision. Maybe outfit the set with a small Lodge skillet as well. After this whole ordeal is over then I can save up and move on to a good dutch oven...those Staub 6.5 quarts for $150 are pretty interesting.......

Nov 13, 2008
dwillm in Cookware

new cookware set

Hmm...there does seem to be some questionable things regarding the miracle Swiss Diamonds. After reading way too much about them and then trying to get back on the good side, reading through their FAQ's, I don't really trust them. I believe they work great and totally believe all the good things people are saying, BUT, it does seem that they are trying to make people think they are a different type of non-stick, when in fact they still have all the bad chemicals relating to that technology. I mean, look at those new Green Pans and how they are explicitly advertising no PTFE's and PFOA's....why wouldn't Swiss Diamond go the same advertising route (unless they can't)? I know that all the bad write up on the Swiss was from the past few years, but they have not seemed to have changed anything since then. My best guess would be that they are currently working on a new and better coating that can take advantage of this "anti-non-stick" attitude currently out there.

Right now I am thinking that the long term ill-effects of non-stick are just not worth it. I think I am going with some stainless try-ply and maybe a simple lodge cast iron for my eggs.

Nov 11, 2008
dwillm in Cookware

new cookware set

Hey thanks everybody for all the help. I am especially interested in the Swiss Diamond. I remember seeing them a few different times, but never really knew what they were all about. Anyone know anything about their non-stick coating? From what I have been reading you can use metal utensils and throw them in the oven up to 500...sounds good to me. They have a lifetime warranty too, and they have a small 6 piece set priced within reason at amazon. So what am I missing, where is the bad news on these guys? The Swiss are always up to something, right?

Also, the only reason I was looking at sets was because of the deals you can find. I could probably piece together something smaller and better, but it would cost me a lot more. I do have some pots that are doing alright from a relatively cheap set I bought about 6 years ago, but I don't see the harm in having a couple nicer ones. I also have little cookouts once in a while and always seem to be short handed when it comes to pots and pans and bowls and the like. I appreciate the Bittman article (big fan of his), but I feel like this is the one time where some of my old stuff is wearing too thin and I have the chance to just do a good revamp of my stock.

Nov 11, 2008
dwillm in Cookware

new cookware set

So I have been going back and forth trying to decide on what type of cookware to get and I need some help. I do a lot of cooking and consider myself, for better or worse, kind of a foodie, so I am really looking for a good quality set that will last a while and definitely be used everyday. I have been leaning towards some try-ply stainless steel (there is a $600 Cuisinart set at amazon going for $225) or possibly the Calphalon Commercial Hard-Anodized 9-Piece Cookware Set which is going for only $160 at amazon (it is the pre-Calphalon One set I think). I have been reading some posts and seen the seemingly anti-Calphalon sentiment among many Chowhounds so if anyone has any direct usage knowledge of that particular set that would be helpful. But...I am beginning to get worried about missing the love/hate relationship with non-stick. Will I be alright without the non-stick? I make eggs and oatmeal pretty much everyday and just want to be sure I can fry up my little eggs without a whole stick of butter, and not lose half my oats to the pan. The reasons for moving away from non-stick are: I need to be able to use the pans in the oven (and not just up to 400 for 20mins), and really really really want to use metal utensils. Anyway, I can be easily convinced, so do your best.

also...I don't have unlimited funds for this either, maybe $300-350 max.

THANKS...

Nov 10, 2008
dwillm in Cookware

The Basics: How to Make Garlicky Spaghetti

Not to keep things going, but yes, you can put cheese on your pasta and then call it "spaghetti aglio e olio" (unless you are a chef in a restaurant kitchen and want to risk confusing your patrons), because it is YOUR pasta! My whole point was aimed at something higher than just this recipe, it was supposed to be a sort of talking point on how people who follow recipes to a "T" and always stick to making things their original way (if there is such a thing) might be missing out on what I feel is the biggest enjoyment of cooking, the creation process. Cooking should be art, because art is fun...not math and science, because math and science are not fun.

Mar 17, 2008
dwillm in Features

The Basics: How to Make Garlicky Spaghetti

I personally would probably not add cheese to this exact dish, but that would be because of taste (as I agree that a butter/cheese paring is much more enjoyable) and not because I would be following the recipe to a T. I find myself in line with the Nigel Slater method of cooking, whereas a recipe is meant to be a basic guide to a dish and NOT an exacting play by play to be followed and fawned over with religious zeal (probably not his exact words). The whole point of cooking is to get a result you are happy with, and if you enjoy cooking and food (as I am assuming we all do) then why not use those recipes in conjunction with your learned knowledge and taste preferences to achieve something that is yours?

Again, this is not about food preparation, but about flavors and cooking and recipes. The "rules" to follow involving preparation are obviously there for a reason (don't rise pasta after draining, for example) and this is why those of us who love cooking also love reading about cooking and learning about cooking. We just don't need to get rid of all the fun cooking offers by turning it into a math problem that can only be solved one way.

Mar 11, 2008
dwillm in Features

The Basics: How to Make Garlicky Spaghetti

Why does everybody continue to hold onto these strict old traditions of cooking all the time? No cheese for this dish or that dish? Give me a break! How about if you like cheese put it on the pasta, if you like anchovies add them, if you like a ton of garlic, add a ton of garlic. Recipes and traditions with cooking are to be followed only as far as the cook wants them to be, after all you are the one going to eat it right?

I will say that there is a big difference with stating that you can never add cheese to this recipe and saying not to add oil to the pasta water. I think this is what all cooks should be looking for, good advice on how to make things better (as big a pan for water as you can get, don't add oil, tons of salt, etc) as opposed to others telling you what to put in your recipe.

Mar 09, 2008
dwillm in Features

Double-Dipping on Trial

If I am at a party and somebody whines about a double dipper I am leaving that party...and I will take the dip with me.

Dec 19, 2007
dwillm in Features