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Fontignac: The enameled cast iron debate continues

The flat bottom is better theory is just that - a theory for me, since I'm just starting to cook meat. I assumed more space would be good for the initial sear...?

Oct 31, 2011
eugenegirl in Cookware

Fontignac: The enameled cast iron debate continues

I guess my theory about cookware is that you can always fill up a big pot, but a small pot will always have its limitations.. I'm trying not to cookware hoard, but I can see how that would be easy :) I found a 6.5 qt Lodge on sale yesterday for $55 and couldn't resist, but I don't think I'll keep it because the bottom is fairly rounded. Sounds similar to the Costco pot. I can't tell from the pic whether it is a rounded as the Lodge. A flat bottom just makes more sense...
Also picked up a cast iron griddle pan yesterday, inspired by Nigel Slater's Appetite. I don't have a BBQ, so I'm excited to see if I can truly replicate that experience in the kitchen!

Oct 31, 2011
eugenegirl in Cookware

Fontignac: The enameled cast iron debate continues

Shoot! Sorry you couldn't find the sale. My store did also have the 6.5 qts but not on sale. Do you find your 5 qt to be useful, or is it too small for dishes like short ribs, etc?

Oct 30, 2011
eugenegirl in Cookware

Fontignac: The enameled cast iron debate continues

Just picked up a 5 quart Fontignac at BBB on sale for $79.99, then the obligatory 20% off coupon. The yellow and green are on clearance. Perhaps not a good sign was that I had to pull out all of the pots to find a near perfect one - they all had imperfections in the rims, but the one I chose was fine. However, the enamel wasn't poured very thickly on the handles. They have a lifetime guarantee, so I'm not too worried.
A question, though: do folks find 5 quarts to be a useful size? I like making about 4-6 servings at a time and it's a little smaller than I'm accustomed to.

Oct 27, 2011
eugenegirl in Cookware

Fontignac: The enameled cast iron debate continues

Oh, and one last newbie question: can one use an immersion blender in enameled cast iron?

Oct 20, 2011
eugenegirl in Cookware

Fontignac: The enameled cast iron debate continues

Thanks so for much everyone's thoughts on the matter. Didn't realize there was a LC outlet 1.5 hours from me, and I'll check that out. And thank for you the Fontignac reviews.
Next I delve into carbon steel territory, since you brought that up, againstthegrain!

Oct 20, 2011
eugenegirl in Cookware

Cuisinart or Fagor electric pressure cooker?

I have the Fagor multi-cooker which of course, includes a pressure cooker option. I was skittish about pressure cooking on the stove and I wish I'd had more guts! The Fagor takes a long time to come to pressure, but I have little experience with pressure cooking, so that might be normal. I just don't know if between the time it takes to come up to pressure, and then naturally release the steam (by waiting) whether I'm actually saving time over cooking a pot of beans on the stove.
The biggest issue for me is the non-stick coating, which is chipping on the top of the insert.

Oct 15, 2011
eugenegirl in Cookware

Fontignac: The enameled cast iron debate continues

That's a good idea. I guess I've just always been a cast iron cook, and my limited experience with stainless involved lots of sticking. And there's something so seemingly all-purpose and one-pot about enameled cast iron. I've also been looking at Calphalon and Cuisinart versions of All Clad products...

Oct 15, 2011
eugenegirl in Cookware

Fontignac: The enameled cast iron debate continues

Thanks for your thoughts and links, everyone. I swear I wasn't abusing the Battali. There is pitting inside on the bottom, and the large chip is in on the interior side. That's where it's rusting. Additionally, all of the raised dimples on the lid are cracking and rusting.

It's still strange to me that Josh has the only experience out of our bunch with the Fontignac. I might just drop the dough for a Staub or LC so I don't have to think about this anymore. But it's a little painful to drop that kind of money, especially when I rarely cook meat and will use the pot for soups and risotto and whatnot.

Oct 15, 2011
eugenegirl in Cookware

Fontignac: The enameled cast iron debate continues

I've read countless reviews and debates about Le Creuset v. Staub. v. Lodge v. Tramontina and I still haven't come to any conclusions. I'd like to replace a Batili that has chipped, rusted and generally not fared well in the whopping 5 times I've used it.

Has anyone had experience with Fontignac? I've found little discussion of it, and few reviews on the Bed Bath and Beyond website. I do know it's made by Staub, seems affordable and has a shape I like better than the curved sides of Lodge.

Any help? Or anyone with a less expensive brand like Tramontina or Lodge who can attest to its condition after further usage?

Thank you!!

Oct 15, 2011
eugenegirl in Cookware

Help build our dream restaurant weekend in New Orleans. Please.

We really loved lunch at Herbsaint. Upperline was good, and a great art experience, too.

Jul 08, 2009
eugenegirl in New Orleans

Soft-shells gone already?!?

I didn't think to ask if the soft shells at Mandina's and Brigtsten's were frozen, but the staff told me they were in season. And yummy!

May 28, 2009
eugenegirl in New Orleans

Are raw oysters safe to eat in May?

We must be on the same wavelength, because Coop's was my next thought!

May 22, 2009
eugenegirl in New Orleans

Are raw oysters safe to eat in May?

Ha! I hear you on that one. I think I'll stick to my lovely Pacific Northwest oysters when I need to slurp a raw one, for now.

May 22, 2009
eugenegirl in New Orleans

Are raw oysters safe to eat in May?

Thanks! We're probably not getting to our FQ hotel until around 10:00 p.m., if all goes as planned tomorrow. Other than Acme, could you recommend any other late night food (that might have oysters and worthy of being one of our 7 Nola meals) in the FQ? I'm surprised that so many restaurants close before 10 p.m.

May 22, 2009
eugenegirl in New Orleans

Are raw oysters safe to eat in May?

It may sound silly, but I was just told by a Texan that as a rule, folks only ate oysters in the "R" months when they were in season and that the old school safety mentality would dictate that raw oysters could be dangerous this time of year.

When oysters are out of season in Nola, where do they come from? Do people actually avoid eating them raw in the summer? Probably good to know before I gorge on a pile on my first night in Nola!

May 22, 2009
eugenegirl in New Orleans

Irene's or Mandina's?

Thank you! Long time reader, first time poster; I've always enjoyed your input on Chowhound. Do you have a favorite on Mandina's menu?

May 20, 2009
eugenegirl in New Orleans

Irene's or Mandina's?

Headed to Nola this weekend and I've got the selections narrowed down:
Commander's for Sunday brunch (thoughts?)
Upperline
Liuzza's (because I can't find a time that Parkway will be open)
Herbsaint for lunch
Brigtstens

I like the idea of Mandina (light on the pocketbook, locally loved) but a local just tried to convince me to go to Irene's instead. Are they both Italian Creole comfort food?
Thoughts would be appreciated!

May 20, 2009
eugenegirl in New Orleans