Home' Nova West : March 2010 Contents OF ALL THE articles I’ve written – and let’s
face it, some way more contentious than
others – the one I’ve received most response
from was about cookware. It’s also one of the
issues people most want to discuss at a class.
It’s been some time, and there seems to still
be so much confusion that I thought it was
time to revisit this question.
SAUCEPANS, POTS AND PANS
Literally, these are the nuts and bolts of a
kitchen. Sizes range from 14cm (and even
less in some cases) to 20cm for saucepans,
and above this (22, 26 etc) they change in
name to stewpan, dutch oven, or similar. I
prefer stainless steel for pots up to 20cm, and
beyond that, I am a cast iron girl. Pots are
generally protected from heat transferring too
quickly with an extra layer of some sort on the
outside base. In many cases, this is aluminium
and this is referred to as an induction base. In
many of the newer pots, though, technology
has replaced the induction base with many
layers of different metals bonded together.
Materials used are generally a combination,
which offers a superior ability to diffuse and
disperse heat. The materials used are stainless
steel, copper and aluminium – the stainless
steel on the inside (and sometimes outside),
copper and aluminium on the inside.
Before we go any further, I would say
that with pots and pans, you do get what you
pay for. With the advent of the global giant
manufacturer China, there are hundreds of
stainless steel pots and pans on the market.
It’s a ver y easy thing for a designer or
celebrity chef to knock out a range – they
are generally, but not always, made in China.
You should always look for heavy gauge or
surgical grade stainless steel. I am a fan of high
quality stainless steel, and have two ranges I
really like. Neither company fosters or
sponsors me in way, so I am being straight up:
the American All Clad (still made in America),
and the German WMF. They are both
beautifully designed, transfer heat in a
diffused manner, and are a joy to use.
In summary, good things to have in
stainless steel are: 14 - 20cm pots (I like
glass lids), a steamer insert, a frypan or
skillet (but cast iron, enamel coated or not is
brilliant also) and, finally, the stockpots.
Please, never scrub your good stainless
steel with a scourer – be gentle. If it’s really
burnt, sprinkle it with baking soda and
let it sit. Then soak it and let it sit. Neither
am I a fan of putting good pots and pans in
I love beautiful things, and I do love
cooking with the Reiss enamelware. Still
made in Austria, ever y pot is shaped from
a single piece of steel, sprayed in four
layers of enamel and baked between coats.
The enamelware is non-porous and is a
great surface to cook on, as it is inert and
non-reactive. I’ve found it to diffuse heat
beautifully (not at all like the enamel
coated tin you might find in camping
Again, go gently, don’t scr ub, please
don’t put it in the dishwasher.
Pots and Pans
STEWPANS, DUTCH OVENS - NO
MATTER WHAT SHAPE, OVAL OR
ROUND - 22CM UPWARDS
The clear winner here is cast iron. Plain
Jane camping ovens are perfectly good (but
please, no acid) and if you want to go a step
further, buy the enamel coated. Here again,
you do get what you pay for. Everyone and
their dog seems to be bringing out enamel
coated cast iron – Le Creuset is still the leader.
Cheaper enamel coating is not as thick and
chips easily. This is a product designed to
last for your lifetime, and go on into the next
generation. Again, no harsh scr ubbing, no
putting in the dishwasher, just let it soak.
Nothing can compare to cast iron for
retaining, diffusing, holding and reflecting
heat. Meals cooked in them will taste more
delicious and intense. Again, high quality
enamel is an inert surface and non-reactive.
ROASTING DISHES, GRILL PLATES
For superior roasting, look to enamel
coated cast iron (this will provide you with
the best roast ever, and the crispiest
vegetables), or the old enamel coated tin.
Grill plates should be cast iron, and a wok the
good old carbon steel from the Asian store.
I never, ever use non-stick and cannot
recommend anything made with them.
Newer non-stick cookware is being
advertised as a wonderfully healthful option,
and while the coating is now no longer
simply coated over the base, a polymer is
mingled with the anodised metal surface. The
view of any company making this cookware
is that this surface will only off gas noxious
fumes if the temperature is heated to 260c.
After much experience with people cooking,
I can tell you the common denominator is
that most people cook at too high a
temperature, especially using a wok (can I
say here, this is actually designed for high
heat!) I also don’t use the silicon bakeware
(and bear in mind it is only FDA approved
up to 220c). If you are going to buy this to
bake in, please buy the French high quality
siliconware – it’s going to cost (a lot) but
is a much better option than the many knock
offs now available.
Non-stick is absolutely not necessary.
This is a technology developed from an
er roneous and poorly formed view that
good quality fat is bad for you. I don’t care if
the manufacturer says to you it may have a
titanium base; if it is being sold as non-stick,
it will have polymers there to make it be non-
Sticking is the main reason cited for
buying a non-stick pan (thus making it easy
to wash also). If you don’t want food to
stick to your pan, make sure it is heated
well before you add the ingredients. Not
to an extreme, but so that it is hot. Fat
should not ripple or smoke. For example,
when cooking pancakes and pikelets the
fat should gently sizzle when the batter hits
the pan. Remember also that browning
food is an incredibly vital step in developing
flavour, whether for meat or non-meat.
Sugars caramelise, flavours concentrate and
these are then de-glazed (adding a liquid
back to the pot) to lift all that delicious flavour
into the meal being cooked.
The recipe this month is for delicious,
seasonal, cheap cor n fritters. I use my
All Clad skillet for these, and fry them in
a mixture of ghee and olive oil. When I
use my cheaper, old fashioned induction
based frypan, I need to have the heat a little
higher as the pan is not as efficient. It’s all
in the quality of the pot.
© NOVA MARCH 2010
See our website
for more of Jude's fabulous
If your corn is beautiful and fresh, there is no
need to cook it first. If it’s old, you will need to
steam it or you can used canned. Perfect with
avocado and salsa. Makes about 8 large fritters.
• Olive oil or ghee for frying
• 1 onion finely chopped
• 2 garlic cloves, crushed
• handful basil leaves and parsley, finely
• 1 tablespoon cornstarch
• 2 tablespoons golden corn flour
• 2 eggs, lightly beaten
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• sprinkle of dulse flakes if desired
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a frying pan. Add onion
and gently cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the garlic
and let cook for about 1 minute. You are not
frying, just gently cooking.
Combine the corn, cooked onion and garlic,
herbs, cornstarch, corn flour, eggs, salt and
pepper in a bowl and mix together.
Heat the oil and/or ghee (there should be enough
to coat the base of the pan). It should not ripple
or smoke, but should gently sizzle when the
batter hits the fat. Add the batter – about 3
tablespoons for a large one, and cook for 4-5
minutes on one side. It’s important that the heat
is high enough to create a good sizzle, without
being so high that it cooks the outside before the
inside is ready. Turn over and cook for a further
4-5 minutes. Smaller fritters will take about 2-3
minutes each side. Remove and drain on a paper
towel before serving.
For new books,
by Dr Peter
Constipation, diarrhoea, abdominal
aches and pains, abdominal bloating, cramps, reflux and flatulence...is this you?
Get results with our individually tailored IBS treatment programs. Health Fund rebates available.
Mt Lawley Nutrition and Family Health
19 Guildford Road Mt Lawley 6050 – Ph 08 9370 5227
Links Archive February 2010 April 2010 Navigation Previous Page Next Page