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Full disclosure.

Okay so now I can tell you, we really went to the Le Creuset outlet store to buy a birthday present for our oldest son, who is quite a good cook. I think he’s even better than me! (Both of my boys have a certain confidence that is unmatched. (The older one is a “big” flavor guy while the younger one applies his spices and flavors more gingerly.)

Now I couldn’t tell you this until we gave it to him, because I never know when my kids are reading this blog. So we got him this gorgeous red, oval cast iron skillet. It is big, unusual and heavy. Zach said he would love it because his stovetop in Brooklyn is small. You could roast two whole red snappers in this or even two 3 lb. chickens.

We had his birthday dinner (menu to come) last Sunday and this is what he emailed to me on Tuesday evening. The subject line was “Maiden Voyage.”

Asparagus and red peppers in a skillet.
Look at the beautiful charring!

My new skillet!

Broccoli rabe in a Le Creuset skillet.Zucchini and onions in a Le Creuset skillet.

We had to be in Boston on Monday and on the way back to NYC, I suggested we plan to stop at Clinton Corners in CT. There’s a discount Le Creuset store there and that’s pretty much heaven to me!

I bought a new skillet and even new orange (my favorite color) hot pads. I’m telling you, I’m so happy, I feel like I have a whole new kitchen. It doesn’t take a whole lot to get me excited. I’m a cheap date.

Le Creuset is one of my favorite cookware manufacturers. I have a huge covered French oven that I just adore. Food cooked in it actually tastes better! It’s enamel coated cast iron and very easy to clean. The one drawback is that it is very heavy. But hey, it’s building the biceps!

I once cooked a huge party size serving of meatballs and had to split the recipe. Half of them simmered in my Le Creuset and the other half simmered in a copper bottomed stainless steel stew pot. (my mother’s from the ‘60’s) The Le Creuset pot was infinitely better!! Really. The meatballs and tomato sauce had deeper, richer flavors. It’s true and I’m not even paid to say this! I think the cast iron distributes the heat more evenly and this pot with the enamel coating locks in the moisture to create super tender morsels of meat and incredibly flavorful vegetables. It’s perfect for beef bourguignon, chilis and stews of any kind.

Blue Le Creuset pot.

Now Le Creuset has come out with an industrial strength non-stick coated 3-ply stainless steel line and that’s the skillet I just bought. It’s lighter with deep sides and fantastic! I cut my tendon in my left hand some years ago while cutting ribs (don’t ask) and while I totally regained the bendability of my middle finger, I never really regained the strength in that hand, so lighter is better.

Once again the heat distribution and browning capabilities are terrific! Check out that zucchini in the photo.

If you have a favorite skillet or cookware line, please tell me about it.