What to Look for When Buying a Saucepan or Saucier

while a saucepan is standard in any kitchen, sauciers have mainly been the domain of restaurant chefs. We thought it was time this changed. We gathered eight models with capacities ranging from 3 to 3½ quarts—the most common large size—and compared them with our favorite 4-quart saucepan from All-Clad. Six of these pans were fully clad, meaning they were made of alternating layers of steel and aluminum, which takes advantage of the best qualities of each metal. We also tested a “disk bottom” model (only the base is fully clad, and the sides are a single layer of stainless steel) and a hefty model made of enameled cast iron. In them, we prepared risotto, gravy, and pastry cream, noting their cooking performance as well as how comfortable they were to maneuver. We also tested their reduction speed by boiling a measured amount of water in each model for 10 and 20 minutes and weighing the results. Finally, since their curvy sides are known for being easier to clean than the L-shaped sides of saucepans, we washed each model by hand.

Source: Why You Should Buy a Saucier

A saucier is hardly essential equipment for your kitchen, but if you make a lot of sauces, gravy, reductions, or just like to cook creamy dishes like risotto, you could learn a thing or two from how they’re designed. America’s Test Kitchen also put pans to the test, and looked at what makes a good one worth your money:

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Why Chicken Broth Packs a Bigger Flavor Punch than Beef Broth

Here’s my list of 22 common supermarket ingredients that you should never put in your shopping cart, along with suggestions on what to look for instead.

Source: 22 Supermarket Items You Should Leave on the Shelf (and What to Get Instead)

  • I don’t like beefsteak tomatoes, period.
  • Better Than Bouillon = better than bouillon, boxes, etc.

Ponder the Physics of Chocolate Fountains During Your New Year’s Revels

New Year’s revelers will be heading out to all kinds of parties tonight, and chances are a good percentage will be tempted by the presence of a chocolate fountain—just a teensy bit of indulgence before those resolutions kick in. Perhaps those with a scientific bent could find themselves pondering, just for a moment, the complicated physics involved in all that chocolaty goodness.

Source: Ponder the Physics of Chocolate Fountains During Your New Year’s Revels

I’m going to the wrong parties… 😦

Freeze Cranberry Sauce and Gravy for The Best Thanksgiving Croissants Possible

Making Thanksgiving croissants is a three-day process. I started making the compound butter two days ago. I paddled together butter and Thanksgiving spices: dried sage, dried thyme, granulated onion, onion powder, salt, sugar, pepper, and a little turmeric for color. We developed the recipe from looking at the ingredient list for Stovetop stuffing.

Source: How to Make Thanksgiving Croissants

Lots assume that there will be a lot of leftover gravy. In my experience, gravy always runs out long before the turkey does, and I often have to cobble together substitutes for that first yummy batch with the meat dripping and carving juices.  So if you run out:

Roast and then simmer the giblets with veggies to get some flavorful broth to add to the pan drippings. Start with a (I know, it’s horrible) store-bought stock, dissolve flour or cornstarch in water, add it to the boiling stock, then add the giblet stock and pan drippings. If you use decent quality store stock, you won’t notice the difference and you can make half a gallon of gravy.  Or buy a couple of turkey thighs or legs and roast them a few days ahead and store the deglazed pan drippings in the freezer until the big day.

Mix Up a Thanksgiving Classic and Make Stuffing Waffles

The idea is easy: prepare a batch of stuffing, and rather than baking it in a casserole dish, which only offers one plane for crisping, cook it in a waffle iron.

Source: In Which We Make Stuffing Waffles

You could use them in place of bread for turkey sandwiches…  hot open-faced turkey sandwiches…

But I’m not sure about the gravy/maple syrup combination.

Easy Thanksgiving Food Swaps That Cut Calories Without Sacrificing Flavor

It’s tradition to get stuffed on Thanksgiving, but you can still get your fill of traditional flavors without wrecking your diet. MyFitnessPal shows us some simple food substitutions that cut the calories, sugar, and/or fat of traditional Thanksgiving foods.

Source: Easy Thanksgiving Food Swaps That Cut Calories Without Sacrificing Flavor

There are benefits for intentionally failing on your dietTrying to be perfect actually hurts your weight loss efforts.  So enjoy yourself 😉

But know that there’s a decent amount of vitamin K in pecans.  There’s still vitamin K in pumpkin, but it’s far less than pecans.

Easily Upgrade Leftovers With a Simple Pan Sauce Recipe

Your pan should already have a tablespoon or so of fat in it (leftover from browning your meat); if it doesn’t, supplement with olive oil. Now add an aromatic or two to the pan: A couple of smashed garlic cloves or a sliced shallot; a sturdy fresh herb, like thyme or rosemary. Give them a few minutes over gentle heat so they release their flavors.

Source: How to Make a Simple Pan Sauce

This is essentially making a gravy for your leftovers, which is a straightforward enough idea, but I like that this recipe is so simple and quick, and you can make it straight from the pan after reheating left over food.

Recipe: Thanksgiving Burrito

Ingredients:

  • Tortilla wrap
  • Turkey (veganize as you see fit – tofu?  Tofurkey?)
  • Mashed potato
  • Stuffing
  • Corn
  • Optional: Cranberry sauce (shown), gravy, salsa

Thanksgiving Burrito

  • Yes, the picture includes black olives
  • Replace the tortilla with lefse and you got a tasty burrito
  • Butter the tortilla, crisp in a panini grill