It is so much easier to find success in the kitchen if you are working with the right food and equipment. Just as Mise en Place (which essentially means getting your act together!) is fundamental to working through a recipe efficiently by assembling everything before you start, the right gadgets and equipment ensure that all your work is rewarded giving you the greatest chance of success.
Case in point.. a good sharp knife makes dicing onions fun.
A beautiful balloon whisk lets you stir a smooth sauce.
A quality fry pan will allow you to brown without burning.
I thought my pans were just fine. I had a drawer full of middle quality stainless steel pots and pans and they did fine.. kinda. My Teflon fry pans were good for the first months I had them and I replaced them often though never as often as I should have. That was then. This is now. I have the distinct
pleasure of giving cooking classes at the Good Cooking Store in Intercourse PA. Not so often that it interferes with running the Inn, but about once a month I get to play in their incredibly well stocked- equipment and gadget rich kitchen demo kitchen. The day that I was scrambling up a batch of eggs for Kristie’s Breakfast Strudel was the day I fell in love with another Swiss (Werner being the first!), the Swiss Diamond. You could never have convinced me that a pan was that amazing, but, it is. The diamond in it’s name is not just there for show, it is actually made from ground diamonds giving it it’s signature non-stick hard surface and even heat. I bought one to bring home to use in the Inn figuring that we would give it a real work out and see if it could stand up to the abuse our kitchen can dole out day in and day out.
8 months later it is the pan we fight over. With a silicon spatula it turns out perfect scrambled eggs. Potatoes brown perfectly, onions sauté and for our Farmers omelet that starts on the stove and ends up in the oven it is just perfect .. safe up to 500F. It cleans up in a dream even when we have made a huge mess with it. This beauty of a pan has become my favorite go-to for a wedding gift. (Congrats Brian and Cindy!)
For a recent photo shoot ( thank you Jumping Rocks!) we made up a batch of fall hash using it. The recipe follows. You can substitute all kinds of veggies in this dish, but don’t mess with a mediocre pan. Go Swiss Diamond!
Fall Veggie Hash
3 Tbsp Oil
3 red skinned potatoes
2 carrots, peeled
1 onion, peeled
2 summer squash
1 small zuchinni
1 bunch of parsley
salt to taste
optional add ins: sweet potatoes, butternut squash, mushrooms, roasted garlic, red beets, parsnips
Scrub the potatoes and carrots well. Cut into 1 inch pieces
Slice the onion crosswise, not in rings
Slice the squash and zucchini lengthwise and then into 2 inch sticks
Heat the oil in a 10 inch skillet
Add the potatoes and carrots and saute for several minuites
Add the onion, summer squash and zuchinni
Sprinkle with salt and pepper
Add the chopped parsley
Continue to saute turning to allow even browning until the potatoes are lightly brown and test tender
Finish under the broiler till the edges of the vegtables are just turning dark brown.