Wedding registry help/newbie to quality cookware
I have been reading boards for a while, but just joined because I believe you all share invaluable advice (and I hope to be able to share some in the future as well). I am getting married in October and am finishing up our registry. We had originally registered for a set of Calphalon Tri Ply, but based on a few recommendations from people I work with and from information I got from these boards we decided to give all clad a try. We got the D5SS 10" fry pan and a 4 quart casserole pot at a WS outlet (to get us through to my shower, our collection of college pots was terribly and I was nervous about using the peeling non-stick pans much longer)... we love them!
We both love cooking (even more now that we have quality pots, which I think makes it more fun). It's usually just the two of us and when we have people over it's rarely more than 6 people. We do hope to host Thanksgiving next year (it will be out first as a married couple) To round out our registry we added:
All-Clad 3-Quart Stainless Steel Saute Pan
All-Clad® Stainless Steel 2-Quart Covered Saucepan
Calphalon Tri-Ply Stainless Steel 8-Quart Stockpot with Lid (the all clad were just so expensive and I really only see myself using a pot that big to boil water for pasta)
Le Creuset® 5 1/2-Quart Round French Oven
Any suggestions on must have pieces? I was looking into adding a Le Creuset Braiser and a 12" all clad fry pan or french skillet. I also had a calphalon SS roaster for holiday turkeys but read very mixed opinion on spending a lot on a roaster. Right now I have granite ware roaster on the registry.
I know this topic has been discussed a lot, I'm just overwhelmed and even after reading previous discussions still feel a bit unsure of what I should add (or delete)! I apologize for the long post, I just thought more information might help!
Thanks in advance for your expertise!
I think you might want a larger saucepan - like a 4 qt. I like a 12" skillet. If you have the LC oven, don't worry about a braiser (unless you start braising a lot - like making osso buco for 6 or 8 and need 2 vessels for braising).
A big pot for boiling water? Doesn't need to be fancy? Maybe a nice 12" cast iron skillet? a new non-stick saucepan (anodized aluminum) for eggs/rice??
It's really a learn as you go process for the most part. If there are 10 cooks in the room each will have their own flair for a prticular cooking style and what they enjoy cooking. And honestly, outside of a few basics that are needed for just about any cooking style, you will find out with time what specific needs you have for your cooking. In other words, it gets down to personal preferences. For the dishes I like to cook, I use an enameled cast iron braiser quite a bit, others may never use one. You may want to add a steamer insert for either a sauce pan or stock pot, it's just an easy way to cook vegies, other than that, I think your list is fairly complete for the basics and that's a good start. I'll assume you have a couple of good knives on that list as well, if not, I would get a good chefs knife on the list.
Thanks for calming my nerves about whether I've covered the basics! Luckily my fiance has a very good set of Henckels knives that are holding up incredibly well. May I ask what you use your enamaled cast iron braiser for? I've never used enameled cast iron before... We cook lots of stews and sauces which made the french oven an easy choice. The guy at the Le Creuset store encouraged us to look into the braiser but when I asked what we could use it for he said "everything" which doesn't really help me decide if it's something we would use!
One of my favorite recipes for the braiser is a Tuscan Salmon with artichoke hearts, sundried tomatos, fennel, and onions and garlic. I do it all in the braiser, the ingredients get sauted stove top and then it is poured over the Salmon fillets and finished off in a 400 degree oven. The braiser keeps it nice and hot when it comes out of the oven. I use the braiser for any of the dishes that don't have an excess of liquid. I can do chicken vasuvio in it, or braise beef or pork. For stews, soups, roasts, etc. I use the deeper cocottes. You can certianly get by without it, but I appreciate mine and use it regularly.
It's nice to have a cast iron skillet for some things and a 8" non-stick for eggs as well.