Thursday, August 7, 2014

What's in a pot? (From Guardian Service Dome Cooker to ANOLON Nouvelle Copper Covered Casserole)

Believe me, I have had my share of pots and pans over many years -- mostly mismatched in order to have what I specifically needed, especially liked, or wanted to keep in the family.

Guardian Service
After downsizing last year, I realized that I no longer had a casserole that I could or wanted to put in the oven. My black Le Creuset pot bit the dust a few years ago. And while I still have a Revere Ware sauce pan and pasta pot that my mother favored + 2 original Paderno saut√© pans from Italy (that we sold when I worked at the "Professional Kitchen" near the Bowery in Manhattan, circa 1982), I was using my grandmother's trusty hammered aluminum "waterless" Guardian Service 4 Quart Dome Cooker to cook almost everything. But I really did not want to chance ruining Yiayia's pot by using it in what is now a very hot apartment oven.

Upon hearing that I was looking for a heavy pot for the oven, a dear friend immediately drove me over to her apartment and gave me a beautiful, teal Dansk Kobenstyle 3 Quart Casserole with it's trivet/cover -- which still graces my glass coffee table when it is not in the oven. The 1956 design is a classic!

Shortly thereafter, I was also the recipient of an ANOLON Nouvelle Copper 4 Quart Covered Casserole. And I love it, too -- for the size, beautiful tulip shape, and a base that includes a copper core (layered between aluminum and magnetized stainless steel, making it suitable for all cooktops).  It is oven safe to 500° F and made from hard anodized aluminum twice as hard as stainless steel with a non-stick interior that is metal utensil safe.  The stainless steel handles attached using innovative flat-rivet (no place for food to stick on the inside) technology and the elegant close-fitting lid are real bonuses. OPA!

Here's the best part (after several trials):  Because of that non-stick interior and even heat distribution/reduced "hot spots," I do not have to constantly monitor the food I am cooking to make sure that it won't burn at the bottom of the pot. The ANOLON website  says that it "delivers effortless food release and easy cleaning" -- and that is so true!  This pot has revolutionized my current kitchen with both it's advanced features and versatility. Most importantly, it's perfect for cooking Greek dishes like lamb or beef and vegetables (green beans, zucchini, peas, and/or okra) with tomatoes...Double OPA!

NOTE: The vintage Guardian Service pot that my Yiayia probably bought at a Tupperware-type gathering about 80 years ago (with its first-edition Knight's helmet and crossed swords design on the lid) has been safely retired -- at least for the time being -- to the cabinet above my refrigerator...If you have any of your mother or grandmother's Guardian Service pots or pans, please send us a photo. 


  1. I've been cooking peppers and onions in the skillet on the grill a lot lately. I'll have to add jalapenos next time. Yum. I like cooking bacon that way too, although hot fat + open flame adds a nice element of danger. I used to get flank steak, but my husband got me to try the carne asada cut from our local market, and I prefer it. Not sure if it's thin-cut flank or skirt (I'll have to ask), but it looks like this