test kitchen

Ooh La Le Creuset!

The Le Creuset dishes I’ve accumulated over the years get a lot of love in my kitchen, from the classic 5 qt. oven to my treasured tarte tatin pan. So when I was invited to visit the Le Creuset foundry, in Fresnoy-le-Grand, France, the birthplace of this iconic cookware, where all of the company’s cast iron products have been produced since 1925, I jumped at the chance!
 
Paul Van Zuydam, the Chairman of the company, bought Le Creuset in 1987 at a time when it was unclear whether or not the company would survive. Not only did he bring it back to life, he managed to turn it into one of the most prestigious cookware companies in the world.
 
After a 2 hour drive north out of Paris (and a lovely lunch with Paul Van Zuydam of quiche, salad, cured meats and local cheeses), we entered the lobby, complete with a mini museum with some classic pieces since retired, like these yellow beauties from 1945-1955.

 

Frédéric Sallé, the most affable plant manager, gave us the tour of the foundry, which recently expanded just in time for the company’s 90th anniversary. I was so impressed by how he warmly interacted with the workers like they were family.

 

Our first sight upon entry to the factory was bins full of Dutch Ovens and skillets. Be still my heart! We were all a bit floored when we found out they were seconds, soon be melted down and re-cast.
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Join Us on November 20th for a Thanksgiving Q&A on Twitter!

The 10-day countdown to Thanksgiving starts today, and between buying your bird, making your pie crust and picking out that perfect wine, you’re bound to have some questions. That’s why we’ve gathered our test kitchen pros to host a Twitter chat and share their Turkey Day expertise!

 

 

Join us on Twitter on Thursday, November 20th at 3 pm EST for an hour-long session of turkey talk. Be sure to include the hashtag #RRTgiving on your tweets and one of our test kitchen pros will be sure to answer your question.

 

One hour. All the Thanksgiving knowledge you could ever need. And you don’t even need to bring a hostess gift. We’d say this is going to be the best party ever!

 

Looking for even more tips? You can download our booklet filled with 96 ways to ensure Thanksgiving success here.

 

 

Related Links

4 delicious twists on Thanksgiving turkey

Thanksgiving family favorites from the Rachael Ray clan

the best way to store your Thanksgiving leftovers

What We’re Drinking: the Beers Knees

There’s never a bad day to be part of our magazine’s food team, but it’s a particularly good day when you can kick back, relax and have one of the country’s best bartenders make you a cocktail. A few weeks ago, Ryan Magarian — the Portland, Oregon-based cocktail guru and co-founder of Aviation American Gin, — visited the Every Day with Rachael Ray test kitchen and whipped up some of his favorite warm-weather cocktails. We loved all the drinks, but the Beers Knees, a gin and wheat beer concoction, is the one we’ll be sipping all summer. Lucky for us, Ryan shared the recipe, so you can make this bubbly, citrusy drink for your next backyard cookout, concert in the park, beach barbecue– or wherever summer takes you.

 

 

 

Beers Knees

1 1/2 oz Aviation American Gin
1 oz fresh lemon juice
1 oz Honey syrup*
3 oz Hefeweizen (Ryan is partial to Widmer Hefeweizen, a local brew)

 

Pour gin, lemon juice and honey syrup in a pint glass, fill with ice & shake vigorously. Strain into a chilled Collins glass (with or without ice). Top with Hefeweizen. Garnish with a lemon wedge

 

*To make honey syrup; stir equal parts honey and heated water and stir until the honey dissolves; let cool

 

 

Related Links

Master the Muddle

Happy National Beer Day!

Products We Love: Kettlehead Popcorn

Behind the Scenes: Making Mezcal Cocktails

In our May issue, we explore tequila’s rival sibling, mezcal, a smoky, slow-roasted, double-distilled liquor also made from the agave plant. We tasted tons of mezcal cocktails from the country’s best bartenders and adapted two favorites–plus created one of our own! Go behind the scenes and explore our mezcal cocktail-making process. Then, get our fabulous cocktail recipe that was the result of one tasty testing session. ¡Salud!

Test Kitchen Associate, Charles Grayauskie and Test Kitchen Director, Janet McCracken doing some delicious research.

 

Lots of different ingredients go into making the perfect cocktail! The green Vida bottle (left) is actually many bartenders’ go-to mezcal: easy to find across the country and very easy to drink.

 

 Pouring up Old Major’s La Rosa Bonita

 

From our test kitchen, The Smokin’ Dog–our own riff on the Greyhound!

 

6 oz. fresh grapefruit juice (pink or yellow)

1 oz. mezcal

Splash of club soda

1 grapefruit twist

Fill a rocks glass with ice, then add grapefruit juice and mezcal. Stir to blend; top with a splash of club soda. Garnish with the grapefruit twist. Makes 1.