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Hestan’s NanoBond collection is available

Shared: Robbreport.com

Can a saucepan be sexy? Hestan thinks so. The California-based manufacturer—known for its high-end commercial kitchen equipment and residential outdoor grills—has been secreted away in its Napa Valley laboratory creating what the brand claims to be “the first true innovation in stainless steel cookware” in more than a century. Called NanoBond, the collection launched on January 19 with a patented technology that coats each aluminum skillet, wok, pot, and pan in thousands of super-dense layers of titanium alloys bonded to stainless steel. The resulting cookware is light, durable, and incredibly resistant to stains and scratches.

NanoBond is the product of a collaboration between some of the world’s preeminent chefs, engineers, scientists, and designers—as well as Hestan’s founder, Stanley Cheng, the brain behind such pioneering cookware lines as Circulon and Anolon. Still, any cook who knows his way around a kitchen is likely to be dubious of new technology. So, Robb Report invited Cheng and his team to its New York City offices for a demonstration.

Pots and pans clanked in our 35th-floor conference room last December as we sorted through the 13 pieces comprising the NanoBond line. To be sure, the cookware was sleek—its titanium coating shimmered like a piece of jewelry, and it felt smoother and lighter than stainless-steel pieces. The grip was comfortable and manageable, making it easier to maneuver for stirring, scraping, tipping, and pouring. But how, we wondered, would it stand up against the test of time? These new pots were straight from the warehouse, wrapped in the sparkling sheen of newness that all too quickly ends up covered in scratches and stains after only a few months of use.

As if anticipating our skepticism, the Hestan team procured a secret weapon: a used NanoBond pan, borrowed from the well-known kitchen of a celebrated New York City chef. (We wish we could spill the beans on his Michelin-starred identity, but alas, the Hestan crew swore us to secrecy.) The pan had no doubt been beaten and battered for months, yet it remained virtually mark-free. None of the telltale signs of use—dark stains around the screw heads, burn marks on the base—were evident. Only the slightest shallow scratches, almost imperceptible to the naked eye, could be seen.

Hestan’s NanoBond collection is available exclusively at Williams-Sonoma. Individual cookware is priced from $150­ to $520; a 10-piece set is priced at $1,500. (hestan.com)

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Two Weeks with Dr. Millard Erickson

I’ve had the wonderful opportunity of spending the last two weeks being taught theology by Dr. Millard J. Erickson.  Dr. Erickson has been teaching theology at the graduate level for nearly fifty years.  He has authored many books and is considered by many to be Carl F. H. Henry’s successor as “the dean of evangelical theologians.”

Dr. Erickson is perhaps known best for his volume of systematic theology, Christian Theology, a work which I’ve used in various courses at three different seminaries now.

The course I’ve been sitting in for four hours a day every day for the last two weeks is titled, “The Last 100 Years of Theology.”  Our course textbook was, A New Handbook of Christian Theologians.

For those interested, a perusal of the notes I managed to type during Dr. Erickson’s lectures will give you a good idea of what I’ve learned.

Dr. Erickson administered a final exam in class today.  It covered quite a bit of material! We were asked about each of the following theological topics from the 20th century:

  • Social Gospel
  • Fundamentalist movement
  • Karl Barth’s view of revelation
  • Paul Tillich’s theological method of correlation and his idea of God as the ground of being
  • Rudolph Bultmann’s employment of the distinction between historie and geschichte and his notion of God as the ground of all being
  • Wolfhart Pannenberg’s notion of revelation as history
  • Jürgen Moltmann and theology as eschatology
  • Process theology’s concept of God as dipolar
  • Liberation theology’s nature of theology
  • African theology and indigenization
  • Death of God theology
  • Communicational role of narrative theology
  • Vatican II and degrees of church membership
  • George Lindbeck’s postliberal thoughts about the nature of doctrine
  • Inclusivism and implicit faith
  • Open theism
  • Annihilationism

The test was no walk in the park, but all of the questions were addressed in both our lectures and assigned reading.

I feel very fortunate to have been able to take a class with Dr. Erickson.  He was a very kind, professional, and sharp theological instructor.  He told our class that we would likely be the last class he ever taught.  What a blessing!

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Great All Clad cookware set to get you started

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I was reluctant to pull the trigger and buy this set. I kept telling myself that my cookware more than adequate. However, when I upgraded my cooktop to induction, some of my best stainless steel cookware was not compatible. My old set was a very nice (expensive) stainless steel set imported from Portugal. I had it for 10 years and I loved it. When I cooked my first meal on the new All-Clad set, I fell in love all over again. On the induction, they heated quickly and evenly. I was able to cut down my prep time and get my dinner on the table faster.

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I chose this set because of the sizes of the pans. If you look at other stores (Williams Sonoma etc) many of the pans of the “same” set are different and hence the price difference. My favorite pan is the 3 qt saute pan with lid. This is my go-to pan for everyday cooking such as Chicken Marsala or any other skillet dish. The size is perfect for a couple. The 1 1/2 qt sauce pan is perfect for rice and the 3 qt sauce pan works very well for pasta. I cooked scrambled eggs this morning in the 10 inch fry pan and they turned out great. They are not non-stick, so you really have to know how to cook on stainless steel. It is very different than non-stick.

 

The pan must be heated before adding the oil or butter. This creates a very thin layer of oil and prevents food from sticking. Many people also make the mistake of trying to turn the food too quickly. If the meat does not release easily from the pan, it is either not ready to turn or the pan is too hot. If you are cooking on the highest temperature, you are doing it wrong. If you have never cooked on stainless, there is a bit of a learning curve, but once you master it, you won’t want to use anything else.

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Madame Rose

In my book club, there is this French lady whom we always longed to visit–Madame Rose–not because she was very analytical in literary discourses, no, but because of her sumptuous cooking and tastefully decorated kitchen. Madame Rose always had this inimitable way of preparing delectable dishes whether it was just a cup of coffee with tiny snacks or a large meal to feed a village. Her kitchenware on the other hand were always spick and span with a glamour that was unparalleled. And since none of us in the book club was bold enough to ask her the question that was in everyone’s mind, Madame Rose never got the chance to explain to us how she made such delectable dishes or how she kept her kitchen in such a tasteful condition. Years later (after the cowardly book club had long died), we meet in a supermarket and she told me about her best stainless steel cookware set that was the secret to her excellent cooking.

As you can guess, I was exhilarated beyond words to hear this. Little had I guessed that this could be the reason to the ambiance of her kitchen or the high quality of her finger-licking meals. Rose told me that rather than use non-stick cookware, she preferred stainless steel cookware which was easy to clean, durable and ensured even heating. Since it is dishwasher safe, Madama Rose told me that she even at times delegates cleaning utensils to her children. With aluminum, copper and steel alloys, the best stainless steel cookware set had a high responsiveness to heat cooking the food thoroughly and nicely. A high polished outer coating ensures that the cookware remains shiny. That to me explained the glamour and the glim in Madame Rose’s kitchen. The well riveted insulator handles on the other hand protects the cook from burning while the content cooks completely.

I was amazed to find out that such simple steps could make a kitchen so amazing. Instinctively, while I was at the store, I picked up a stainless steel cookware set for myself. Lets see how this works out for me.

stainless-steel-cookware-set
Voila, My Very Own Stainless Steel Set
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How I Made Acorn Flour

Oak trees twine thick above my roof and gnarled branches curl before every window. This fall a literal avalanche of glossy brown acorns fell everywhere, spreading over lawns and side-walks like a veritable carpet.

Acorns were once an important food staple, gathered in large woven baskets then steamed and boiled to leach out bitter tannins (more on that later).

Long before we began to cultivate wheat and grains, acorns were an abundant source of protein, fat and carbohydrates for ancient people around the world from Europe, Russia, and the Middle East to China, to northern Africa. Today we know acorns also contain large amounts of phosphorus, niacin, potassium, calcium and magnesium – all vitamins and minerals sadly lacking in our modern diets. So faced with the thousands of acorns that lay all around me,

I decided this was the year I would finally attempt what had long seemed arduous and intimidating process (I am a lazy cook!) – the making of acorn flour.

I chose the fastest, easiest (though not the most nutritious route to prepare my acorns) – boiling– sacrificing vital enzymes and oils in the process.

I then roasted the nuts at (another hour or so) laying them out on cookie sheets and then baking them in the oven. And I was delighted when the house filled with a sweet, earthy, vanilla like aroma. Who knew that acorns could smell so enticing?

Once cooled I ground them in my coffee grinder and came up with 2 cups of a crumbly, mildly sweet, caramel flavored flour.

acorn-flour

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Excellent quality of pots and pans to buy

T-Fal’s nonstick cookware is the best for the price. You can pay a lot more for nonstick pans: they’ll be heavy and the nonstick feature is the same. If you’re thinking that buying more expensive nonstick pans will make the nonstick finish last longer, you’d be wrong. That’s what I thought. I have several expensive nonstick pans and the nonstick will peel off of those just as quickly as any other nonstick pan. What really makes the difference with nonstick is HOW YOU TREAT IT. Read the Do’s And Don’ts when you get your pans. Never heat above medium. It’ll take longer to bring water to a boil or to stir-fry, but it WILL get hot enough. Never wash your nonstick in the dishwasher and wait until it cools to hand wash. Always use plastic or wood utensils: never use anything that will scratch the surface. Don’t use spray release cooking agents as you don’t need them and they can cause a film to develop on the surface. Never let your pots boil dry – use a timer to remind you.

Thinking of stainless steel? Forget it. It’s a headache to cook and clean with as everything sticks to it’s surface – unless you want to add a lot of fat to your cooking. Leave that for the professional cooks and save yourself the headaches.

I can still remember my Grandmother showing me a T-Fal pan that she bought and saying it was the best pan she ever owned. I just bought this set for my son who is moving into his own home and that’s the confidence that I have in it. This is the quality and price point you’re looking for.

When I first opened the set, I thought there was something wrong with it: there are little holes in the lids with no cover or vent. That’s how it’s supposed to be! Those tiny holes let a little steam out so that your pots won’t boil over as easily. But, if you turn it up high enough and ignore it, it can still boil over. If it does, at least the outsides of these pans are constructed to withstand food stains. You’ll love this set. If you treat it right, it’ll last many years.

For a large family, I would buy some additional pieces: a large frying pan with high sides and a lid – for large meals, frying chicken and stir-frying and a 3.5 qt saucepan for making large amts of rice, popcorn, chili, etc. I also bought a splatter cover for the large frying pan in the set because it is a regular fry pan with low sides and you’ll get some splatter on your stove if you don’t use a cover.

Further information: What’s the deal with non stick cookware