The key feature of the pans for me is the fact that they don't come with fixed handles, but with a handle attachment which can be used for all the pans.
This handle device snaps on and off very easily, making the pans easier to stack and then store - no handles to get in the way. If storage space is a premium, this would be very useful. The other advantage is that if you're using the pans from hob to oven, you can get a bigger pan into the oven as you don't have to accomodate the handle. You simply use the handle to get the pan to the oven then snap it off.
|Snap it on|
|Easy to snap off|
To further improve the storability of the pans, the accompanying lids have rather nifty fold down handles, and the set also comes with very handy 'fridge lids' which fit the pans and allow you to store food in the pans in the fridge without fiddling round with clingfilm etc. Unfortunately, we weren't provided with lids or the fridge lids to trial, which is a shame, as this was one of the things I was really excited about when the pans were demonstrated, but c'est la vie, as they say.
The pans can be used in the oven as well as on the hob, and are induction friendly too. I finally got over my distrust of putting these non-stick pans in the dishwasher too, and they came out very well.
|rubbish pic, but see - there's a handle...|
|...and now there's no handle!|
I used the medium sized frying pan to make a sort of tartiflette for dinner. Actually, any self-respecting Frenchman would probably turn in his grave at the suggestion that this is anything like tartiflette, due to a lack of reblochon cheese, but I made it in French pans (Tefal is a French brand), and I stayed true to the layering of sliced potatoes with an onion/bacon mix, although added in some chicken breast for good measure (and because it was left over).
The ingenio pan was great for the initial frying of the onions, garlic, bacon and chicken, and the pan performed well as transferred to the oven with the final dish. I also used the small pan to make up the sauce. Not only did the non-stick coating mean I didn't need to add any additional oil to the meal, but it cleaned very easily.
|Hmm food on the inside...|
If I was being picky, the one thing I would say about the handle attachment is that if you are a messy cook, like I am, and you clip the handle on to part of the pan which has food on the side, it means you get food on the inside of the handle which is a little tricky to wash off. The other thing is that I'd be worried about losing the handle attachment, although you can keep it stacked inside the pans when not in use because everything fits together.
The Husband thought it was a bit gimmicky - people have been accomodating pans with handles for years - but I think that in these days of smaller houses and certainly smaller kitchen spaces, these pans could be a real bonus.
Sort of Tartiflette
serves 4 at least
750g waxy/ new potatoes, sliced quite thinly
1 onion, quite finely chopped
1 fat clove of garlic, crushed
2 slices of smoked bacon (I used back because it was what I had in the fridge; streaky would be god, or pancetta/lardons if you had them) chopped small
2 chicken breasts, sliced
500ml semi-skimmed milk
3 tbs cornflour
150-175g low fat soft cheese with garlic & herbs (I used Philadelphia)
salt & pepper
Boil the potato slices till they are al dente, then drain well and set aside.
In a frying pan that you can transfer to the oven, fry the bacon on a gently heat, then when the fat is realeased, add the onion and garlic and continue to cook till softened. Add the chicken, and cook for 5 minutes or so till pretty much cooked through.
Set the cooked onions, bacon and chicken aside in a bowl and wipe out the frying pan.
Mix together the cornflour with 3 tbsp of the milk, then pour the rest of the milk into a small pan and heat gently till just before boiling. add a couple of spoons of the hot milk to the slaked cornflkour mixture, then pour it all back into the pan and stir over a gentle heat till the sauce thickens. Stir in the cream cheese, add salt and pepper as necessary then set aside.
Put a layer of potato over the base of the frying pan, then scatter over the onion, bacon & chicken mixture, then spoon over about 1/2-2/3 of the sauce. Add another layer of potato over the top, then spoon the remaining sauce over the potatoes, grind over some salt & pepper, then pop in a pre-heated oven at around 200C for 20-30 minutes till bubbling and golden on top.
It's quite rich, even without the Reblochon, so serve with a rocket & watercress salad.
|Sweet peas optional!|