Beautiful Giada De Laurentis is not only a chef with her own show on the Food Network, she has recently launched a new line of cookware, accessories, and gourmet food items, for Target stores. The Le Cordon Bleu educated chef knows more than a little about cooking, and of course, what tools it takes to really do the job, right. The Giada De Laurentiis for Target® collection just debuted a few weeks ago, and new pieces from the collection will continue to be launched in the coming months. The new products were created not just to look good (like Giada does) but also to provide cooking and kitchen essentials to at-home cooks that look good and perform well, and don’t cost a fortune, either! Giada is also serving as a spokesperson for the wide selection of affordable groceries at Target and SuperTarget stores. In that role, she will share her culinary expertise to help at-home chefs. I noticed that there are already a few nice recipes on the Target Web Site (one for “healthy turkey meatballs” is included in this post, at the bottom)
The Giada De Laurentiis for Target collection is right in line with Target’s quest for great looking products that are of decent quality, and that are affordable. As Giada puts it: “The products I’ve designed for this line are essential in my own kitchen, and now, through my partnership with Target, at-home cooks will be able to make effortless meals affordably.”
The pieces I looked at were good looking and reasonable. I wasn’t able to get photos of the collection, but you can see them easily on the Giada De Laurentis cookware section of the Target Web Site. There’s an introductory video there, too. The designs are meant for real life cooks, and they’re simple and effective, featuring easy grip handles, and ergonomic designs. The cooking, bakeware, accessories, and cutlery range in price from $6.99 for a nylon spoon with stainless-steel handle, to $199.99 for a 10-piece Tri Ply Clad cook set that includes an 8” and 9.5” open sauté pans, 1-qt., 2-qt., and 3-qt. sauce pans with lids, and 5-qt. Dutch oven with lid. In addition, there are five pasta varieties, three types of pasta sauces, fresh pesto, light vinaigrettes, and rich coffee blends that are within the realm of what you’d pay in an upscale supermarket. And, launching in March, there will be small appliances including a Gourmet Stainless Steel Pannini Maker ($59.99), an 8-Cup Stainless Steel Food Processor *$69.99 ) and a 10-Cup Programmable Stainless Steel Coffeemaker ($59.99). These look like the types you’d get in high quality cooking stores, but the prices are modest.
Although I mostly cook stir-fries, eggs, and left-overs, I was really curious to see if the cookware would stand up to all the hype of Ms. De Laurentis’s fame. So I personally tried the Giada De Laurentis™ for Target® 9.5″ Tri-Ply Clad Nonstick Sauté Pan ($34.99 – it launches on February 21, 2010). Many saute pans have lids (this one doesn’t, but other pieces in the collection, do). The differences between a skillet, a frying pan, and a saute pan is basically just how much the sides of the pan slope away from the bottom. The sides of a frying or skillet pan slope gently to prevent steam from building up inside the pan. Saute pans have (almost) straight sides so the food “jumps” back into the pan when shaken.
The first thing I noticed about this particular saute pan is that it is non-stick, and the stainless steel is fairly weighty (a good thing to conduct and trap heat more effectively). Also, the stainless steel handle is fastened with two, large rivets, to the pan so it won’t fall off. The handle is all stainless steel, not rubber or plastic. Cook wear with metal handles can go directly from stove top to oven. Those with plastic or rubber handles may melt with the same treatment. Since this particular pan is a non-stick pan, I wouldn’t putting it in the over, but other pieces in Giada’s collection go easily from stove top to oven. I generally use a wok for stir fry and an omelet pan for eggs, but this particular saute pan is large enough to hold dinner for a family of four. The bottom heats quickly and evenly. I used a bit of olive oil in my pan for the stir fry, but the eggs required nothing more than a twist of the wrist to slide out easily, right onto the plate. I have other pots and pans, but I keep coming back to this Giada de Laurentis saute pan as my first choice, because it really cooks so well and is so versatile. I might just throw some of my other pans, away! Check out the other pieces in the collection at your favorite Target store, or online!
1/4 cup plain dried bread crumbs
1/4 cup chopped flat–leaf parsley
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons whole milk
1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound ground turkey, preferably dark meat
1/4 cup extra–virgin olive oil
In large bowl, stir together breadcrumbs, parsley, eggs, milk, cheese, salt and pepper. Add turkey and gently stir to combine. Shape into bite–sized balls. In saute pan, heat oil over medium–high heat. Working in batches, add meatballs and cook without moving or turning until brown on bottom, about 3 minutes. Turn meatballs over and brown the other side, about 3 minutes longer. Continue to cook until all sides are golden brown.
Makes about 3 dozen meatballs
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