Welcome to my world - a blend of passion, taste, and old-world traditions.

Benvenuti nel mio mondo - un mischio di passione, gusto e vecchie tradizioni.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Does a $5,000 Stove Make the Cook?

      Many of my friends’ homes have showcase kitchens – you know those basic $100,000 kitchens with a Viking Stove, Miele dishwasher (some with two), Sub-zero refrigerator, pot fillers and endless granite.  And you know what, they don’t even cook.
     As someone who likes to cook in a basement kitchen filled with two, low-end stoves purchased at Sears, and no dishwasher, I am not in awe.  To me, luxury kitchens are to impress not to cook.
    You do not need a fancy kitchen, fancy equipment or fancy recipes to be a good cook.  I do need  two stoves for holiday cooking, and easy access to pots and pans, utensils and spices. I purchased two racks from IKEA one with hooks for hanging pots and another for spices.
    A $5000 stove with high performance gas burners may bring the water to boil faster but the food always tastes the same.

    To prove my point this recipe can be cooked on one stove burner.

Pollo* alla Cacciatore (Chicken Hunter Style)

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ cup cubed pancetta
  • 3 lb. chicken, cut into serving pieces and seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 6 scallions, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves
  • ½ cup of wine
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ cup cured black olives
In a large pan heat the oil over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking and brown the chicken, in batches if necessary. Transfer with slotted spoon to a plate. Cook the pancetta over moderate heat, stirring, until it’s golden and brown, add scallions, chopped rosemary and fry for a couple of minutes. Transfer the chicken back into the pot, pour the wine and let it bubble before adding the tomatoes and bay leaves. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Add olives and you are ready to eat.

*Pheasant may be substituted for chicken. It may require more cooking time.


  1. This is such a perfect dish for any time of the year, and it is so very healthy!! Add a glass of wine and I am all set!

  2. I agree. Thank you for visiting.

  3. My professional cooktop does get used (all 8 burners some days) and I would have to say the results can be pretty impressive. I love my gas cooktop and always recommended high-end appliances if the budget allowed as it is with you for a long time. It has made me a better cook.

  4. Thank you for commenting. I like your blog.

  5. Actually , all stoves boil water at the same rate (a $7K Wolf or Viking will not boil water faster than a $500 Amana - this is a fact).

    On a professional stove making a better cook, this is pure nonsense.

  6. Anonymous - Thank you for commenting.

  7. there no real difference between a $500 or $5000 oven other than maybe a electronic element of timers or some claim to automatically weight and cook meats to profession standards though these still are only as good as the person would prepares the meat in the first place.

  8. I stumbled onto your post while looking for examples of kitchens with two residential stoves. Did you have a special gas line installed to accommodate your two stoves? I ask because I have one gas line but would like to have two. I was prepared to purchase one gas stove, one electric...but would prefer two gas. Any info you can offer is greatly appreciated.

  9. Skyethebard - A single gas line needed, branching into two different connections. Good luck!

  10. Thank you for the info, Elisa. I'll get a plumber in to branch the line!

  11. We of Italian heritage can usually cook on anything! Anything for me has been campfires, barbecues, plug in burners, gas stoves and plain old electric burners.

    As long as a watchful eye with tending meals, smelling, tasting and checking as they cook is done a successful meal is almost 100% guaranteed!

    Ms. Giardino, thank you for sharing your dishes! I found you via the comments on 10 ways to eat healthy on a budget.

    Best, D.D'Amico

  12. D. D'Amico - Thank you for commenting. I shall continue sharing recipes and giving my opinions, when applicable.