A Note from Rach: Dutch Ovens Rock!
Each month, Rachael pens a personal letter to the readers of her magazine, Every Day with Rachael Ray. Here’s what’s on Rach’s mind for January and February, and what’s cookin’ in the magazine. Don’t forget to get your copy of the issue, out on newsstands now!
The first time I was ever featured in The New York Times, it was for a story about what you would save if your home were on fire and you could take just one thing. I said the Dutch oven my mom had made all my favorite food in over the years, the flame-orange Le Creuset one I grew up with. The enamel had been chipped in many spots, but it still was home to so many of my most cherished meals: minestrone, escarole and white bean soup, my mom’s cider beef, osso buco, coq au vin, beef Bourguignon and on and on.
So the Times sent a photographer to take pictures of me in my kitchen, holding this special pot. And when he arrived to find my tiny, dark cooking space, which didn’t even have a dishwasher, he was so disappointed he asked me to stand outside (it was winter!) and hold the pot in the forest rather than in my kitchen.
Now I make my own Dutch ovens and I am just as in love with them as ever. I think of them as heirloom pots—something special you pass down from generation to generation—and I always tell new brides to register for a good one because it lasts forever and does it all. As you’ll see in our “Go Dutch!” feature on page 106, you can simmer in it, fry in it—heck, you can even bake bread in it! And it’s also your slow cooker. Long before slow-cookers became popular, slow-cooking meant setting your oven to low and braising food in your Dutch oven while the family was out and about. Dutch ovens deserve a big hug whether you’re Dutch, Italian, whatever!
March is a festive month in our family because of my sister Maria’s birthday on March 15. Every year, we get to pick what we want for our birthday meal, and I’m hoping Maria picks one of this month’s 30-Minute Meals (page 90) because there are so many that really celebrate spring ingredients. If you dig asparagus, check out my Tartine with Eggs and Asparagus for brunch, lunch or dinner. Or my favorite: the easy, delicious Asparagus Risotto, made Milanese-style with fragrant saffron broth.
And there’s so much more in this issue! Don’t miss the amazing Ellie Krieger making Asian Chicken and Vegetables in Foil Packets with her daughter (page 45). Wouldn’t it be great if the kids made you dinner tonight? And if you wanna just wing it, turn to page 39—we’re sharing our 25 most popular chicken wings recipes ever! We’re also having fun with TV kitchens: We’ll take you behind the scenes of The Good Wife, Modern Family and two others (page 52), and help you get those looks in your own kitchen. Finally, if you can’t wait to break away for spring break, check out “Hit the Food Isles” on page 66 for our list of easy-to-get-to islands where the food is as fantastic as the scenery.
So, happy birthday, Ria: I love you! And happy spring to you all!