The Cheap Gourmet is Cooking with Emeril Lagasse Cookware

Happy Fat Tuesday Everyone! I am super excited about the arrival of my new set of Emeril Lagasse cookware. It arrived last night; just in time for our Fat Tuesday celebration this evening. The UPS driver pulled up just minutes before I began cooking dinner. I couldn’t open the box fast enough!

I engaged in considerable research before purchasing the Emeril Lagasse hard anodized cookware. There has been considerable controversy regarding Teflon coated cookware, aluminum, porcelain and cast iron. It seems that all cookware has something that could leech into our food. Plus, being The Cheap Gourmet, I was looking for budget-friendly cookwarethat would provide the results I wanted without breaking the bank.


I chose Emeril’s anodized cookware because the research indicated this was one of the safest types. My husband explained the process for anodizing aluminum. In a nutshell, aluminum is dipped in a sulfuric acid bath, than exposed to electrical charges which causes the aluminum to oxidize. Afterwards, the sulfuric acid is cooled to 32 degrees Fahrenheit and the electrical charge is increased which in turn hardens the aluminum. It’s actually quite a fascinating process.

Anodized cookware appears to be nearly indestructible. It is non-toxic; scratch resistant; can be used in the oven; provides fast, uniform cooking; and is easy to clean. What more could a girl (or guy) ask for?

Last night we had spicy garlic grilled chicken wings, except we deep fried them instead of grilling. The only thing I needed a pan for was to make the hot sauce. Have look here for an indoor grill for cooking.

After washing the 2-quart saucepan with warm, soapy water, I added my ingredients and turned the heat to low. Within minutes the butter had melted. I couldn’t believe how much faster the cooking time was with my new Emeril cookware!

When I poured the sauce onto the wings, every last drop of sauce poured out of the pan. If you’ve ever made chicken wing hot sauce, you know it can be rather messy. But, with the Emeril cookware, clean-up was a breeze!

Another nice feature of Emeril’s hard anodized cookware is the saucepans have pouring spouts and the lids have built-in strainers. Colanders have always been a pet peeve of mine. While they are great for draining liquids, they can be difficult to clean; particularly the mesh colanders. With the strainer built into the lid, I can eliminate the colander along with the frustration of cleaning it.

Emeril’s cookware lids are made of tempered glass, which is a feature I like because it allows me to see the food while it’s cooking. My old set of cookware had aluminum lids that required lifting to see the progress. The only downside I can see at this moment is the lids have aluminum handles which can get quite hot, so I need to remember to use a pot holder when lifting them off.

I purchased my set of Emeril cookware through Seventh Avenue. They offer a low-cost payment plan which allows me to extend payments if I desire. I didn’t have to pay a dime to receive the cookware and can pay as little as $25 per month. I find this option to be very helpful for cheap people like myself who don’t want to shell out big bucks for high quality cookware.

A great place to comparison shop for cookware, kitchen appliances, household goods and just about anything you could ever want to buy is ShopWiki. Simply type in the product name and ShopWiki provides a list of vendors and price ranges; allowing you to find the best deal.

Rest assured there will be plenty of new recipes featuring photos of my new Emeril Lagasse cookware. I have spent half of my morning drooling over recipes presented at It’s hard to decide which recipe to start with.

Perhaps I should embark on The Cheap Gourmet and Emeril cook-athon and cook nothing but Emeril recipes for a month or two. From the looks of the recipes on his website, I’m pretty certain my husband and I would be perfectly content eating Emeril recipes prepared in our Emeril cookware! And, Emeril, if you’re reading this, thank you for the outstanding cookware. I LOVE it!

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White Bean Soup with Rosemary and Parmesan

I enjoy all types of cooking; however my two favorite styles are baking and making soups. Maybe it’s because my mom was such an amazing baker and maker of soups? I wonder if there is a specific gene that makes one good at cooking??

Last week, I helped my husband clean out our garage. My motivational factor was that I knew I had some old cookbooks and recipes cards stored out there. Imagine my surprise when I discovered two 3-inch notebooks filled with recipes I created (or helped create) at the health food store I worked for back in the early 90s.

That was by far my favorite food service job. My boss was Mother Earth. A total hippie with a love for health food. She had the ability to take any high-fat, calorie-rich recipe and turn it into something good for you. She could make a meatloaf out of tofu and no one could tell the difference. She made an amazing flourless chocolate torte out of carob. Her healthy revisions always tasted as good as, if not better than, the original dish.

Growing up, my mom made the best Ham and Bean Soup and served it with cornbread. She slattered the top of the cornbread with a half stick of butter, then dipped pieces of it in the soup. Talk about heaven! She used the ham bone to season the soup and included generous chunks of ham. I vividly remember her saying, “It’s not ham and bean soup without plenty of HAM!”

One day, Leslie (my boss) and I were talking about mom’s bean soup. At the time I was practicing Vegetarianism, but had been craving ham and bean soup. It was a slow day, so we decided to do a little experimenting and develop a healthier version.

The following is the concoction we came up with. Cornbread is the perfect accompaniment with this soup; however, I highly recommend eliminating that half stick of butter. A teaspoon will do just fine or if you’re adventurous try using organic coconut oil. It adds a wonderful sweet, coconut-y flavor. A crispy, French baugette or whole wheat dinner roll is another option.


Serves: 6
Prep Time: 15-20 minutes
Cook Time: 1-1/2 to 2 hours


1-1/2 cups dried small White (Navy) Beans
3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 medium Onion (yellow or white), finely chopped
1 medium Carrot, peeled and finely chopped
1 stalk Celery, finely chopped
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fresh Rosemary, minced
7 cups Chicken or Vegetable stock (substitute with water, if desired)
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
1 Tablespoon fresh Parsley, chopped


  1. Pick over and discard any damaged beans or stones. Place beans in colander and throughly rinse.
  2. Place beans in a large bowl, add enough water to cover and soak for about 3 hours.
  3. Drain beans and set aside. In a large soup pot over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add onion, carrot and celery and saute until the vegetables are soft; about 10 minutes. Stir frequently.
  4. Add garlic and rosemary and continue to saute for an additional 3 minutes.
  5. Add drained beans and the chicken or vegetable stock, or water. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low. Simmer gently, uncovered, for 1 to 1-1/2 hours. When beans are fork-tender, soup is done.
  6. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
  7. Place one-third of the bean mixture in a blender or food processor fitted with the metal blade.
  8. Puree until smooth. Pour the pureed soup back into soup pot and reheat gently.
  9. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  10. Transfer soup to individual bowls. Garnish with Parmesan cheese and parsley. Serve immediately.

NOTE: You can use canned white beans, if desired. Doing so will reduce the cooking time to around 20-30 minutes. Feel free to substitute different types of beans such as Canneillini (white kidney beans), Great Northern or Lima beans.

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