Road testing Samuel Groves cookware – Mushroom Frittata.
For the enthusiastic home cook, little is more exciting than cookware. When a box containing Samuel Groves pans arrived at my door it created more than a little frisson. Of all the multitude of parcels that have been delivered since lockdown began, this was the best by far.
I’m like a kid who loves the packaging as much as the gift. Samuel Groves cookware comes in individual hessian bags, very smart. Inside I found a gleaming stainless steel fry pan and a chef’s pan. The manufacturer, making quality cookware for over 200 years, has a wide range of fabulous items from stainless steel to copper clad that would up anyone’s game in the kitchen. The whole range has a lifetime guarantee. My pans are from the Classic range, part of the Samuel Groves Tri-Ply cookware. They are fairly heavy so not for the faint wristed. Personally, I prefer the solid feel of a stainless steel pan. These pots and pans are designed to distribute heat quickly and evenly and thereby avoids hot spots and food sticking and burning. That’s particularly important if you are cooking something like the mushroom frittata that I’ve used to road test my new pan. Samuel Groves cookware is used throughout the hospitality industry so it is great to have a chance to feel like a pro.
I am a great enthusiast of stainless steel cookware; I have a much-loved pan that I have been using for 23 years and it is as good as new. There is no way that I can even begin to compare the hardiness and the longevity of this pan with the umpteen cheaper pans that I have turfed out, one after the other, when their non-stick surface has come unstuck, handles have fallen off and the like. When it comes to cookware it really does pay to invest in the best quality because not only will it work out cheaper in the long run, you will also have so much more pleasure from using a top-notch pan. I know I do.
I have always coveted a chef’s pan, something about the shape suggests artfully tossing my ingredients as the professionals do in their restaurant kitchens and in countless cookery shows on TV. I jumped at the chance to review one such pan. All I needed was the chef’s hat and jacket. I sharpened my knives and got stuck in to the cooking. These pans are not non-stick so you will have to soak them a little – especially after cooking an egg-based mushroom frittata, as I found – but otherwise, they clean easily. I wouldn’t put a pan of this quality into the dishwasher as I prefer to clean them carefully by hand with warm, soapy water.
I used my chef’s pan to warm up a chicken curry I had made the day before from the newly published cookbook, Jikoni. As friends were coming round for a socially distanced lunch in the garden, I would usually have served the meal on an attractive platter, but I thought it looked so good in the pan that I brought it straight to the table. It certainly saves on the washing up when one has cookware that is so attractive it can enhance the look of your meal.
While I look forward to all manner of dishes prepared in my new pans, I decided to begin cooking with the basics. Eggs. A good quality pan is important for preparing omelettes as the even heat distribution is key I believe. A simple frittata is my go-to brunch dish and I often take it on picnics, still in the pan in which it was cooked. I rather fancy presenting my next picnic frittata in this gorgeous Samuel Groves pan.
The great thing about a frittata is that you can select pretty much anything you have in the fridge, especially if you have a few bits and pieces that need using up. I often roast potatoes for dinner on Fridays and make extra so that I have some left over to add to my frittata over the weekend. Sometimes I use spinach and peas, and you could use chorizo or some crispy bacon, or even cooked chicken. The options are endless. As I have some vegetarians in the household, I have opted here for a veggie version, a mushroom, potato and feta frittata.
In the months ahead I am looking forward to all manner of dishes in my new pans which, with their lifetime guarantee, are bound to be used countless times. They will become part of that battery of trusty kitchen items that I return to again and again, with which I develop a shared history. Now all I need to do is find space to store them!
Explore the range yourself at www.samuelgroves.com
An easy vegetarian frittata perfect for light meals and picnics
- 8 eggs
- 1/4 cup milk
- pinch sea salt to taste
- freshly ground pepper to taste
- 150 grams chestnut mushrooms sliced
- 2 roast potatoes sliced
- 100 grams feta crumbled
- 1 handful flat leaf parsley chopped
- 2 tablespoons parmesan grated (optional)
- 1 tablespoon butter
Whisk eggs lightly in a bowl
Add salt and pepper to taste
Add milk and mix through, then set aside
Slice cold roast potatoes. I use leftover roast potatoes but if you don't have any you could fry up a couple of sliced potatoes before you start making the frittata. Or leave out the potatoes and add in another vegetable instead, like sliced peppers
Heat butter in a pan at a medium heat
When butter is sizzling add the mushrooms and the potatoes and allow to cook gently for a few minutes.
Pour the egg mixture over the vegetables in the pan and swirl gently so that the egg runs underneath.
Keep lifting the edges of the egg with a spatula so that the unset egg on top can run underneath. If you tilt the pan the egg will easily run underneath.
When the egg is almost set, add the feta cheese and the grated parmesan if using.
Finish off with a good scattering of chopped parsley. You can of course add other herbs if you wish such as chopped chives.
Serve at once or allow to cool and serve at room temperature.
A green salad and a slice of sourdough would go very well with this dish and also make it more substantial.
Looking for an alternative egg based recipe? How about this Salmon and Goats Cheese Omelette from Eating Well Every Day by Peter Gordon