Swing Beats & Sautéed Treats

This week I’m under the cosh, as it's Good Friday this Friday and that means one less working day for me and my colleagues who set the email up.

The shops are open short hours on both Good Friday and Easter Monday (Closed Sunday, as usual) 10.00am to 4.00pm.

So, as time is short I’ll content myself by saying that last Sunday I found myself in my old stomping ground, the King’s Road (Chelsea) for the first time in over 40 years. Back then, I was working for Habitat (in its original Conran guise) and we had the flag ship store, on three levels a little way up from Peter Jones.

I worked there twice, once in 1977 and again three years later in 1980. It was nice to go back. We were there for an evening of jazz performed by the saxophonist Katy Jungmann and her band. The venue was the Pheasantry, in the basement of Pizza Express on King’s Road, which was a bit of a surprise, but none the worse for it.

A very good evening ensued, of eating pizza, drinking Merlot (not a bottle of Bordeaux to be seen) and listening to wonderful music. I don’t know if I’m alone in this, but for me, Jazz is a very different animal played live, compared to being played even on good hifi. I speak as someone who is quite serious about his home music listening, so a live sax, clarinet and drums was a real treat!

Ok, that was short and sweet. Now to product.

Le Creuset Deep Skillet 26cm

My chums at Le Creuset seem to come up with an endless stream of offers, that cleverly compliment their main ranges.

So, for instance, they’ve made a slightly deeper 26cm Skillet, which as you will see has some significant advantages over its standard shallower brother. But, in this instance, is also £25 cheaper than the shallow version, at (only!) £125.

When I quizzed Em, the Reigate shop manager, on what she’d use it for, a torrent of ideas poured forth.

·        Steak 🥩 - with depth for basting.

·        Tortilla – I haven’t tried it yet but I’m curious to try.

·        Frittata - The thought of this got me searching recipes straight away…my sort of quick and easy cooking.

·        Ragu for four -

·        All in one pie pan - Yup, cook your filling and then pie funnel, pastry well sealed around the edge and shove it in the oven.

·        Stroganoff – Not a dish I’ve cooked in the last 40 years but I’m trusting Em’s judgement on this.

·        Bread – So, bake the bread directly in this pan. Babette used to use another alternative in the form of a Silverwood Tart Tatin heavy gauge pan quite often for bread baking, so I could easily imagine using this, or Tart tatin for that matter.

·        Dishes requiring a Saucier – If you are not fortunate enough to own a Demeyere Saucier, then this is a good second choice.

·        Bread and butter pudding 🍮 - Having a bit of a sweet tooth, the thought of this is very tempting.

·        Tastiest mushrooms, high heat caramelisation and they don’t shrivel! - Without a non-stick surface to damage (high heat and non-stick are not good bedfellows) you really can “go for that caramelisation” that cooking without a non-stick surface, makes possible and safe.

This pan is available in four colours, Rhone, Chambray, Black and Volcanic. And, although I wouldn’t call it cheap, I think I could pretty safely say it’s good value at £125.

One of our competitors is selling at £118.99 so use code LCSKILLET to match this price.


Browse All Le Creuset Cast Iron Deep Skillets


Le Creuset Shallow Casserole 30cm in Ink Blue.

The Le Creuset Shallow Casseroles have been a favourite pot of mine for many, many years. Its original moniker was Buffet Casserole, which for nostalgic reasons I still prefer.

In the past I’ve given the marketing department (who sometimes come across as god-like in a Le Creuset context) at this esteemed company various roastings over their renaming of products, but I won’t indulge myself again today.

Well…. maybe just one last broadside, a quote that sums up a number of my feelings about marketing “Marketing is far too important to be left to the marketing department”. This was said by David Packard (co-founder of Hewlett Packard), one of the 20th century greatest business leaders.  

Anyway, back to the Shallow Casserole, the reasons for my fondness are twofold. It’s a really beautiful piece to look at, complete with its domed lid, and then when you remove the lid at the table the food always looks gorgeous in the low wide frying pan sized body. I don’t know why, it just does….

At this price, the pan is available in one colour only (Ink), £175 to match one of our competitors. 

If ‘Ink’ is not your colour, Le Creuset Cast Iron Shallow Casseroles come in a variety of colours and sizes.


Browse All Le Creuset Signature Cast Iron Shallow Casseroles


Le Creuset Toughened Non-Stick (TNS) Sauté Pan open 20cm.

I don’t (or didn’t) have a lot of time for this pan…too small I’ve always felt. But on enquiring of Em, who was very keen that I should talk about it, what she uses it for, she said “tender stem broccoli”.

It’s her “go to pan” for that. And presumably she does use it for other things, sauteing potatoes for example, or mushrooms, but whatever your sauteing requirements, providing you’re not feeding an army, this wee pan may well be the answer to your needs, or even prayers!

And, if you do need a lid for it , at this size its quite likely that you will have a large saucepan (20cm is pretty standard for a large saucepan size these days) which will do for it. If not, we can sell you one.

Its official offer price is £99.00 we are currently price matching at £80.00


Le Creuset 3 Ply Saucepan 14cm

Lastly, the little 14cm 3 Ply saucepan. I chose this just because it’s on offer and it’s a lovely little saucepan. It has good heat distribution with its 3ply construction, it’s not non-stick coated because a saucepan really doesn’t need to be (apart from cooking scrambled eggs), and the offer price is a good one for a pan that will last you your lifetime… and beyond!

Its official offer price is £80.00

That’s it for this week. Next week my time is going to be even more constricted as I’m of to the South of France, to stay with friends for a long weekend from Thursday, and back Monday.

So, you never know, you may get a week off, or something rather brief!

I hope you have lovely Easter weekend.

Warm regards,


Andrew Bluett-Duncan



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