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CULINARY THIRLL SEEKING — Rad pan is flippin’ good

I’m getting onions for Christmas, because I got the Radical Pan.

It’s the high-rise lip on this non-stick pan that’s built to gift you “lift” as you sauté and toss those onions like a pro. Put on some background music and enjoy some wine (see below) and you’ll feel like those cooks in the magazine spreads.

I’m all about keeping your gear in pristine shape, but I’m impatient in the kitchen. I’ve set off alarms from cooking on high heat. But I pledge to keep this Radical Pan on the low side to keep it looking fine. I’ve been all about the onions and peppers, ingredients I desire daily. I’ll soon branch out into recommended uses such as crisping bacon, roasting squash and reducing jus from gravy.

Bake a cornbread in there, they suggest to appeal to us Southerners. Just wipe it out with a towel for clean up, though it is dishwasher and oven safe and has a Cool Stealth Handle, so it feels good and cool in your hand. I love this pan.

To your door

A gift you can eat is my kind of gift. There are so many people to thank this time of year and there’s a company here to help. A GourmetGiftBaskets.com coffee break gift box will perk up the recipient with a fancy blend and muffins.

These guys were ranked No. 1 in a food category in a recent Newsweek list of top online shops. Check out what’s in the Charcuterie Lovers Picnic Basket. A few clicks will deliver different combos to whatever recipients crave.

I tried and enjoyed smaller basket options with sea salt and cracked pepper kettle corn, pretzel twists, stoned wheat crackers, almond cashew with pumpkin seeds, blueberry pomegranate clusters and (a personal fave) J&R Gourmet roasted and salted peanuts that were crunchy enough to deserve the label “Virginia’s Finest.”

Here’s a challenge. Do you know what soppressata is? Read up here and you’ll want to try it yourself.

The wine referenced above

If you like a long and spicy finish, Légende Médoc is your holiday find. Maybe you just like the poetry associated with reading wine labels. The land and grapes of Bordeaux do their thing to create the wines flowing from Légende bottles. These are the holidays of splurging, yet this line is in a reasonably-priced category for hostess gifts that pair with anything you’re likely to find on a Southeast Texas seasonal table, including barbecue.

Légende Bordeaux Rouge 2016 is suggested for that, with “structured, round and easy, nicely oaked with firm, silky tannins, and a long, fresh and fruity finish.”

Darragh Doiron is a Port Arthur area foodie with an eye-out for what’s new out there. Reach her at darraghcastillo@icloud.com