Monday, January 07, 2008

Dutch Oven Cookery

Before the weather turned unseasonably warm...I have been enjoying making homey meals in my Christmas dutch oven. I have coveted the Le Creuset one for what seems like forever. I have had a dutch oven on my Christmas wish list for a couple years and even scoured TJ Maxx to no avail. As a side note my husband did gift me a this tea pot from Le Creuset in chestnut. Which makes and keep water way hotter then the pot it replaces.

Imagine my delight when my Grandma called to ask why on earth I wanted a dutch oven and to inform me that my Grandfather said I could pick one up real cheap at the Salvation Army - but despite that there were getting me one for Christmas. They gifted me a 5qt. ChefMate
pre-seasoned dutch oven and let me tell you I am in love.
First for the fact that it is not a Le Creuset (I know that is what people say who do not own a LC...right?) - I was a little dense in thinking that LC was the only way you could cook with cast iron. As a camping girl you would have thought that the old school Lodge type cookware would have popped into mind. So dutch oven can go stove top to oven to camp fire. Matter of fact I could dig a hole in my yard bury my dutch oven and cover it with coals and it
would still look fabulous afterward (matter of personal taste I suppose). Not to mention that slow cooked goodness that would be inside!

The thought that wonderful dutch oven cooking can be done for so little money (compared to LC and others). After a quick search around the Internet I am even seeing that Cooks Illustrated has done a review on inexpensive dutch ovens and found some results that compare quite well to the brands fetching a hefty price. One of which even happens to be a ChefMate brand piece. This is good news because when the NY Times No Knead bread recipe was appearing on every blog I was sad to not give it a whirl because I had just some corning ware...which I did try but I think hampered the results and permanently stained my coring ware.

My grandparents also indulged me with a subscription to Mother Earth News. The first issue of which contains the NY Times no knead bread recipe - coincidence no? So now I get to try it again.

When I opened the dutch oven on Christmas my dad announced that now I need to take the Dutch Oven class at our local camping supply store....wHAt? Such a thing exists? Yes, and it is being put on for free by the International Dutch Oven Society - who knew? I will be attending for sure - for free even better. So far I have cooked a risotto from Apples for Jam and turned
them into tomato risotto balls stuffed with mozzarella cheese and quickly pan fried, Home made three cheese Mac & Cheese with diced chilies, and loaded potato soup with bacon and onions.

And speaking of cooking...I came across two new blogs today and I wanted to pass them on... Erin Cooks which led me over to the site Baking Bites - who posted about this awesome gadget

It is an attachment for your stand mixers. It is called the side swipe blade - as it is a spinning blade with silicone pieces that can reach out and scrape the sides of your bowl as the blade spins. You can see video of it here. There are a couple recipes I would love to try this for.


Jennifer said...

Super cool Grandparents.

Jess said...

I'm definately looking forward to making the bread - I have a hand-me-down Dutch Oven that I haven't used in the longest time.

Love the attachment for the mixer - definately going on my Wist List.

Dayna said...

Let me know if you try the bread!!

Erin said...

Thank you for linking back to my food blog! I'm so glad it served as a catalyst to finding a really fun gadget. The dutch oven class sounds so cool! I'm sure you'd learn a lot and at the very least get some free recipes to play with.

Dayna said...

Hi Erin -
Thanks for stopping by. If I get any great new ideas I am sure to test them out and write about them here.