Tag Archive: kitchen

Kitchen Tools: Dutch Oven

When it comes to slow cooking or low heat cooking in the oven, you just can’t beat the Dutch Oven.  If you are a fan of Country French cooking, you should consider getting one.

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I have made Beef Bourguignon in various types of cookware–covered casserole dish in the oven, crock pot, and stew pot on the range top–but nothing compares to using a Dutch Oven which allows braising and simmering of the bacon, beef, onions, carrots, etc. on top the range and then moved into the oven for the slow cooking process.

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There are a few things to consider before buying and using a Dutch Oven.  Dutch Ovens are heavy. You have to be confident that once it is full of hot food, that you will be able to move it about as is needed.

All exposed bits of iron on your Dutch Oven need to be oiled to keep it from rusting. I use a light vegetable oil for this task. If your Dutch Oven is enamel coated iron, the enamel coating can chip. If it chips the iron beneath can rust.  If your Dutch Oven is only partly enamel coated, same thing goes—all exposed bits of iron need to be oiled to keep from rusting.

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You have to give it time to transition from hot to cold and cold to hot. Fast changes in temperature can cause cracking or chipping of the enamel glaze.

It is because of the very thick, heavy walls of the pot that make it so good for slow cooking at a very consistent temperature. It is the kind of cooking that requires you to slow yourself down. The cooking cannot be rushed.

Once you have the Dutch Oven in the oven, you can use that cooking time–sometimes hours–to prepare the rest of the meal. Or you could have a nice cup of tea and relax.

A Dutch Oven isn’t as user friendly as a crock pot—and it is heavy; but, you won’t be disappointed with the results if you follow the recipes and treat your Dutch Oven with the care it requires.

 

 

Quiche Lorraine

This is a lovely custardy quiche!

Ingredients

1 pie crust uncooked                                      2 cups cream
1 cup shredded Swiss Cheese                      ¾ teaspoon salt
8 slices of bacon                                            ¼ teaspoon white sugar
½ cup minced onion                                      1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 eggs beaten

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Directions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

Place bacon in a large skillet, fry over medium heat until bacon is crisp. Add the onion and cook until onion is translucent not brown.

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Drain bacon and onion on paper towels, then chop bacon in large pieces. Sprinkle bacon, cheese and onion into pastry shell.

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In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, cream, salt, sugar and cayenne pepper. Pour mixture into pastry shell.

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Bake 15 minutes in the Preheated oven. Reduce heat to 300 degrees and bake an additional 30-40 minutes, or until a knife inserted 1 inch from edge comes out clean.

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Allow quiche to sit for 10 minutes before cutting the quiche into wedges. I like to serve quiche with a salad of field greens.

Apple Cake

Autumn is the perfect time to make apple dishes. I have Ida Red Apples in the house, so I substituted them in this recipe that calls for Fuji or Gala apples.

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Ingredients
2 eggs
1 ¾ cups sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ cup oil
6 medium Gala or Fuji or Honey Crisp Apples
2 Cups Flour
2 Tablespoons Baking Soda

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Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix the eggs, sugar, cinnamon, and oil. Peel and slice the apples and add to mixture in bowl (coating as you add apples to keep them from turning brown.) Mix together the baking soda and flour and add to the ingredients in the bowl.

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Mix well (best with a fork) until all of the flour is absorbed by the wet ingredients. Pour mixture into a greased one 9×12 or two 9 inch round pans.

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Bake for approximately 55 minutes.

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Possible Presentation Ideas
Place a scoop of vanilla ice Cream next to a slice of cake and then drizzle with caramel syrup

Homemade Chunky Applesauce

Perfect for pairing with pork loin roast or pork chops.

INGREDIENTS

I used 4 large Ida Red Apples –because that is what I had on hand.

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2 tablespoons unsalted organic butter

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 Tablespoons Sugar

2-3 Tablespoons of Water

 

DIRECTIONS

Peel, core and cut the apples into ½ inch chunks

Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add apples, cinnamon, sugar, and two (or three) tablespoons of water.

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Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples are tender, Ida Red apples do not cook down as fast as some apples do, so I cooked for about 20 minutes. If it looks too wet, take the lid off and let some water evaporate.

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Serve warm or chilled. Keep in the refrigerated if you are not using right away.