A few weeks ago, I bought a 4.5 quart enameled cast iron Dutch oven, and it has stolen my heart as far as kitchen beauties go. It looks so cute sitting on my Barbie stove, and kind of makes me feel like Barbie herself (Why that makes me feel happy inside, I don't know.) because of all the bursts of color on the stove as well as the awesome Anthro apron that Niknak gave me for my birthday.
I've been wanting one of these things for a long time now; it's like every time I turned around someone I knew was concocting a wonderful meal in their Dutch oven and I didn't have one. All my friends rave about how evenly they cook, how they don't require high heat, how you can use it on the stove top and in the oven, and yada yada yada. It's like a crock pot before Crock-Pots were ever invented....another reason for me to love the French.
As soon as I got mine home, though, I was at a complete loss for what to cook in it. Typical. First of all, I've never even cooked with cast iron (pathetic, I know), and second of all, well, I didn't want to mess up the fire orange enamel the first time I used it. Such a scaredy cat. You can imagine my hesitation when the echo of the salesman's words, "You'll have this forever...," were ringing in my ears. So I decided to play it safe and whip up my new and improved winter 2010 broccoli cheddar soup for the last time of the season (unless we have another cold spell in May). I kept repeating to myself, don't touch the pot with bare hands and don't use a metal spoon.It was so yumyum; a great exit for the broccoli cheddar soup, although, I think it could've used a bigger batch of roux than I prepared to thicken it. Something to strive for in the next pot. I also think it would've been a little smoother had I not used extra sharp white cheddar cheese....gotta love the flavor of the stuff, though.
Next on my list of Dutch oven concoctions will be Peposo (peppery stew), slow cooked in the oven. I'm making this Peposo with a pork loin (rather than its traditional ingredient beef), compliments of one of the hogs my brother recently had slaughtered, garlic, a sprig of rosemary, red wine, and of course, black peppercorns. It's going to be outrageous.