I think if you had narrow it down to one product that makes a kitchen look like it contains a serious cook, it’s a Dutch Oven. I don’t own one. (Or I didn’t until a month ago). This was partially due to a severe cupboard deficiency and partially due to my practical, frugal side, the side that had become resigned to a slow cooking method that consisted of pressing tin foil over a warped, discolored, rusted-in-the-corners, aluminum baking dish. But a warped, aluminum baking dish does not give off quite the aura of skill that a Dutch Oven does. It does not say, “From this pot will come forth heavenly things”, like a Dutch Oven.
So when I asked Lodge (the only US maker of cast iron cookware) if they would be interested in doing a giveaway, and they responded with unbounded enthusiasm, saying, “Pick any product!”, it was an easy choice. The cherry beauty arrived a week later, a bright red pot that has heft and grace in equal measure. When not at work inside the oven, it’s now taken up permanent residency on top. (The one I picked, and shown above, is the L-Series and retails for $130.)
(By the way, the winner can also chose ANY product from the Lodge website – skillet, grill pan, Dutch Oven…)
I’ve been loyal to Lodge for years and have two skillets that also never leave my stove top (yes, it’s getting crowded up there). Their products are timeless and crafted with Tennessee love*. This Dutch Oven has an ergonomical lid handle that makes it a pleasure to hold and is deep enough to accommodate a puffy oven mitt. It also has an enamel coating that wont chip – though I have to say, I hold fond memories of a red enamel pot from childhood, chipped on the edges that fed six mouths and served up everything from corn chowder to chicken a la king – a dish that was to the 70’s what miso cod is to now. (They’re called Dutch Ovens, by the way, because the Dutch were the most advanced in using the cast iron technique for creating cooking pots in the late 1600’s.)
Another aspect of my love of Lodge is that despite the world’s infatuation with non-stick – those pans light enough to swing, one handed, from stove to sink – Lodge has stuck to their core beliefs and never stopped producing a big, clunky, truly natural product.
The recipe that christened my new pot? Chicken Tagine. It’s not the most orthodox version of the recipe, though I’m not sure there is any official way to make tagine (except in an tagine pot which, if you close your eyes and open your imagination, this can become). But the end result of Manhattan Goes Moroccan, is very very good.
Don’t cut the olives. They look better whole.
I took off the lid for the last 15 mins of oven time, to let it brown and thicken…
…and started nibbling at it before serving it.
Get the recipe. (No Dutch Oven? Use the trusted baking dish method. It worked for me for many a year.)
So how to enter the giveaway: Either sign up as an email subscriber to The Sweet Beet (top right of any page on this site) or “Like” The Sweet Beet on FaceBook.
Want to double your chances? Do both!
And please forward this incredibly generous offer from Lodge to your friends! Email it, Tweet it, Face Book it… Here’s a short URL of this page: http://bit.ly/j4JcpJ
The winner will be chosen July 12th.
So tell us about your favorite pot or baking dish. Or very favorite slow-cooked meal? (And yes, you can talk about “the other” brands…)
*Update from Lodge: Their enamel coated cast iron is actually made in China (the cost to set up this kind of operation in the US would be prohibitive for a co of their size), but they exceed even the highest standards, are certified safe by a 3rd party and use no toxic chemicals (incl lead) in the enamel on the cooking surfaces.
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