So what can I make with this Le Creuset "french" oven?
August 18, 2011 9:38 PM   Subscribe

[cooking filter] Simple but awesome vegetarian (or pescatarian) recipes using a Le Creuset french oven?

I just got a Le Creuset 5 1/2 Quart Round French Ovens as a gift and I'm really excited because it is supposed to be everyone's favorite kitchen item. But most recipes recommended by Le Creuset fans are (as far as I have looked up) for meat eaters. Any ideas for something simple but awesome vegetarian (or pescatarian) recipes that will really benefit from the awesomeness of Le Creuset? Also, can I use it as I would use a slow cooker or crockpot? Somebody suggested that you can put it in the oven at 225 for 6 hours or so. So I'm wondering if I could put it in the oven in the morning and leave it there for 6+ hours without burning down the house?
posted by perkinite to Food & Drink (11 answers total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
You might want to spring for a metal knob if you're going to have it in the oven often, as the plastic one might melt on you otherwise.
For stovetop, why not try some French onion soup? I would use beef stock, since that's how I go, but I'm sure a roasted veggie stock would work as well.
As for roasting and braising, there are so many things you could do. Do you like beets? Fennel? Kholrabi? Gratins?
Finally, look around for a no-knead bread recipe. Those work great in enameled ovens. Jim Lahey is the guy to go with on this.
posted by Gilbert at 9:54 PM on August 18, 2011

Best answer: Fish pie with leeks and cheese

Your pot will hold a lot of fish pie, which is a good thing, because:

A. People will ask for seconds
B. You'll want leftovers
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:50 PM on August 18, 2011 [3 favorites]

Rataouile. Or indeed, any grouping of vegetables herbs, aromatics and some sort of fat/oil. 6 hours is silly for vegetables unless you really love dried out sludge. It's not really a slow cooker, but you could bake beans overnight in a very slow oven.
posted by Ideefixe at 11:01 PM on August 18, 2011

Geezus. I cook everything in that thing. Lentil dishes are vegetarian (and yummy!) What is the question??

(No, seriously. I cook everything in that. Especially casseroles! Oh my, Casserloes! Layer stuff in and let 'er rip in the oven. Enjoy!)
posted by jbenben at 11:05 PM on August 18, 2011

Best answer: No knead bread! Nom.
posted by Space Kitty at 11:25 PM on August 18, 2011 [2 favorites]

Best answer: These mushrooms are heaven, and can be done either in or on top of the stove. For 9 hours or so, if I remember right. Makes the house smell amazing.
posted by lollusc at 1:16 AM on August 19, 2011

Best answer: My hands-down favorite thing to do with ours is French Onion Soup (yes, the recipe calls for meat broth. I have never tried it with meat broth since I am also pescetarian. It is still amazingly fabulous.)

As a bonus, if you stop before the stovetop stage you still have a couple cups of caramelized onions. Which is a wonderful thing to have about the house.

I do recommend you get the metal knob; it's not that expensive. If you've done that you will be just fine leaving it in the oven as long as you want. Even without it 225 for 6 hours is probably fine; I believe the original knob is safe up to 450.
posted by contrarian at 5:13 AM on August 19, 2011

Seconding Space Kitty, you must try bread in the Dutch oven with the lid on. It is the secret to the perfect crusty crust.
posted by BrashTech at 7:03 AM on August 19, 2011

Best answer: Thirding Space Kitty OM NOM NOM on the no-knead bread. I got a metal knob for about ten bucks from Amazon, though you can also just remove the black knob and thread aluminum foil through the hole, knotted on the inside, to lift the lid when needed.

I use my LC dutch oven for everything, including stovetop things (for which it's really great - it distributes the heat evenly, making food magically delicious). Soups, chili, ratatouille, pasta sauce, caramelized onions (it does great with those, to echo contrarian's onion soup suggestion), just everything. A lot of times at night I get it out, start some chopped onions and a little minced garlic in it, and only then decide what else will go in. A rinsed, drained can of beans? A can of tomatoes? Pre-cooked pasta? Are there leftover veggies in the fridge that need to be used up? Spinach? Cheese? Lentils? Whatever it is, would it be better if I made a few little wells on the surface and cracked a few whole eggs into them? What about if I put a layer of breadcrumbs or cheese on the top and popped it into the oven for a few minutes?
posted by amy lecteur at 7:33 AM on August 19, 2011 [1 favorite]

The plastic handle is fine in the oven up to a certain temperature - looks like it depends which style of pot you have, it might be 375F or 480F. I've used mine in the oven often, up to 350F and had no problems.

I do lots of stews in mine. But also any soup, rice or risotto, beans (including cassoulet), etc.
posted by dnash at 7:47 AM on August 19, 2011

Best answer: A Dutch oven of that sort (never heard it called a French oven before — interesting) can be used to make the easiest and tastiest beans ever.
posted by Lexica at 1:50 PM on August 19, 2011 [1 favorite]

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