What to make with a Le Creuset 3 qt. saucier? caveat: vegetarian
February 21, 2013 7:44 AM   Subscribe

I recently recieved as a gift this beautiful 3 quart Le Creuset saucier. It's about 10 inches wide and 3 inches deep. It's enameled iron. It seems too fancy to use like any old pan. Are there specific dishes I can prepare only with this type of cooking tool? Vegetarian only please.
posted by Jason and Laszlo to Food & Drink (16 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
You can make anything you would normally make in just about any cooking pot. My vote for the inaugural cooking would go to risotto. But you could make any stew, braise or soup. You'll love it!
posted by tatiana131 at 7:49 AM on February 21, 2013

It seems too fancy to use like any old pan

It wants to be used! Just use it for your favorite dish and it will be very happy.
posted by shothotbot at 7:50 AM on February 21, 2013 [14 favorites]

Enameled iron is durable and awesome to cook with - use it all the time! Risotto would be my suggestion too.
posted by Fig at 7:53 AM on February 21, 2013

whoah jealous. frittata?
posted by justjess at 7:56 AM on February 21, 2013

Yes, risotto! We made a delicious mushroom and leak risotto in a very similar Le Cresuset recently (not mine, I was also intimidated at first, but it really is Durable and just great).
posted by ldthomps at 8:00 AM on February 21, 2013

The linked ad mentions marinara sauce. Enameled iron is especially nice to use with tomatoes because it doesn't react with the acid. Also anything with artichokes (try braising baby artichokes with red peppers, sweet onions, garlic, hot pepper, and olive oil).

Also, this pan has a metal handle, so it can go into the oven (not sure about the cover, they used to use metal with a detachable plastic cover). Vegetarian lasagna, ratatouille, vegetarian mousaka, ...
posted by mr vino at 8:02 AM on February 21, 2013 [1 favorite]

These pans are so incredibly useful you would be shooting yourself in the foot not using it regularly. And they are durable: just make sure not to really badly burn anything onto the enamel.

They retain heat really well, so you don't have to have the burner up high at all when you are simmering, etc. A little goes a long way.

We have a dutch oven from them and I have used it basically every day for years.
posted by selfnoise at 8:07 AM on February 21, 2013

I don't know if you will be as charmed by this recipe as I was, but this 1907 French Onion Soup was the first thing I made in my LC dutch oven.

These pans are really the best and can (and should) be used often-- even for little things, like stirfries, eggs, or whatever you already eat all the time.

Also, I'm sure you know this but only use non-metal utensils with this pan. LC can scratch fairly easily with metal utensils. [ASK ME HOW I KNOW]
posted by Flamingo at 8:20 AM on February 21, 2013 [1 favorite]

I have two Le Creuset pots (a round dutch oven, and a bigger oval one), and I looooove them. It's just a pleasure to cook with something so well-made.

Use them for everything! They conduct heat beautifully and evenly, and nothing sticks. Be careful, though, not to throw it straight from the heat into a sink of cool water; it can seize the enamel, apparently.

Other than that, go nuts. They seem to be particularly good for risotto, as others have said, and slow wine-y braises. They are made to stand up to a lot of use, so don't be nervous!

Enjoy. :)
posted by Salamander at 8:21 AM on February 21, 2013 [1 favorite]

Oooh, jealous! It's got curves instead of corners inside, right? Sauciers are shaped like that because there are no corners for things to get stuck in (and burn or not get incorporated) while you're whisking a sauce - a beurre blanc or a hollandaise would be very very pleasant to make in this pan, and if that's too much, I'll agree that risotto is always a nice inaugural dish. Enjoy your lovely new pan!
posted by hungrybruno at 8:36 AM on February 21, 2013

It's also wonderful for deep dish cobbler or indeed anything that has a biscuit topping.
posted by Ideefixe at 9:16 AM on February 21, 2013

Congratulations! I love my two le Creuset pots. When I use them in the oven, I wrap alu foil on the black handle. I don't know whether this is necessary, but better safe than sorry.
I agree with risotto for the first trial. My favorite vegetarian use is ratatouille. Or make a nice sauce for your pasta, stir the pasta into the pan when it's ready, and then serve it all in the pan. It keeps warm very well.
Inspired by the image, I'm thinking a stew of onions and wild mushrooms and cream would be great, served with baked potatoes and a green salad.
posted by mumimor at 9:32 AM on February 21, 2013 [1 favorite]

braised leeks. Also yes you should definitely use it as much as possible, I love the Le Creuset and their versatility. No babying needed.
posted by tangaroo at 9:36 AM on February 21, 2013

Sauciers are shaped like that because there are no corners for things to get stuck in (and burn or not get incorporated) while you're whisking a sauce - a beurre blanc or a hollandaise would be very very pleasant to make in this pan

Unfortunately, cast iron has horrible thermal characteristics (high heat capacity and low thermal conductivity) for making delicate emulsified sauces like Hollandaise or beurre blanc. They offer the pan in this shape because it's a popular shape, and not necessarily because it's well suited to their materials.

That said, I echo everyone else in suggesting that it should be treated and used just like any other saucepan. The whole point of having a nice pan is to use it.
posted by slkinsey at 9:56 AM on February 21, 2013 [1 favorite]

Maybe you could inaugurate it with this.

Black Bean Spaghetti and Vegetables with Thai Coconut Sauce

Serves: 6

2 cups coconut milk
4 (4 inch) stalks lemon grass, broken up in small pieces
peel of one organic lime, with pith removed
1 inch piece ginger, peeled and minced
3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
6 dates, pitted
1/2 tablespoon lime juice
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or more to taste
2 tablespoons water or white wine
2 cloves garlic
3 cups broccoli florets, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 cup carrots, sliced in 1/4 inch pieces
8 ounces baby corn ears
3 cups sliced bok choy
10 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1 (7 ounce) package black bean pasta
1/4 cup raw macadamia nuts, raw cashews or raw Spanish peanuts, lightly toasted (see note)

Place coconut milk beverage, lemon grass, lime peel, and ginger in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil, remove from heat, cover and let steep for 30 minutes. Mash lemon grass, lime peel and ginger into mixture with a wooden spoon. Pour through a fine mesh strainer to remove fibers. Add coconut milk to a high-powered blender along with shredded coconut, dates, lime juice and cayenne pepper. Blend until smooth and creamy.

In a large wok or skillet, heat water or white wine, add garlic, broccoli, carrots, and baby corn and stir fry for 2 minutes adding more water as needed. Add mushrooms and bok choy and continue to cook until vegetables start to soften, about 4 minutes. Add coconut sauce, cover and cook for 2-3 minutes until vegetables are crisp-tender.

Meanwhile cook pasta according to package directions.

Serve pasta topped with vegetables and sauce. Sprinkle with lightly toasted nuts.

Note also that you can use it for anything that calls for the oven -- these wonderful pots do just fine in the oven.
posted by bearwife at 10:31 AM on February 21, 2013 [1 favorite]

Greek okra stew
posted by mumimor at 7:30 AM on February 23, 2013

« Older Defaulted loan/Pell Grant eligibility   |   Needed: pomade or gel that smells good but also... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.