Helpful Hints from My Cottage Kitchen

April 17th, 2011
Because I spend so much time cooking, thinking about food, and reading about food, I have decided to do a periodic blog post about things I’ve learned and some tricks I have found along the way.  I think one of the most important aspects of the cooking process is having good quality equipment.  Over the years I have gathered a rather large arsenal of pots and pans.  I have heavy tin-lined copper pots from France, heavy duty cast iron skillets, a charlotte mold and tart pans in many different sizes.   But this is my favorite pot.
It is a Le Creuset 3 1/2 quart braiser.  It isn’t fancy like the bright enameled Le Creuset pots.  Both the inside and the outside are done in a satin black enamel finish over the cast iron core.  I have nothing against the bright pots.  I have a large blue casserole that I have had for over 25 years.  But this pot is just the right size for so many things.  It is the perfect size to braise a half turkey breast for instance.
This is a meal that I do quite often.  Our supermarket has half turkey breasts for about $4.00 to $5.00.  When it is just the two of us, this makes enough for two dinners and one lunch.  I can brown the turkey breast in the braiser, add onions to cook down and then some chicken broth or white wine and seasonings.  Put the lid on and roast in the oven for 40 minutes to 1 hour.  Because of the heavy cast iron core and the weight of the lid, the moisture is retained inside the pot and the turkey breast comes out juicy every time.  I do this with pork loin roasts also.  There is nary a dry piece of meat.

I love this braiser so much, I am looking for another one.  If I recall, I found mine originally at TJ Maxx for a substantial savings.  Keep your eyes open.  You may find one too.

13 responses to “Helpful Hints from My Cottage Kitchen”

  1. My husband bought me this along with several other pots and pans at a Le Creuset outlet. I have the bright red. I didn’t know it was called a braiser! lol! Now I have something new to try in it! Thanks, Penny!


  2. I love both of my Le Creuset….I like this idea of your helpful hints posts!

  3. I recently got the 5 quart braiser & I adore it! I found a wonderful deal on eBay. This post was a wonderful idea & hope more like this are to come.

  4. Donnie says:

    I have wanted one for a long time but it’s not to be yet. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  5. bellini says:

    I do hope to find one Penny!!!!

  6. Looks delicious! You know, I have a Staub dutch oven, and I must confess that I don’t use it often enough. I think I will take a cue from you and try a turkey breast in it! I do have a Le Creuset baking dish (small, rectagular one) and I DO love it. I know what you mean… this is a GREAT brand.
    Well, thinking of your turkey, and looking at the photo, I am now HUNGRY. 🙂

  7. Barbara says:

    Yea! The Mile High Quiche! Thanks, Penny.
    And great post on your braiser. I am running out of space for my pots and pans and I don’t have this one! I’ll look around though, ’cause I can think of lots of things that would be perfect done in it.

  8. Kate says:

    I have eyed one for a long time…nice to know that it is the perfect size for two!

  9. Robin Sue says:

    Ok so now I have to hunt the western salad dressing and THIS! This is so much fun. Thanks for the tip!

  10. Penny says:

    Thanks Robin Sue. Maybe I should start one of those hunting games. Find the missing ingredient or utensil! Hmmm. Maybe a prize for the winner? I’ll think about it. LOL.

  11. Oh Penny, I know I must have one now too! I’m your newest follower and I’m just ticked to have found your awesome blog!


  12. Toni says:

    I’ve never owned a Le Creuset, though you wouldn’t have to even twist my arm to make me accept one as a gift. I’ve just never found one on sale.

    But I DO own an old cast iron Dutch oven which I got at a garage sale for $10. The best $10 I ever spent, even if it required a few hours worth of vigorous elbow grease to remove the rust.

    But I love the shape of yours……sigh……

  13. Rita says:

    I love this post Penny and will really enjoy your upcoming tricks; anything to do with food is my passion. I am here to learn about yours.

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