We’re pleased to introduce Le Creuset on Gilt: This French brand’s first-rate cookware and tableware are lauded worldwide for their blend of quality, ease of use — and classically elegant design. Their strength is stovetop-to-table versatility, like cast iron that can be used reliably on any heat source, and can just as easily keep foods cold; and stoneware, which is safe for use in the microwave, freezer, refrigerator, dishwasher, oven, and broiler (and a design standout, thanks to its vibrant, scratch-resistant enamel coating). We’ve got a range of styles on offer on Gilt, perfect for casual cooks and seasoned chefs alike.
To celebrate Le Creuset’s arrival, we put together a few recipes (go to lecreuset.com for more!) based on some of our favorite styles, which we’re selling, starting Friday, May 30, at noon:
Created for the 3 1/2 qt. braiser
Serves 4 -5
You will find recipes for cooking “from scratch” polenta in almost any Italian cookbook. Most recommend stirring the cornmeal mixture frequently for 30-plus minutes. Here is a shortcut version that – with the addition of cheese – is an easy and delicious substitute. The polenta’s package may specify “5-minute” or “instant” on the label, so check the directions on the package of your particular brand for their suggested water-to-polenta ratio and adjust this recipe accordingly.
- 2 3/4 cups spring water
- 2/3 cup quick-cooking polenta
- 3 tablespoons freshly grated imported Parmigiano Reggiano
Use the 3 1/2 QT. braiser on the range top for this. Add the water to the pan and bring it almost to a boil.
Gradually add the polenta to the pan, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or spatula. When all the grains are added, reduce the heat to low and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the polenta is thick, smooth and mounds easily. (If you detect any lumps, mash them with the tines of a heavy fork.) This will take about 5 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and fold in the cheese. Serve at once.
- See more at: http://www.lecreuset.com/easy-polenta#sthash.NTlKYImz.dpuf
Walnut Creek Chicken
Created for the 5 1/2 qt. round French oven
Serves 6 – 8
Folks on the Pacific Coast are fortunate to be able to spend many hours outdoors, and so in good weather they spend less time in the kitchen. Here’s a recipe from an illustrious cook in Walnut Creek, California, that’s quickly combined in the versatile Le Creuset 5 1/2 QT. round French oven, then popped in the oven to cook away while the home chef enjoys the beauty of nature.
No matter where you live, you’ll make this recipe time and time again. It yields a bonus: any leftover sauce is great over pork chops. Try adding rounds of andouille or chorizo sausage for a more complex dish. A couple of cans of mild green chiles (drained) are a good addition. And if you have a bell pepper or two lurking in the fridge, cube them and add to the mix.
- 1 quart canned or homemade tomato sauce
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper (or more to taste)
- Salt to taste
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano (Mexican or Mediterranean), crumbled
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin seed (see note)
- 3/4 cup golden raisins
- 1 tablespoon vegetable or corn oil
- 1 tablespoon red or white wine vinegar
- 4 to 5 pounds chicken thighs (or a combination of thighs and legs), skinned but left on the bone
- Cooked brown, Basmati, Texmati or Jasmine Rice (for serving)
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Combine all ingredients but the chicken and rice in the round oven and stir to blend. Rinse the chicken pieces and pat dry with a paper towel. Add the chicken to the pan and spoon the sauce over the pieces. Cover and bake for 1 1/2 hours.
Note: For even more flavor, toast cumin seed in the dry French oven (before cooking the chicken). Place the pan over medium heat, add the seeds, and stir for about 2 minutes, or until the cumin seed slightly darkens. Remove and grind in a spice grinder, then use this in the recipe. – See more at: http://www.lecreuset.com/walnut-creek-chicken#sthash.anFPns5X.dpuf
Prepare in four ramekins
This is probably the most popular dessert in all of Spain. It resembles the French Creme Brulee. Either one is delicious, but the Spanish version is a little less work.
Serve this as is, or make the optional crunchy sugar topping. Serve it alone or with small chunks or slices of the freshest fruit you can find.
- 2 cups half-and-half
- 1/2 cinnamon stick
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Peel of 1/2 lemon
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 4 egg yolks
- 1/4 cup sugar plus 1/2 cup for the topping, if desired
In a small heavy saucepan mix 1 3/4 cups of the half-and-half, the cinnamon, vanilla and lemon peel.
Mix remaining 1/4 cup of half-and-half with the cornstarch, blending well. Set aside.
Place the saucepan on medium heat and bring the mixture just to a boil. Immediately remove from the heat. Remove the cinnamon stick and the lemon peel.
Place the egg yolks in a mixing bowl and mix them with 1/4 cup sugar until they are light and lemon-colored. Slowly whisk 1/2 cup of the warm milk mixture into the bowl to temper the eggs. Then whisk this egg mixture into the contents of the saucepan along with the cornstarch mixture.
Place the pan back on low heat and, stirring constantly, cook about 5 minutes or until the mixture starts to thicken and coats the back of a wooden spoon. Allow to cool slightly, and then evenly divide the contents between four Le Creuset ramekins. Let cool. Refrigerate until serving time.
If you wish to make a crunchy sugar surface for the custards, line a cookie sheet with foil and butter well. Trace four circles on the sheet the same diameter as the ramekins. Sprinkle a quarter of the remaining 1/2 cup sugar evenly inside each circle.
Place the sheet under the broiler for 4 – 5 minutes until the sugar is a deep amber color. Allow the sugar to cool, then carefully peel it from the foil and set a circle on each ramekin for serving.
- See more at: http://www.lecreuset.com/crema-catalana#sthash.x5sfVaeP.dpuf