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5 Culinary Uses For An Enameled Cast Iron Roaster
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5 Culinary Uses for An Enameled Cast Iron Roaster

An enameled cast iron roaster is a fancy name for a non-stick coated, heavy duty metal 9 x 13 inch baking dish. But when you consider the additional benefits of this dish over, say, a plain metal or glass one, then there are more meals to be made than just traditional casseroles and brownies.

The cast iron in an enameled cast iron roaster distributes heat very evenly throughout the dish. So if you scatter cut up Yukon gold potatoes coated lightly with olive oil and sprinkled with a season salt mix of your choice in this dish, you can rest assured that every since piece of potato will brown consistently. The insides of the potatoes will be sufficiently cooked and tender as heat is transmitted equally around the dish.

Most people think an enameled cast iron roaster would only be used in the oven for baking. So not true. This roaster can be put up on the stovetop for frying meats or breaded items. The high sides of the dish keep the hot oil contained. The wide bottom ensures the flame from the stove never reaches up into the oil in the pan. The wide, flat layout of the roaster also allows for larger items to be placed in it for frying, such as breaded fish fillets, large pieces of bone-in chicken and long vegetables.

Poaching fish, chicken or whatever protein is significantly easier in and enameled cast iron roaster. Again, the wide, flat bottom and high sides hold and contain a large amount of liquid. It is recommended to fill the dish almost to the brim, so the top browns and crisps quickly, leaving the food beneath moist. Go ahead and poach a large salmon fillet in a season broth with slices of lemon, peppercorns and a couple sprigs of your favorite fresh herbs. The possibilities for poaching liquids in this large pan are endless.

Baking pasties in an enameled cast iron roaster eliminates some of the frustrations of failure dishes that happen in plain metal or glass roasters. The even heap distributions of the cast iron allows every inch of the pastry, coffee cake, or fruit crumble to bake equally, but keep a good level of moisture throughout. No more soggy middles for pies or tarts. Press a graham cracker crust into the bottom and up 1 inch of each side. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes, until set. Mix 4 cups of sliced and peeled apples mixed with 2 Tablespoons of flour, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, and ¼ cup sugar. Pour into crust. Cover the entire top with puff pastry. Whisk some water with an egg. Brush on top of the puff pastry and sprinkle with sugar (raw sugar if you got it). Bake for 20 minutes covered with tin foil. Remove tin foil and bake for another 7 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned.

A last, but certainly not least usage for the enameled cast iron roaster is for marinating meats and fish. Similar to poaching, but using cold, not hot liquids, this roaster allows you to lay many pieces of meat or fish across the wide bottom and still cover it all with a marinating concoction. Don’t worry about a marinate staining the roaster. The enamel finish will prevent and staining from any dark liquids. Try laying 3 or 4 chicken breasts across the roaster. In a separate bowl, whisk together 2 parts balsamic vinegar to 1 part olive oil. Add salt, cracked black pepper to taste and a generous pinch of fresh or dried Rosemary. Pour over the chicken. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for at least 2 hours or as much as over night. Grill or bake when done marinating.

Who would have thought just one dish could be used in so many different ways in the kitchen. The simple recipes listed here are perfect for demonstrating how the non-stick, non-porous enamel finish with withstand staining and sticking. The cast iron guarantees even cooking. The wide layout of the enameled cast iron roaster helps with laying out long, flat pieces of meat, fish, veggies, etc. This pan is worth every penny and more.


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