Iron Cast Casserole 鑄鐵鍋 Le Staub

A typical shopping trip for me: setting out to get something and ending up with another thing which was not even in my mind scope at all.

3 3/4 qt. 2-in-1 PanA friend said Le Creuset is on sale at Sur La Table so I went all the way to get a Creuset at the South Coast Plaza, which is like 20 miles away from where I live.

友人在舊金山買了特價的綠色Le Creuset鑄鐵鍋,才150美金。於是我興沖沖地跑去離家二十哩的同一家店。但是我喜歡橘色的,稅前還是要170美金!

I love the orange color of the Creuset’s 2-in-1 3 3/4 qt pan, but the price at $169 before tax is still intimidating, plus I hardly fry anything anyway.

Set of 3 Mini CocottesThen I thought of getting those cute little mini cocottes. Three for $55. I can see myself making crème brûlée with these, or having my pasta lunch. But then, I thought of the cocotte I bought in China with only 5 RMB…any individual Chinese medicine cooking pot can do the trick as well, I think.

我審慎評估了一下,我反正不煎東西的,170元一個小鍋太貴了。

然後就看上了這組55元的迷你陶瓮。可以想像自己拿這個來做焦糖布丁、粵式奶油烤白菜、意大利麵……一人份的食物,單想就覺得很幸福。

但是又想到家裡那個5元人民幣在景德鎮買的砂鍋,其實都是一樣的東西,只是法國人做的比較可愛。想一想這個價差,不如下次回中國時,去找幾個可愛的煎藥罐子(若是有人看到這種東西,請幫我弄兩個)。

就在我的揮霍心和理智心爭戰不休的時候,經過了交談中的售貨員和顧客,她們正在對一個大盒子品頭論足。於是發現了這個超值組合:140美金有一個鑄鐵鍋,加4個小陶鍋,是另一個法國牌子Le Staub的。這個牌子和LC的主要不同處在於內裡是不粘鍋塗層,其實更適合我!鍋子的顔色又比LC的顔色典雅。於是試抱之後(主要障礙是不確定自己能不能扛著這箱寶貝、越過商場到車上。這時就會怨歎身邊還是有個男人好~),就當成運動,抱了回家。

Then I found this amazing deal which I simply cannot say no: $139 for a 4 qt iron casserole plus 4 mini ceramic cocottes. The color of mini cocottes is a bit too dark for serving on the table but I simply love the grenadine color of the big one. Not to mention that cute blue, white and red ribbon tied on it! La France, je t’aime!

The only debate I had with myself was where I can carry this box by myself to my car, as I parked the car at the other end of the mall. And I made it! So now I am happily living after with my cocottes.

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I first heated some left over pasta after this physical exercise. The mini cocotte worked just nicely. No dry-out issue as with microwave, and much faster than traditional pan. You need to stir from time to time with a traditional pan to ensure evenly cooked. With this, I didn’t stir at all as I was busy preparing the broccolis to try the big cocotte. 

抱回家後,馬上迫不及待地用小陶盆熱了點冰箱的意大利麵吃,用大鐵鍋煮了西蘭花和意大利節瓜。

也許是心理作用,兩樣都比之前的好吃。

意大利麵不會像放微波爐加熱一樣乾乾的,也不像放一般鍋子裡一樣要一直翻動,才能上下均勻受熱。我忙著切花菜,所以整個小鍋加熱時,一次都沒翻動,就從上到下都熱了。鍋底的麵邊緣有一點點小鍋粑,可以想見拿這個來煎鍋貼會很好吃。

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Then I tried to cook some broccoli and zucchini. Tested again on the 2nd day to ensure it was not just luck.

Now I am fully convinced the advantage of“evenly cooked”by an iron cast casserole. The broccolis stayed green and crunchy while all of them were cooked. I only opened the cover and stirred three times I think. And the veggies do taste more juicy with more flavors. Staub’s interior non-sticky enamel is another plus for a lazy cook like myself.

隔天中午又煮了一次西蘭花,兩次實驗確定了鑄鐵鍋真的很讃!鑄鐵鍋的特色是均勻受熱,所以雖然是蓋著蓋子“煮”西蘭花,期間只打開蓋子兩三次稍微上下翻一下,但是西蘭花每一朵都煮熟、翠綠、脆脆的。鑄鐵鍋號稱煮菜能鮮嫩多汁,也確實如此,神奇極了。而且鐵鍋保溫效果很好,再去盛菜或有家人晚點回來去吃時,菜都還是熱的。

IMG_2285And there is an collateral impulse purchase I made at the shop. I bought this red Josef Josef scoop earlier. Though I was a bit skeptical about all those plastic stuff, at that time I just badly needed a scoop as scalding vegetable is my primary way of cooking. And the shape of this scoop made it so easy to take out anything from the boiling water really quick – be it chopped vegetable or pasta.

So when I saw this tuner from the same line, I decided to buy it immediately. It would be great to turn the pancake, or even cut a fish fillet while frying it. Of course, the only question is I cannot remember when was the last time I made  pancake. And I am very sure I have never pan fried any fish in this life so far… and I pray that I will never do that in the future. So I am still puzzled what to do with this newly acquired turner.

Anyway, if anyone has good recipe for slow cooking, please kindly share.

這是附帶的衝動購物戰利品。紅色那隻是之前買的,因為我基本上都是白灼蔬菜為生,之前需要瀝水大勺時,買了這個Joseph Joseph的勺子,那個形狀非常順手,不管要從鍋裡撈什麽出來,都撈得又快有多。

這次在店裡看到這個煎東西的鏟子,立刻心動買下。想像它拿來翻pancake,或是煎魚時不但可以翻魚,還可以切魚(鏟邊有鋸齒紋)。不過,為什麼現在覺得是衝動購物呢?因為我這一輩子好像只有做過2次pancake,平常不吃早餐的人,哪可能去煎pancake呀!煎魚更是這輩子沒做過的事情,希望以後也不會做。阿彌陀佛!

總之,若是有人有適合砂鍋或鐵鍋的素菜食譜,請記得分享~

Prasiolite

130515 prasiolite_002_美图Got a new pair of earrings to match the dress randomly put on today…speaking of irrational purchase…elas!!

Prasiolite, aka green amethyst. In Greek language the name derives from leek. So a person doesn’t eat leek ends up with 2 leek stones…actually they should be called "green quartz after heat treatment for the leek color".

All but names and delusion, but a beautiful illusion for a few days I guess or at least I hope so.

May I continue to remember to offer this beautiful illusion to the triple gem as well.

衝動購物就是買副耳環配衣服。。。頭腦在加州曬壞了。。。

買的時候都不知道是什麽石頭,回來一查,竟然叫作“韭菜石”(依希臘文語源翻譯)。

市場名是“緑水晶”,其實大部分都是水晶加熱處理才變蔥綠色的,學名應該是“緑石英”。中國人也很能掰,又起了個好像很了不起的市場名:“蔥綠玉髓”!

一大堆名稱,都是幻相,呵呵。

這個美麗幻相大概可以持續個三、五天~

至少我希望能夠如此。美夢也供養給三寶。

 

*** 後話***

原本耳環不是吊墜形式的,因為我喜歡這個樣式,所以設計師再加上了上面那兩個吊環。

因為我想要當天拿到,又講價講到店要打烊了,所以買好後是她的哥哥帶著我去附近樓上的珠寶匠工作室改。

第一個工作室是把戒指弄小,把耳環的吊環和耳環分別嵌上小圓環。

第二個工作室是用雷射把耳環上新嵌的小圓環隔開吧,這是猜測。

他是直接把我從第一個工作室帶到第三個工作室,叫我等在那邊。第三個工作室是把紅寶石鑲在戒指上,然後把14k的戒指從白金色弄成黃金色,最後可能也是他們把耳環給接起來的。

他的哥哥問我我是做什麽工作的,我説沒有工作,他又問我是不是家庭主婦,我説我也很希望我是,結果他竟然説:“嗄,你連家庭主婦都不是喲!”不瞭解,這樣是很丟臉嗎?美國海關、印度海關也都很喜歡問我做什麽的,大家聽到答案都會很驚訝,果然無業遊民還是比較稀有~

The Iranian designer helped to change the earrings style into dangler, but their shop was closing already (most shops at St. Vincent jewelry mart  closing by 5pm) so I had to go with her brother to various smith studio to do the work. Such an interesting tour!

1st studio did the ring resizing and adding small rings at the earrings and the danglers.

2nd studio did the laser to cut some place at the 2 pieces earrings.

3rd studio did the stone setting on the ring, color dipping for the ring to change the white gold color into yellow gold., and also finalized the earrings.

During this interesting side tour, the guy asked me what I do. “Nothing,”I said. Then he asked again, “House wife?”I said no and he seemed really surprised, “Not even a housewife?”God knows what that means.

The US customs also like to ask me what I do. Indian customs also asked a few times. And everybody seems to be really surprised when I tell them I don’t have a job. I guess in industrial world it is very hard for people to accept some other people decide to remain idle and useless.