As of two months ago, I have a new kitchen toy. You’ve probably noticed.
More precisely and importantly, however, I have a whole set of six of them – two in the shiny smooth forest green glaze, and four in a matte graphite grey-black. I have bought these cute and tiny Chasseur single-serve glazed ceramic casserole (cocotte) dishes two months ago during a Christmas sale in Liverpool’s shopping district in preparation for the move to Stockholm. The move itself, and packing up of things have been more an excuse than anything, as I’ve wanted them for ages, but who needs excuses when purchasing something which will get used on, if not a daily, then at the very least, twice-weekly basis.
Before further ado, I would give those a 10/10 and urge every foodie (unless terribly averse to the single-portioned presentation) to get some or at least consider these.
The physical quality and manufacture of the casseroles themselves is wonderful – they inside glaze is cream-colored and glass-smooth, and thus neither get burnt-on stains, nor give any issues with cleanup – I just let them cool and then soak them for a bit, and every spot comes out with a little gentle rubbing with the scotch-brite end of the washing-up sponge and liquid. A minute of effort is all it takes to get the surface feeling squeaky-clean. Heat distribution is even whether used with or without the lid, and the integral handles conveniently cool faster than the main body after being removed from the oven, making warm food in a very hot container easier to manipulate onto the table (or a kitchen-towel covered lap in sofa or bed).
And, they are just the right size for a one hungry person’s lunch serving of chili, stew, artichoke dip or crumble pie. I would also say they are good for a braised-meat main dish or a mini-lasagne, but I would use them for that as a part of a main meal, rather than the entirety of it – they are 300ml (average volume of a soup bowl), so I guess that would largely depend on the size of person in question, what else they are eating at the same sitting, and their appetite at the time.
So far I have been using these mostly to feed T and myself cosy sofa dinners and lunches, but I think I must try a braised meat or fowl dish in those for a dinner party at some point. Perhaps something with chicken and sherry and lots and lots of garlic and thyme…
Ah, the salivation-inducing dreams of food. The best part of those is that they can and should be made to come true! And, rather to the point of this specific post, I doubt that I will forget about these once the novelty wears off – in fact, I have a feeling that I will find many more uses for them as time goes by. Best kitchen toys are like that – you never, ever get tired of either what you know can be done with them, or finding new delicious uses for them again and again.
Note: I have included a link to the Chasseur site above, but it appears that they have discontinued the lovely oval mini-casserole range (which looks exactly like their larger cast iron oval ones), and now only make the round ones in the same 300ml capacity. The quality and versatility that I’ve fallen in love with since buying those is probably still the same.