Wednesday 20 July 2011

According to Gina: Everyone Has a Role in Using a Casserole

Over the past weekend I was just in the shop getting a few things and I decided I wanted to try my hand at a very meaty and potatoes dish, so I had my eyes on a bone on piece of something to cook. I stumbled across lamb shanks. I’ve never cooked lamb shanks before but I had a good idea of what to do with them, and instantly started my mind going. They were so big I didn’t know how to even cook them. I have several shallow casserole dishes, that to be honest aren’t even worthy of cooking a proper casserole or lasagne in, too shallow and messy, especially for this mighty bone of a job. My husband is putting up with me running around the store chucking things in the basket that I might need, herbs, spices, flavours running through my head, how do I make it fast? How do I make it easy? Two things that never escape my mind while running around juggling ingredients. Trying to decide what you’re going to put in something to make it taste just exactly as you taste it in your head takes a toll on the ‘ol hubby following around. The bit that has his attention at high, is the lamb shanks he’s carrying around in the basket.
As I’m going through the flavour profile that I want, which is always simple and fresh, I’m still thinking on what I’m going to cook these ginormous shanks in! What will fit the potatoes, and carrots I want to add, plus all the delicious jus! And then I pass it…the aisle with all of the home ware on it. Mind you it’s not a great aisle, and it’s just my local supermarket, but it just crossed my mind to go and peek to see if they had anything applicable.
Usually I’m picky about my home wares. I like to buy things that are going to prove to be quality and have multiple uses. I would never buy one single thing with the intention of using it for one thing. I stumbled upon this huge cream coloured casserole dish and almost exactly what I wanted, minus the trendy posh ‘Le Cruset’. Who needs a logo when you can see right in front of you, that the £29.99, solid cast iron casserole that could take someone’s foot off if dropped, wasn’t all you ever wanted? It was nearly half the price of a high priced one but with all the same materials. Cast iron speaks for itself ladies and gents; if it looks sturdy and good then it probably is good, no matter where you purchase it.
In my recent acquisition of new parts for my well-oiled kitchen, I attained some ceramic pots from France that is the most adorable addition to my kitchen. I received them as a birthday present and have tried them out only as soufflé pots but when I get a blow torch it’s on for crème brulee. Seems that I have the French theme going on in my kitchen right now, what am I going to make next, a coq au vin? All that I know is that my mind is on cooking, and getting the right pots gets me excited to make the best food I can make, and make it profitable! What you use in your everyday life should reflect in your cooking. If you hate your utensils then get new ones and find a peace with the food that you create and be the master in your kitchen! Look out for my lamb shanks and soufflés.

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