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What Can I Make In A Clay Pot?

I just got a beeeeautiful unglazed clay pot from my man's mother. She had it for years when she lived in Portugal, and has not used it lately so she was happy to give it to me when I expressed an interest in using it took cook.

But.. I don't know what to make with it!

I'd love some recipe suggestions on what to cook in this thing. Also, are there any tips I should know? I thought I read that soaking it before throwing it in an oven was mandatory, but I can't recall where I read this direction and I'd love to know if that it is even necessary.

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  1. i use them for everything. fish stews, french fries, beef stews, sauteed mushrooms. don't discriminate, use it for everyhitng, treat it like a sauce pan

    1. Roasts and stews. Chickens roast to perfection. I also use mine for bread.

      The instructions I got ages ago were to soak top and bottom for at least 15 minutes and put it in a cold oven set to a very high temperature. Don't peak! Let the steam be contained in the pot and work its magic — altho removing the top for browning in the last 15 minutes is a good idea.

      That said, mine has, over the years, thoroughly "glazed" itself with the juices of a thousand meals despite vigorous scrubbing after every use. (Tip: stick to hot water and a good abrasive mesh scrubber, no soap whose flavor will be retained by the terra cotta). I have written to Rumptoffer to ask how that effects the process and never gotten a response.

      1 Reply
      1. re: rainey

        To take advantage of its clay properties, definitely soak the pot and the lid as described above, or for 30 minutes and put it in a pre-heated oven. Should keep things nice n' moist.

      2. Pizza, deep dish or otherwise.

        1. In your quest for recipes, you might keep in mind that there are two types of "clay pots"...one basically Italian (usually unglazed terra cotta) and Asian (brown glaze on the inside). I don't believe it would be safe to cook on stovetop with the Italian, but the Asian is OK over low flame (makes crispy rice clay pot).

          1. i believe the vietnamese do a claypot caramel catfish dish...never tried it though. sounds intriguing!

            1 Reply
            1. re: kare_raisu

              That's right, Kare. Viet fish in claypot is yummy and not difficult at all to whip up at home. Here's the recipe I use:

              - 4 shallots
              - 2 fresh red chillies, finely chopped
              - freshly ground black pepper to taste
              - 450 g/1 lb firm thick white fish filets (catfish is ideal)

              Caramel:
              - 3 tablespoons powdered (caster) sugar
              - 4 tablespoons fish sauce (nuoc mam)

              1. Heat sugar in a small, heavy-based pan over low heat, stirring constantly, until it has melted and turned to a light golden caramel. Remover from heat and carefully stir in nuoc mam. Return to heat and stir for a couple of minutes until caramel dissolves.

              2. Remove caramel from the heat again and stir in shallots and chillies with some black pepper. Leave to cool.

              3. Lay filets in a claypot and pour caramel sauce over fish. Cover and cook over low heat for 20-30 mins. or until fish flakes easily.