Monday, January 28, 2008

Dutch Oven Cooking

Did you know that when the young American country began to spread westward across the North American continent, so did the Dutch oven? A Dutch oven was among the gear Lewis and Clark carried when they explored the great American Northwest in 1804-1806. The pioneers who settled the American West also took along their Dutch ovens.

You are probably addicted to
Wikipedia too. As far as addictions go, you could do worse.

A dutch oven is a thick-walled cooking pot with a tight-fitting lid. Most dutch ovens are made from cast iron. Aluminum dutch ovens are available and are typically used when weight is a concern (hiking, rafting, etc.) Cast iron ovens are best to use when possible because they heat food more evenly. My current collection consists of two ovens, a 12-inch and an 8-inch, both cast iron. The 12" Lodge cast iron dutch oven weighs in at a hefty 23 pounds. I intend to experiment with them in the months to come and post the results here.

The first recipe I tried, a pot pie, was very tasty. It was adapted from a recipe in Tofu Cookery by Louise Hagler, a staple in my kitchen:

I posted the recipe here. Is there something you are wanting to make in a dutch oven but can't find a good recipe? Leave a comment and I will see what I can do.

Welcome - good vegan recipe links

Hello and welcome to Vegan Recipes from Idahovegan. If you try any of the recipes, please leave a comment and let me know what you think. If you have any suggestions for improvement, please let me know.

Here are some links that I find useful:

Chef Deb's recipe discussion forum at vegsource:
The software used for the forum is truly terrible, but Chef Deb is a genius and will answer your questions regarding recipes and ingredient substitutions.

My last search for the keyword "vegan" showed 943 results. Two things that stand out to me about this website are the abundant reviews of recipes, and the fact that you can adjust the number of servings you want and get a customized ingredients list. The reviews are very helpful. It irks me when I try a recipe from a cookbook or website (or some lousy blog!) and it turns out to be bland or with a less than appetizing texture. It seems to happen a lot. WE NEED QUALITY CONTROL!