In my last trip home to Barcelona for Holidays I got this beauty:
A clay pot. A Cassole, or “Cazuela” in spanish, the pot that is used for most of my favorite recipes.
In my house Clay Pot has been always present, in a number of dishes. Although clay pots (Cazuelas) are popular all over Spain, in the catalan cusine “Cassoles” are specially popular, as clay pot is something typical of the mediterranean kitchens. But, why we used them in first place?
The clay, as opposite to the metal, is a not a good thermal conductor, so it cooks really slow. We don’t need to stir our food so often, and the ingredients (mostly meats and rice) are cooked evenly.
But there’s more, there’s a unique mediterranean flavor, and a typical burnt which is not “black burnt” as in a metal pot, but a tasty “brown burnt”. Can’t really explain with words.
So, now that I got it in the UK I’ve been giving it a good use, and In the next days I’ll be sharing some recipes specially for clay pots, but that can be done in normal metal pots as well.
But before we start cooking on it, some useful information regarding Cazuelas.
Where to buy Clay Pots in the UK?
No idea. Honestly, so far I haven’t been able to find one place, even online, that’s why I had to buy it home. Good news is that in Spain you can find a cassole pretty much everywhere. But, if you are in the US you can find a wide range of great and good priced cassoles in LaTienda.com
How to use them?
In order to keep them you need to follow some instructions.
- Once you buy it, before using it, soak it in completely in water for 24h (yes a full day). Then let it dry until it’s completely dry. This is very important to “seal” the pot and remove an unpleasant “clay” taste.
- Always keep it with a thin layer of oil, exactly like a Paella
- Never put it directly to the fire. In order to keep it without cracks, you need to increase slowly the heat on it. For it to reach the maximum temperature allow 30 minutes at least.
- Never put it on cold water or over a cold surface when it’s hot. It needs to cool down slowly too.
- It’s super fragile. Avoid hits, and keep it in a safe place
- Don’t rug it too hard when cleaning it, as you could tear of the glazed coating.
- For this same reason use only wooden spoons, to stir, mix, etc.
If you follow these rules it will last you for years, and the most you se it, the better it tastes!
More info on Clay Pot Cooking
So, ready for some mouth watering recipes?
In the following weeks I’ll share recipes for Chicken, Chickpeas and the world famous “Fideos a la cazuela”