Fall weather, in my opinion, is the perfect time of year for baking meals in a dutch oven. Dutch ovens are perfect for braising meat or cooking entire meals in one pot; and making dishes that are full of flavor. You can even mix in uncooked pasta or rice for true one dish meals.
CSN Stores and Cookware.com had sent me this fabulous cast iron baking dish awhile back ago to review. Its from the Rachel Ray line of cookware but you can browse for dutch ovens in different styles, finishes (metal and enameled cast iron) and prices.
Here's a great recipe for you to try for dutch ovens. This recipe is originally from Elizabeth Yarnell's "Glorious One Pot Meals" and has been "tweaked" a bit by me.
Glorious Macaroni and Cheese
2 cups macaroni-shaped whole grain pasta
2/3 cup water
1 tsp. olive oil
8 to 12 oz. cheese, sliced or grated
3 to 5 garlic cloves, chopped or finely minced
1/2 tsp oregano
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup chopped spinach, fresh or frozen
2-3 plum tomatoes, chopped, or substitue one 14 oz. cans, drained
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray inside of 3 1/2 or 4-quart cast iron Dutch oven and lid with olive oil, taking care to fully coat all interior surfaces.
- Place dry noodles in mixing bowl. If using canned tomatoes, drain and reserve the liquid and use for the 2/3 cup of liquid, adding water as needed. If using fresh tomatoes, use all water. Add olive oil to liquid, stir and pour over pasta. Mix gently adding in the garlic and oregano. Lightly salt and pepper. Add in the spinach and pour into the pot.
- Place a layer of cheese over pasta.
- Cover and bake for 30-35 minutes, or about 3 minutes after the aroma of a fully cooked meal escapes the oven.
Also, if you missed this a few weeks ago - this is one of my favorite chicken recipes: Chicken Pandora. The recipe originally from Joan Nathan but modified slightly. Just remember to start this dish either the night or day before hand, it has to marinate.
- 1/2 cup red-wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup fresh oregano leaves
- 1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- 1 head garlic, peeled and pureed
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 cup pitted kalamata olives, halved
- 5 pounds chicken, I used boneless chicken thighs and a few breasts
- 3/4 cup light-brown sugar
- 1 cup red wine
- 8 shallots, chopped
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, halved
- 1 (16-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained
- Mix together vinegar, 1/2 cup olive oil, oregano, parsley, garlic, salt, pepper, bay leaves, sun dried tomatoes and olives. Add chicken breasts and stir to coat. Cover and transfer to refrigerator; let marinate overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Transfer chicken into the cast iron, and sprinkle with brown sugar. Pour wine over chicken breasts and cover with parchment paper-lined foil. Transfer to oven and bake for 2 hours. *you can add extra brown sugar for a bit more sweetness. This recipe can be made in a 9 x 13 baking dish if you don't have a dutch oven.
- Heat butter and remaining tablespoon olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots and cook, stirring, until translucent. Stir in artichoke hearts; remove from heat and set aside.
- Uncover chicken and pour artichoke/shallot mixture over chicken. Return to oven until sun-dried tomato mixture is heated through, about 15 minutes. Discard bay leaf and serve immediately.
Feel free to leave me a comment with your favorite dutch oven recipe :-)