SchlemmerTopf and Other Clay Bakers

23 09 2008

Romertopf Clay Baker 3-5 Lbs 01092When we received the Schlemmertopf as a wedding gift three years ago I knew it was going to be one of those things that sits in the back of my cabinet and used only occasionally, if at all. Fast forward to today, and I still have not broken it in. I think it’s something in the name that scares me- Schlemmertopf, sounds so industrial and complicated.

Digging through my cookbooks the other day I stumbled across the manual and recipe book that came with it. The title page touts “healthy cooking” and “easy cleaning.” I read through many of the recipes and they all sound so yummy so I am vowing this week to give it a try.

The Schlemmertopf is a clay roasting pot, glazed on the bottom (inside) to give it a non-stick surface. Food’s natural flavor and nutrients are retained as everything cooks in it’s natural juices. The bottom of the pot can be washed as normal dishes, either in the sink or dishwasher.

This week I will be making Sauerbraten, a recipe listed in the manual:

Sauerbraten

3 pounds beef shoulder
2 teaspoons salt, pepper
2 cups vinegar
2 cups water
1/2 cup sliced onion
2 carrots, sliced
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon peppercorns
1/4 cup sugar
4 cloves
4 oz. sliced bacon
1 cup sweet cream

Rub meat with salt and pepper and place in bowl.
Heat vinegar, water, onion, bay leaves, peppercorns and sugar together.
Pour hot mixture over meat, cover bowl, and let stand in cool place 4 days, turning meat each day.
Drain, saving vinegar mixture.
Soak lid of Glazed Schlemmertopf.
Place bacon in bottom of Schlemmertopf, add meat and cover.
Put into cold oven and turn temperature to 425 degrees F.
Bake for 1 hour.
Add warm vinegar mixture and spices, return to oven, bake for another 60 minutes.
Remove meat and keep warm.
Pour strained gravy into saucepan and thicken with flour or corn starch, add cream.

You can find many other recipes at the Schlemmertopf website here, and also at other clay baker websites such as claybakers.org. I’ve seen some great sounding recipes that I am eager to try, including lowfat lasagna, creme brulee, baked ziti with turkey meatballs, banana cake, I could go on! I think I might even try making bread in my clay baker.

Time to go dust it off!





Dusting Off the Unused Kitchen Gadgets

23 09 2008

Who among us doesn’t have one or two (or ten or twenty) small kitchen appliances or gadgets that are lurking in the depths of the pantry just waiting for their turn at assisting with dinner?  Life, and dinner in particular, is always so rushed that the only time I think about them is when I move, or the rearranging bug hits me.  For instance, there is the ShlemmerTopf that we were given as a wedding present that has not even been used once.  Or the pressure cooker, also a wedding present, that has only been used for corned beef.  I could go on and on, but I will spare you the details for now.

Now that winter is nearly upon us and I won’t be spending as much time outside, I decided to pull out my unused kitchen gadgets one by one and make a decision on whether or not they deserve shelf space in my home.  On that note, I am starting a weekly series that will assist me in bringing life to these old gadgets, or help me determine that they need to be blessing someone else’s kitchen (ie- donated to the goodwill).  Each week I am going to pull out a seldom used appliance, post tips and tricks about it, use it in at least one recipe, and see if it will work for me in the future or if not, get it out of my kitchen.  If you happen to have a similar item that is just collecting dust you can join in the fun.

Look for more information on these items (not in any particular order) in future posts and in the meantime, please let me know if you have any favorite recipes or tricks of the trade for these:

SchlemmerTopf Glazed Clay Roaster
Pressure Cooker
Handheld Stick Blender
Double Boiler
George Foreman Grill
Toaster Oven
Waffle Maker
Food Dehydrator
Pressure Canner
Food Processor





Sushi

23 09 2008

Here’s some sushi for you per the meal plan request. (The right side is cucumber roll, because I can’t eat the raw fish right now.) Enjoy!