Chinese Sand Pot
Chinese Sand Pot:
This covered earthenware pot, which is sometimes called a Chinese casserole, is usually glazed on the inside only and reinforced on the outside with wire. It comes from China, where it was originally used to cook stews over a slow charcoal fire. Several shapes and sizes are available. They are not expensive and can be bought in Asian and Chinese food and cooking equipment stores. The sand pot is ideal for slow-cooked dishes such as soups and stews that are baked in the oven. Do not use sand pots on pot of the stove unless the manufacture recommends this. Sand pots are fairly fragile, and are prone to crack easily. They do not need to be soaked before baking but like other clay pots are best placed in a cold oven.
Rifgt: The Chinese sand pot was designed for cooking over a slow charcoal fire, but it is equally at home in a modern oven.
This North Africa cooking pot consists of a large, shallow base and a tall, conical lid. The dish that is cooked in it is also known as a tagine. The food is placed in the base. As it cooks, steam rises and is trapped in the lid, keeping the food moist. Tagines are traditionally made from glazed brown earthenware, sometimes with a slightly rounded base. They come in a range of size, from small individual tagines to family-size ones that measure at least 20cm/8in across. There is also a modern version, with a heavy, cast-iron base and a glazed earthenware lid. Unlike the traditional tagine, which can only be used in the oven,, or on a barbecue whose coals have been dowsed with sand this design can also be used on top of the stove. This is very convenient, since it means that onions, vegetable and other ingredients such as meat and poultry can be browned in the base before the lid is fitted and the tagine is placed in the oven. Some glazed earthenware tagines can be used on top of the stove on a low heat, but it is best to use a heat diffuser; always check the manufacturer’s instructions.
Above: The traditional tagine (above left) has a shallow base and a tall, conical lid,
while the contemporary version (right) has a deeper, large base.
These shallow, lidless earthenware dishes originated in spain. They are made in a variety of sizes. The smallest, suitable for Catalan-style sweet custards, measure 10-12.5cm/4-5in across, while the large – used for cooking savoury dishes in the oven measure 38cm/15in or even more. They vary in depth from about 2.5cm/1in to 7.5cm/3in. Cazuelas are either partially glazed on the outside, and fully glazed inside and out. Neither type are soaked in water before use. After a while, the glaze on the cazuela may develop a slightly “crazed” appearance, but this is completely natural and will not affect the performance of the dish.
Individual cazuelas can be used for cooking single portions of all sorts of one-pot dishes, but they are ideal for making individual upside-down tarts. The lightly fried vegetables are spread out on the cazuelas, topped with rounds of puff pastry, then baked in the oven. The tarts are then inverted on serving plates.
Above: Spanish cazuelas come in a range of sizes and depths. the smallest are perfect for individual oven-baked custards, while the largest are good for slow-cooked stews and vegetable bakes, but will also accommodate whole fish and poultry as well as large joints of meat.
This traditional French baking dish originated in Provence. It is a shallow, usually oval, earthenware dish, and is used for baking vegetables, sometimes with rice and eggs. The dish that is cooked in it is also called a tain.
Above: Oval-shapes tains originated in Provence and are traditionally used for baking
vegetables, but the shape is ideal for other oven-baked, one-pot dishes.
Left: A wide range of glazed earthenware bakeware is available these dishes can often be used in the oven and under the grill.
Glazed Earthenware Bakeware:
A wide selection of glazed ovenproof earthenware is available. These dishes can often be put straight into a hot oven, or used under a hot grill (broiler) for browning. They are also suitable for use in the freezer. Unlike clay pots and porous earthenware, they do not need to be soaked in water before use and will not absorb food flavours and become tainted.