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Ever since I had clay pot rice casserole over four years ago, I became addicted to the stuff. By the way, if you order take out from that place, they give you the rice in the clay pot! You keep the clay pot! Granted, it's a cheap one that's probably on the verge of cracking, but still!

The advantage of using a clay pot for food is that it keeps the food warm for a long time. Your meal will be hot from start to finish. The rice at the bottom of the pot also becomes slightly crispy from contact with the hot surface, and makes a nice aroma. As you cook more meals with the clay pot, the flavors of each dish will soak it's way into the clay, giving it a savoury aroma.

There are disadvantages. The clay pots don't handle quick or drastic temperature changes well, so heating and cooling must be done slowly in order to avoid breaking the pot. If your clay pot leaks the water held inside, then you've cracked it beyond usefulness.

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After ruining about three clay pots in a row, I gave up trying until recently. I decided to get a cheap little one that I wouldn't miss (if I broke it) and try making this stuff.

Clay pots like to be soaked overnight before their first use, and before using it after a long period of storage. Make sure there is always liquid inside the pot when cooking with it.

On the stove, the flame should start as small as possible, and then gradually increase to medium heat. Unless you require a rolling boil (which you probably won't), there is no need to bring the flame to high heat.

When using the oven, do not preheat the oven. Place the clay pot in the oven cold, and let it warm up along with the oven.

When removing a clay pot from a heat source, do not place it in direct contact with something much colder. I usually lay a folded kitchen towel over a trivet and put the clay pot on top.

To clean a clay pot, soak it in water (preferably, the same temperature as the clay pot) and leave it overnight (or two days, if you accidentally burned food on). Then, use some scrubbers or something to clean the food off. I've heard of people suggesting the use of salt, baking soda, or vinegar.Detergent will seep it's way into the clay and make all of your food taste like soap.

Black Bean Spare Rib Clay Pot Rice

Black Bean
Fresh Garlic
pork spare ribs (chunks)
salt
Jasmine Rice (any rice will do)
Taiwanese cabbage (This isn't standard, but I've found it goes well.)
Soy sauce
Oil

Get a mortar and pestle to crush equal parts of black bean and garlic into a thick paste. Salt the spare ribs, and then rub the black bean paste into the spare ribs. Ready made black bean garlic sauce is also sold in jars. I just never use the stuff.

Wash some rice in the clay pot and fill the pot with water so that there is about 1 cm of water above the level of the rice. If you are making it with cabbage, break it into bite sized pieces, and place it on top of the rice after you've put in the 1 cm of water. Place the spare ribs on top of the cabbage layer. You can add a little bit of oil (I use corn oil) to make things tasty. Put this on the stove with the cover on and use the lowest flame you have.

Once the bottom gets hotter (maybe after 5 min?), raise the heat to low medium flame. After another 5 min, bring it to medium flame. The stuff inside should be boiling soon. Let it boil until all the water inside dries up, but the rice is still wet. (You'll have to get a spoon or something to check if there's any water left on the bottom. A good indicator of this is if the rice on the bottom is starting to stick to the pot, but you can still kind of scrape it off without too much effort.) As soon as the water has all been boiled away, keep the cover on, and let it sit on the stove without the flame. The contents will cook for the next 20 minutes with the heat left inside the clay.

Take it to the table and EAT. You can pour a little soy sauce over it if you want.

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Posted in Home Improvement Post Date 11/05/2016


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