That's right, the charming little crock that you see below completely intimidates me. You might think, well hey, looks like you put it to good use that time. Well, I fooled you. I braised the country style pork ribs in my All-Clad (still haven't gotten a Le Creuset), and then transferred to the claypot for presentation purposes only. Lame, I know, but at least I've started using it as an accessory...
Wanting to give this earthen cookware due respect in my kitchen, I'm seeking your collective wisdom to allay my fears. To be honest, I just don't understand what the benefits of using this claypot would be over other vessels that have more surface area, allow for high-heat browning of meat, and aren't as fragile. Does it really impart a flavor important for certain dishes? Whenever I see pottery, I think: DO NOT TOUCH. DO NOT BREAK.
I bought this at an Asian cookware store which basically means no instructions were attached. I don't understand how high my heat can be. When should I cook on stovetop vs. in oven? Is there a general methodology or template for claypot cooking that exists? I have all the typical beginner's questions, so any info and pointer to resources would be much appreciated!
I have seasoned the vessel, but am stuck on what to make that's at the kindergarten level. I suppose that rice might be a good start, and I'd love to make some sort of rice w/ Chinese sausage, shiitakes, etc. How would I go about making this? Any other simple claypot recipes (meat or veggie) out there? Can this be used for other cuisines like Moroccan, Indian, etc.?
PS. Thanks to yimster for helping me select this claypot out a while back, and I'm sorry I've been too scared to use it.