Little Blue Cocotte

A long time ago, my mother worked for a posh cooking school which allowed her to stock up on high-end cookware at cost. That would be her and me, since I joyfully received the fruits of this arrangement at every gift giving opportunity. The result is that I now have a respectable supply of sturdy Le Creuset that I plan on keeping to the day I die.

The problem? Le Creuset keeps coming out with lovely new colors and between the (now full retail) cost and the fact that I really have everything I could possibly use, or so I keep telling myself, I can only sigh and move on. The solution? Read on.

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While visiting the stunningly beautiful CIA in Napa last weekend, I spied this wee cocotte in their cookware store. I’ve been lusting after Carribean ever since Le Crueset released it a few years ago but couldn’t justify adding a new piece to my already over the top collection. But at $20, this little sweetie is a perfect solution to my Caribbean cravings.

What to do with it? Eggs cocotte, for one. Or a pate. I can imagine packing it full of homemade butter, or using it as a salt cellar or sugar bowl. If I had a little spare cash, I would pick up few more in various colors and use them as ramekins for creme brulee or panna cotta. Now, I wonder if they do that mortar and pestle in Dijon...

(Image: Dana)

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Dana Velden has just finished writing her first book: Finding Yourself in the Kitchen: Meditations and Recipes from a Mindful Cook which is based on her Weekend Meditation posts from The Kitchn. (Rodale Press, September, 2015) She lives in Oakland, CA.