I spend a lot of time cooking and baking in my kitchen, so that means there's a lot of time spent cleaning the kitchen. So anytime I can find multiple ways to use an item, I'm thrilled to keep using it over and over instead of continuing to get out or buy new things, digging through my cabinets, and cluttering up my kitchen with multiple pieces of equipment.
I'd visited the Le Creuset store at the Outlets of Des Moines a few times in the last few months, and always left feeling inspired to be more adventurous with cooking - both with trying new things and cooking more colorfully as the store is such a pretty, colorful sight. So when I learned that the Le Creuset cast-iron fry pan could take on not only the typical use of cooking things on the stovetop, but also could be used like a baking pan and put in the oven, I was excited to give it a try. They all turned out to be so easy I'm thinking I'll be whipping them up this weekend for Easter, and I love the way the bright pan looks set out on a table.
1. baked eggs. This couldn't have been more simple - pour 1 cup of marinara in the pan, crack 4-5 eggs over the top, and bake in a 425 degree oven for 15 minutes. Top with fresh ground pepper, salt, and green onions, and serve alongside some good crusty white bread. (I picked up a loaf from La Mie - it was the best!) Just don't forget when pulling it out of the oven to use an oven mitt - sounds obvious but it's instinct to grab the handle of a fry pan with your bare hand! I love that this dish looks way fancier than more involved than it really is.
2. rainbow carrots. Take 2 bags of organic rainbow baby carrots and chop them up, heat up 2 T avocado oil in the pan (extra virgin olive oil would work fine too), and push the carrots around in the pan for 5-8 minutes until they're browned to your liking. Top with salt, pepper, and a dash of garlic powder. Again this one was so easy and so healthy - the rainbow carrots are so beautiful on their own they don't need much done to them. This would be so pretty set out with an Easter meal, and a nice balance to other sides that can be more indulgent.
3. lemon berry cake. After realizing how easy it was to bake in the Le Creuset cast-iron fry pan pan with the egg dish above, I decided to try baking a cake in it next. This was the most involved of the 3 recipes but it was still super easy : mix together 1/2 c coconut flour, 5 eggs, 1/3 c honey, 1/3 c coconut milk, 1/3 c coconut oil, 1 T lemon juice, 1/2 t baking soda. Combine everything and pour into really well greased pan. Top with your favorite berries and bake for 28-30 minutes. This is such a clean, light recipe that it could easily be enjoyed as Easter breakfast as much as it could be as a dessert, served topped with some good vanilla ice cream.
Clearly, this pan has become my new staple in the kitchen. I love having it out as it adds some color to every dish and meal - did you know the orange 'flame' hue is their signature color for the brand? I learned a lot of other helpful tidbits about why Le Creuset is such a great brand from reading this article. We are so lucky in Des Moines to have an Le Creuset outlet so close to us, it's about 10 miles east of downtown at the Outlets of Des Moines. I now want to get rid of every black and silver pan I own and fill my kitchen with these happy colorful ones!
*Special thanks to the Le Creuset store and the Outlets of Des Moines for collaborating together on this post.