NEW! Google Custom Search

Loading

Le Creuset Weird and Annoying

butterfingers's picture

Okay, I made the following recipe (I'm posting it because it is really good and I highly recommend it). When I drained the Asian noodles, some stuck to the bottom of my LC dutch oven in which I had boiled them. I left them there, off the heat, until I cleaned my pan a few hours later.

The noodles ate into the interior finish of the LC. I don't mean they dried, and when I pulled them off some finish came off. I mean, when I washed the pot by soaking it for a few minutes to get the dried noodles off the bottom, the impression of the dried noodles was "imprinted" in the finish on the bottom of the pot. It is very weird. It's still usable, but I wonder for how long? There must have been some kind of reaction between the starchy rice noodles and the enamel.

A few years ago, I was sauteeing in my LC pot that my mother had given me that was probably just a wee bit younger than myself, and the enamel started flaking off the bottom. I sent the pot to LC and explained that I LOVED it, I knew it was old, but it was my mother's and I would really appreciate it if they could re-enamel it. They sent me back a note telling me that they were unable to do so, but I could buy a new dutch oven from them for $75. I thought it was a pretty generous offer even though I mourned the loss of my mom's pot, and I took them up on it. So, this dutch oven is only about 2 years old and even though it gets a lot of use, I take good care of it. I can't imagine why this happened, but if anyone here cooks rice noodles: BEWARE!

I drag out my Caphalon pasta pot for rice noodles now.

Anyway, here is the recipe. In the interest of health, I substitute ground chicken or turkey for the pork and can't tell a difference because of the heavy spicing. It's one of my weeknight favorites, especially in the summer when I have copious amounts of Thai basil in my garden. Originally, I was using regular soy sauce for the dark, and kepak manis for the sweet, but I got some direction from the purveyor of my local Thai supermarket and use the correct Thai sauces now. But it was good the first way as well. I copied it from the food section of the LA Times a long time ago. But use an anodized pot for those noodles:

Thai Pork and Basil With Rice Noodles
(LA Times)
Active Work Time: 15 minutes

Total Preparation Time: 25 minutes

Dark and sweet soy sauces, chile paste in soybean oil, Thai basil and extra-wide rice noodles are available at Asian markets.

Salt
2 tablespoons oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 serrano chiles, thinly sliced
1 pound ground pork
3 tablespoons dark soy sauce
3 tablespoons sweet soy sauce
1/4 cup fish sauce
2 tablespoons chile paste in soybean oil
1 large white onion, thinly sliced
1/2 (14-ounce) package extra-wide rice noodles
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped Thai basil

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat. Add the garlic and chiles and cook, stirring, until very fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add the pork and cook, stirring, until the pork begins to brown, about 2 minutes.

Add the dark and sweet soy sauces, fish sauce, chile paste and onion and continue to cook until the onion begins to soften, 3 to 4 minutes.

Add the noodles to the boiling water and cook until softened but still firm, about 4 minutes. Drain the noodles and add them to the wok along with the basil. Cook, stirring, until well combined, about 1 minute.

4 servings. Each serving: 502 calories; 1,935 mg sodium; 88 mg cholesterol; 19 grams fat; 4 grams saturated fat; 52 grams carbohydrates; 30 grams protein; 2.69 grams fiber.

Pickled Cucumbers

Active Work Time: 5 minutes

Total Preparation Time: 30 minutes

1/2 cup rice vinegar
1 small cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 to 2 serrano chiles, thinly sliced

Combine the rice vinegar, cucumber, red onion and chiles in a bowl. Refrigerate until serving, 20 minutes.

4 servings. Each serving: 26 calories; 5 mg sodium; 0 cholesterol; 0 fat; 0 saturated fat; 6 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram protein; 1.73 grams fiber.


Edited 3/13/2007 1:16 pm ET by butterfingers

Gretchen's picture

(post #55605, reply #1 of 40)

That shouldn't have happened and I would take it to an LC dealer. I got one of my LCs at an outlet and it has a blemish in the interior enamel (but is still "sealed"). They said it is a lifetime guarantee, EVEN for that blemish if it ever did something more.

Gretchen

Gretchen
butterfingers's picture

(post #55605, reply #2 of 40)

I'm just afraid that because it's already a replacement, they won't honor the guarantee a third time. But I guess there would be no way for them to know at a dealer (as opposed to sending back to the factory).

I'm just NOT having good luck with my dutch ovens.

Gretchen's picture

(post #55605, reply #3 of 40)

Doesn't matter--it's a guarantee/warranty. Do you have  a Williams Sonoma or SLT nearby? That would do it.

Gretchen


Edited 3/13/2007 1:57 pm ET by Gretchen

Gretchen
butterfingers's picture

(post #55605, reply #4 of 40)

I've got both. I'll bring it in and give it a shot. There is also an LC outlet not too far from DC. I've never been, but maybe it's time for a weekend road trip. Thanks for the advice!

Marcia's picture

(post #55605, reply #5 of 40)

I agree with Gretchen, and you have nothing to lose.

sheellah's picture

(post #55605, reply #6 of 40)

Butterfingers, that IS very odd. I can't imagine a noodle eating into porcelain enamel. Maybe there was still some starch residue you didn't manage to get off, and that's what you're seeing on the bottom. I'm also surprised they didn't replace your mom's pot for free, as the enamel shouldn't just flake off like that.

That's all very disconcerting to hear. We buy these expensive pots hoping to cherish them for a lifetime of cooking, and we expect them to hold up to their 101 year warranty, especially when we go out of our way to care for them properly. I returned a set of older Flame colored pots to LC that had been used less than a dozen times each, and had the base metal showing through the enamel. They replaced all of them for me for free. My $159 original purchase was replaced with over $800 worth of new LC.

That experience and others I've been reading about on the net has made me change over to cooking with Staub instead. The pots are gorgeous, and in exchange for a darker interior, you avoid a lot of the problems you have with LC.

TracyK's picture

(post #55605, reply #7 of 40)

I've never had a single problem with any of my LC, either the new stuff or the one pot I have from my grandmother that's older than I am.

CT poster in bad standing since 2000.

butterfingers's picture

(post #55605, reply #8 of 40)

It was the weirdest thing! I can only imagine that when the rice noodles dried on the enamel, they "absorbed" some of it somehow, and when I soaked them off the enamel came with them. It didn't eat the enamel all the way through to the cast iron. It is just a little impression. At first, I thought I was missing some noodle residue when I was cleaning the pot, but when it didn't come off I looked more closely and realized it was in the enamel.

I honestly cannot explain it. Even if I make traditional pasta in the pot now, though, I make sure that no noodles are left behind when I drain them. I'm paranoid.

butterscotch's picture

(post #55605, reply #9 of 40)

Condolences! I, too, inherited a cherished LC Dutch oven (from my granfather) that had flaking enamel. I never thought about asking LC to re-finish it and ended up just giving it away. I now regret that.


But about your problem:  If LC refuses to replace or repair your oven, I did find someone who re-enamels old and well loved pots, although not until after I gave away my own overn. If you look at the web site of John Ash, the food writer, he has a link to the pot repair guy.  If you have trouble finding the link, let me know and I'll get the address for you.

butterfingers's picture

(post #55605, reply #11 of 40)

Thanks butterscotch. I will look that up. I'm going to try to get LC to replace it first, though. I've already lost my Mom's pot.

knitpik's picture

(post #55605, reply #10 of 40)

Did you use high heat?

butterfingers's picture

(post #55605, reply #12 of 40)

No, I pretty much stay at medium to medium high.

knitpik's picture

(post #55605, reply #13 of 40)

Hmm...that's weird.

knitpik's picture

(post #55605, reply #14 of 40)

You know, I think it's the residual heat from the cast iron that's doing that. I've had this happened when cooking pasta...even in S/S...didn't really damage but it was stuck good. I imagine with cast iron it just gets worse. JMHO.

butterfingers's picture

(post #55605, reply #15 of 40)

I think it's so strange.

I did make rice noodles in my LC last night. I keep my pasta pot in my stock pot over my fridge, and I just didn't have the energy so I just used my LC again. I just wash it right away now and don't let any noodles in the pot when I drain them.

knitpik's picture

(post #55605, reply #18 of 40)

Have you tried the vinegar trick that Sheelah posted on the other thread?

Gretchen's picture

(post #55605, reply #16 of 40)

I absolutely do not see how this happened. There is no scenario that fits. Sticking is one thing--I've had to take a "tool" to remove a LOT of things. BUT in cast iron or enamel on cast iron, there hasn't been a "shadow" left.


If you think about it, it would require the enamel to melt--an impossibility.


Is there ANY chance it was already there and not noticed? As was said, the iron isn't showing.


Gretchen
Gretchen
knitpik's picture

(post #55605, reply #17 of 40)

She said she had it for two years and she cooks a lot with it. I don't know if she's cooked pasta in it before. Usually too much high heat can ruin the pan. She said she uses medium to medium-high. Is her medium-high too high heat for the pan? I wouldn't know. Anyway, I personally have never used my LC Dutch oven for boiling pasta. Have you?

Gretchen's picture

(post #55605, reply #19 of 40)

Boiling water cannot be too hot. People are heating it to 450* to make bread.

Gretchen

Gretchen
knitpik's picture

(post #55605, reply #20 of 40)

Maybe I'm a wimp but I'm definitely not baking bread in my LC at 450. No way Jose. LOL

TracyK's picture

(post #55605, reply #21 of 40)

Why not? Even LC says they're oven safe at that temp. And it makes really great bread. :-)

CT poster in bad standing since 2000.

knitpik's picture

(post #55605, reply #22 of 40)

Because I paid $$$ for that LC and I'm not ready to ruin it oven a loaf of bread. If I wanted to bake bread in a pot I'd buy a Lodge or something. I'm not really into the no-knead bread anyway. My bread is just fine as is:) Don't need to lift a heavy pot in and out of the oven for a loaf of bread. My back won't be happy.

TracyK's picture

(post #55605, reply #23 of 40)

OK, but they are oven-safe at that temp. :-)

CT poster in bad standing since 2000.

knitpik's picture

(post #55605, reply #26 of 40)

Ok. :-)

Gretchen's picture

(post #55605, reply #24 of 40)

Ummmmmmm. YOu don't have to "lift a heavy pot in and out of the oven for a loaf of bread" (which you do anyway when you make anything like lamb shanks in the LC--heavier than bread also).


You can heat the LC, pull out the oven rack, take off the lid and tumble the bread dough into it, replace the lid, and push the rack back into the oven.


I also like my various bread recipes. I am enjoying the heck out of this one for all its variations and terrific ease. I can make it in 10 minutes total work time.  Just  made a polenta variety.


And the funny story someone heard at the LC outlet--"if your making that bread just unscrew the knob".


Gretchen
Gretchen
MadMom's picture

(post #55605, reply #25 of 40)

Oooh, the polenta version sounds good.  Recipe?



Not One More Day!
Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!

Gretchen's picture

(post #55605, reply #29 of 40)

It really turned out well.  Just 2C flour and 1C coarse cornmeal. Regular recipe.


I was pushed to try this by a cornbread we had at our garden club lunch the other day--"Portuguese cornbread".  Turned out the hostess got it from the chef at their mountain place.  But this was really quite similar. I think it would have been close to right on it if I had used fine cornmeal.
The crust was very golden, smooth and not terribly hard/crusty as it often is. I let it rise in my 8C measuring "cup" so it was nice and round, although it flattens out when I put it in the cloche.  The texture was a little holey, but finer holes and moist.  Don't underdo the salt. There is something about that recipe that "eats" salt!!  This would be delicious toasted with jelly or particularly marmalade for breakfast. It would make a great cheese sandwich, maybe particularly with some chutney. 
I may make some again with the coarse cornmeal and with some rosemary in it--and maybe a cup of WW flour subbed for 1 of white.  Maybe a touch of olive oil. I think an addition of any oil is the ONLY variation of this bread I have not heard of.


Gretchen
Gretchen
MadMom's picture

(post #55605, reply #30 of 40)

I'll have to try that.  I used to make Mean's polenta rolls a lot.



Not One More Day!
Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!

knitpik's picture

(post #55605, reply #27 of 40)

If only you knew...
When I use that big LC Dutch oven...I have to give DH advance notice. He's not supposed to leave the house so he can put the LC in the oven and remove it each time it needs stirring. It's not even funny but that's how it is.
I keep telling him that I need a wall oven but he won't listen:(
Oh well, as long as he doesn't mind staying around then that's fine with me.

Marcia's picture

(post #55605, reply #28 of 40)

The very old ovens have cast iron knobs. Ask me how I know.