Fall is my favorite time of year to be in the kitchen. There's something about the transition to fall that inspires me to slow things down (quality over quantity), despite the chaos of the holidays. I love warming up the house with a beautifully set table and comforting dishes on the stove and in the oven. So certainly, any tip or trick that might allow me to achieve both seamlessly and stress-free is a huge bonus, which is why I must share my recent obsession with Our Place. Our Place thoughtfully designed an entire cooking system in just two pieces. The Perfect Pot and Always Pan is intended to replace 16 pieces of tradition cookware: I repeat, 16. Say no more! I jumped at the opportunity to put these gorgeous pieces of cookware to the test with my most beloved and go-to entertaining fall recipes: steamed clams chowder-style and homemade bread.
Let's start with the Perfect Pot, cousin to the cult favorite the Always Pan. With the Perfect Pot, you can boil, crisp, bake, braise, roast, steam, pour and steep. It's basically a stockpot, dutch oven, sauce-pot, roasting rack, steamer and braiser - all in one. As a huge fan of traditional dutch ovens, I had to see if it really held up to baking bread in the oven - and it did! Unlike standard dutch ovens, the Perfect Pot is surprisingly lightweight and heats up quickly. This makes it easy to transport the pot to and from the oven and doesn't require that extra hour or so to preheat the pot before placing the bread dough inside. Even though it's oven safe up to 425°F, I was able to get that perfectly nice browned crust around the bread. And the non-toxic, nonstick ceramic coating meant there was no need to line the pot with parchment paper - I was even comfortable letting it cool in the pot before bringing it to the table. Presentation is everything, right? I absolutely love this pot and can't wait to make soups and stews in it, as well as use the nesting roasting rack for Sunday evening roast chicken.
Next up: the Always Pan. Pans are what I use most in the kitchen and I'm especially a fan of one pan recipes, making prep and clean-up streamlined and easy. What I love most about this pan is the non-toxic, nonstick ceramic coating. I can still brown those bits in the pan without having to scrape the bottom. I was also surprised at capacity of the pan - I was able to steam 3lbs of manilla clams in it, no problem. But honestly, as crazy as it sounds, one of my favorite features of this pan is the integrated spoon rest. I can't tell you how many times I scramble to find something to rest my spatula or spoon on while cooking. It always ends up on a random small plate or directly on the counter, next to the stove. The integrated spoon rest is a luxurious convenience I never knew I needed! The pour spout is also a thoughtful bonus - we all know what it's like to try and scoop up that last bit of broth at the bottom of our pans.
Needless to say, I am totally sold on Our Place's ingenious cooking system and couldn't be more excited to have it in our kitchen. They're having their biggest sale ever right now: starting today, the Always Pan is on sale for $99 and starting November 22, the Perfect Pot is on sale for $125. The sale ends November 29th so hurry and stock up for your holiday gifts. Bon apetit!
Steamed Clams Chowder Style
- 3lbs manila clams, scrubbed and soaked to remove sand
- 1/4 pound high quality bacon, sliced (optional)
- 1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
- 1 large leek, white part only, thinly sliced
- 2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 Tbsp. butter
- 2 cups of chicken or fish stock
- 1 cup heavy cream
- parsley for garnish
- Place clams in a colander in the kitchen sink and rinse thoroughly under running water. Pick through and discard clams with broken or open shells. Allow the clams to soak in cold water for at least an hour to allow them to purge any sand.
- In the Our Place Always Pan, melt the butter with the thyme. Render the bacon in the butter and thyme over low heat.
- Add leeks and celery and cook for 2-3 minutes
- Add carrots and cook for another 2-3 minutes
- Ladle 3 cups of stock into the pan and bring it to a simmer
- Place the drained clams into the pan and cover the pan and simmer for about 5 minutes or until the majority of clams have opened.
- Pick out any closed clams as this could spoil the chowder.
- Add in the heavy cream and bring to soft boil.
- Serve and enjoy!
No Knead Dutch Oven Bread
- 2 cups lukewarm water
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 4 cups all-purpose flour, lightly packed and leveled off, plus more for dusting
- 1 ½ tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp olive oil
- Stir the yeast into the lukewarm water and set aside
- In a large bowl, mix together the flour and salt by hand. Once incorporated, pour in the water and yeast mixture.
- Mix by hand and you should have a rough dough that pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
- Once the dough comes together, cover with plastic wrap or a damp tea towel and let rise until doubled in size (about 2 hours).
- Uncover the dough and give it a few pokes with your finger. If the dough has risen properly, it should indent under the pressure of your finger and slowly deflate.
- Using your hand or a rubber spatula, start from the rim of the bowl to work the dough loose from the sides and fold it up and towards the center of the bowl. Turn the bowl 90 degrees, and repeat until all the dough has been pulled from the sides and folded towards the center.
- Cover and let the dough rise again for another 2 hours.
- Once the dough has doubled in size again, gently transfer it from the bowl to a lightly floured surface.
- Sprinkle a bit of flour on top of the dough. Using your hands, begin to shape it into a loaf. Fold the dough under itself several times to form a ball, then pinch together the seams of dough underneath.
- Place the dough seam-side down in a clean bowl that has been lightly coated with olive oil and dusted with flour.
- Cover and let rise for 1 hour. This is the proofing stage!
- Meanwhile, place the Our Place Perfect Pot inside a preheated oven at 400˚F. Heat for an hour.
- Carefully remove the pot from the oven and place it on a trivet or heat-safe surface. Turn the proofed dough over onto a lightly floured surface and carefully place it inside the pot.
- Cover with the lid and return the pot to the oven. Bake for 45 minutes, removing the lid for the last 15 minutes.
- Remove lid and allow to cool before serving.