Stuff I Use: Individual Casserole Dishes

 Purchased last summer at a local restaurant supply store, these individual casserole dishes by Sysco are an item that I cannot live without. Generally you see these suckers in restaurants, which is what drew me to them, initially. I like industrial cookware and appliances because they are generally more durable, and these are no exception. When first I looked into their shiny, white faces, I knew we were a match made in heaven.

Why might you need these, you ask? You are thinking, but I don't have an obsession with industrial cookware. You don't have one because you have never met these casserole dishes. Individual servings are where it's at, and the possibilities are really endless. I use these for a multitude of baked items.

Things I have made in my individual ramekins:

Chicken pot pie with puff pastry (pictured)
Chicken pot pie! 
Shepard's pie
Au gratin potatoes
Lobster thermidor

Things I will be making in them, but haven't yet:

Mac n' cheese (special recipe coming on that one, by the way!)
Cornish game hens

This is just a short list, but as you can see, there are lots of uses for them. There are two distinct perks to using these, as well. It makes your portion sizes uniform, and you know exactly how much you have. They make dinner parties a complete breeze, like at Christmas when we made the lobster thermidor. Another thing is that nothing sticks to these--something that you may realize is very important to me. Rinse and do a little sponging off before placing in dishwasher? I will. Scrubbing all frantically? I will not. So these suit my lifestyle!

For the home chef who takes cooking seriously (or not seriously but likes having stuff) these are one item you just have to have. They can be pricey, but if you shop around, you can really find some great bargains. As I mentioned, I got mine at a restaurant supply store locally, but you could look at places like Kitchen & Co. or even Macy's and find them in all sorts of pretty colors. One thing to know is that you don't want to skimp on these and get ones that won't wash easily because that is one the clear benefits of having them in the first place! 

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