What comes to mind when you think about it?
Cooking over a campfire? Fried Chicken with lots of oil or lard? Wil E. Coyote getting hit in the face while chasing the Road Runner?
For me, it always meant HEAVY and hard-to-clean…so that meant, “Not Going To Use It.”
Flash forward ten years. I’ve got a new attitude on cooking, a new gas stove, and have read about the ills of non-stick cookware.
Solution? Cast Iron.
If you haven’t cooked with Cast Iron before, let me give you the glorious positives.
- Even cooking throughout the pan.
- Goes from stove to oven to stove without a problem.
- Non-stick naturally.
- Cheap. (Seriously, Lodge 12-Inch Pre-Seasoned Skillet is only $20.97.)
- Can still be used to hit people in the face and do damage. (Just kidding, kind of.)
So when the good people of Lodge contacted me about reviewing The Lodge Cast Iron Cookbook, I said yes in a heartbeat. In disclosure, I only said yes because I like cooking with cast iron and I thought the cookbook would be filled with “manly” recipes that could be used when the rest of my family goes camping without me.
I have to say that I was WRONG about the type of recipes in the cookbook. There are still “manly” recipes – like Homemade Cornbread (there is a whole chapter devoted to it), Chef Boy-R-Bob’s Chili Verde, Fried Chicken, Cast Iron Grilled Steaks with Blue Cheese Butter, and Blueberry-Peach Skillet Pie.
But there are also a TON of light and interesting recipes like Grilled Chicken with Citrus Salsa, Fish Tacos with Mango Slaw, Skillet Cauliflower Feta Pizza, and Chicken with Artichoke Hearts, Olives, and Capers.
But in the end, while you can make all of those things with a cast iron skillet, you really better be able to make a “darn-fine” homemade cornbread. Which is a good thing because there is a whole chapter devoted to Homemade Cornbread.
Cast Iron Skillet Homemade Cornbread
(from The Lodge Cast Iron Cookbook)
4 tablespoons bacon drippings or Crisco
2 cup white cornmeal (not the mixes)
2 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar (that is my addition)
2 large egg
2 cup buttermilk
1. Place 1 tablespoon of bacon drippings or Crisco in 12-inch cast iron skillet. Place in oven and preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Mix together all dry ingredients in a large bowl. Mix eggs and buttermilk in a small bowl. Add buttermilk mixture to dry mixture and stir. Do not over mix – stir until they are just combined.
3. Take HOT skillet out of oven (with a hot pad) and pour mixture into skillet and place back in the oven for 15 – 20 minutes or until edges get brown.
4. Serve hot with or without butter and honey.
What about you? Do you own a cast iron skillet or dutch oven? Share it with us via the comments or on the Kansas City Mamas Facebook Page.