Growing up, one of the first things I learned in the kitchen was that my grandmother prized her cast iron cookware above everything else in the kitchen and most of the rest of the things in the house. It took a bit for me to understand why, but to this day I value cast iron cooking immensely. Here are five simple recipes for delicious cast iron foods, based on family recipes.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts
1 pound Brussels sprouts, rinsed, ends trimmed
1 Tbsp minced garlic (about 3 cloves)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 Tbsp olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
This dish is cooked in the oven, so first and foremost, preheat the oven to 350. While waiting for the oven to get to the right temperature, rinse and trim the Brussels sprouts and set them aside. If the garlic requires you to mince it (you can purchase pre-minced garlic in most grocery stores), do that as well. Combine the garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a bowl and mix thoroughly.
When the oven has reached temperature, place the Brussels sprouts in the skillet, and apply your mixture over the top. I find rolling the sprouts around a bit to be a good idea, as it coats the entire sprout in the mixture, rather than leaving the bottom of the sprouts free. Place in the oven and cook for 20 minutes on the top rack.
After 20 minutes, remove skillet and sprinkle the Parmesan cheese on top of the sprouts, and cook for another five minutes. Dish up the sprouts and serve as a great addition to any meal.
Steak with French Butter
2 porterhouse steaks, 1 pound each
1 stick unsalted butter
1 1/2 tablespoon flat leaf parsley, chopped
1/2 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 teaspoon shallot, minced
Freshly ground white pepper
Half a fresh lemon
Hours before you intend to cook the steak, place the steak on a slatted rack over a pan. This is so you can catch the juices that will drip from the steak, and be used later. About an hour before you intend to cook, rub salt on both sides of the steak, and return the steak to the fridge to continue dripping. Combine the parsley, shallot, and garlic in a bowl, and crush together into an even mixture. Combine the butter, which should be soft, with the parsley mixture, some of the pepper, and a few drops from the lemon and mix together well.
Refrigerate the French butter, and bring the steak out of the fridge. Season both sides of the steak now with pepper. Coat the bottom of the skillet with oil, enough to cover the entire bottom of the skillet, and begin cooking the steak on the stove at medium-high heat. Cook the steak to the desired level, and set the steak on a tray, and ready your broiler.
Spread the French butter made earlier onto the top of the steak, and place on a cooking sheet. Place the sheet in the broiler until the meat is heated again thoroughly and the butter has drizzled over the meat. Remove the sheet, place the steak on your serving plate, and enjoy.
Caramel Skillet Brownies
1 cup unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups Dutch-process cocoa
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose Gold Medal flour
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup Salted Caramel Sauce
Extra salted caramel sauce and ice cream, for serving, optional
Begin by getting your oven preheating to 350 and greasing your skillet well. Over medium heat, melt the butter and mix in sugar until combined well. Remove the butter and sugar from the heat and mix in the cocoa, baking powder, salt, and vanilla, and mix well. Add the whites of the eggs to the mixture, and whisk until smooth. Add the flour and chocolate chips, stirring well.
Pour the brownie batter you’ve made into the skillet, and pour the salted caramel sauce over. For better results, slightly swirl the caramel sauce into the batter. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownie can be removed without residue sticking to it. Remove the brownies from the oven and let cool, the skillet will be extremely hot. Serve and enjoy.
Dutch Baby Pancakes
3 large eggs, at room temperature
2/3 cup whole milk, at room temperature
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
Preheat your oven, with the skillet in it, to 450. Mix together the whites of the eggs into a frothy concoction, and then add the other ingredients save for the butter and mix into a thin batter. Remove the skillet from the oven and add the butter to the pan, swirling it around to cover the surface. Pour the batter into the skillet, and replace it in the oven. Bake until the pancake puffs up and is golden brown, which should take about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the skillet and serve.
2 cups cornmeal OR 1 1/2 cups cornmeal and 1/2 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 to 2 Tbsp sugar (optional)
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1 egg (optional)
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 Tbsp bacon drippings
Put the bacon drippings into your skillet, and put the skillet in the oven at 400 degrees. Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Combine the eggs and butter in another bowl, and whisk until they combine. Pour the batter into the heated skillet evenly, and let it bake until golden brown and the edges are crispy. Let it cool, and then serve and enjoy.
Other sources used in the writing of this article:
Simply Recipes (1)
Simply Recipes (2)
Two Peas in Their Pod