Cast iron-skillets can be used to make a ton of different recipes, such as bread, stir-fry, and cake. One thing I love about using the cast-iron skillet is that it gives everything a grilled and crispy texture, and a lot of the times you just set it and forget it until it’s done. Here are five cast-iron recipes that I love to make, which have all been used in my family during various special occasions.
One easy and fun cast-iron recipe that I love is apple cobbler, and you can modify it to add whatever you want, such as adding blueberries. Homemade apple cobbler is just so much better than what you can find in the stores, so if I want cobbler this is how I make it. You need two-thirds cup of sugar, one-and-a-half cups of all-purpose flour, 12 cups of peeled and sliced apples, two tablespoons of melted butter. Also, one cup buttermilk, half cup of water, two teaspoons of baking powder, and one-quarter cup of cold butter. Now for the spices you will need one-quarter teaspoon of nutmeg, one-half teaspoon of cinnamon, two teaspoons of vanilla, and a pinch of salt. The first thing you want to do is preheat your oven to about 375 degrees. Then, get a large bowl and add one-half cup of flour, apples, one-third cup of sugar, melted butter, salt, nutmeg, vanilla, and cinnamon. Mix the ingredients together, then pour it into your cast-iron skillet before adding the one-half cup of water. You then want to take the rest of the ingredients and combine them into a separate bowl, adding the buttermilk last to act as a bonding agent. Stir all of that together until it combines and then just drop it on top of the mixture in the cast-iron skillet. Finally, put into your oven and let it cook for about an hour, or until the top is golden brown, and let it cool for about 30 minutes before eating.
One really common food to make in a cast-iron skillet is cornbread, and it just never goes out of style. Cornbread was a staple in my family growing up because my dad used to love cornbread, beans, potatoes, and a slab of meat. I used to call it depression food actually, because I always pictured this is what people ate during the Great Depression, because it was inexpensive and filling. I like my cornbread sweet, but you can make it bland if you prefer, because it is just so easy to change up the recipe. You will need one cup of all-purpose flour, one cup cornmeal, one-quarter cup of sugar, one-half teaspoon of baking powder, baking soda, and salt. One beaten egg, one cup sour cream, one-third cup milk, and one-quarter cup melted butter. Heat your oven to about 400 degrees, then take your cast-iron skillet and set it on the counter while you begin mixing your ingredients. In one bowl, add all of your dry ingredients together, and then in another bowl combine all of your wet ingredients together. Take the bowl with the wet ingredients and begin mixing it into the dry bowl containing the flour. You want to mix those two together until the mixture is fairly moist. Pour the mixture into your cast-iron skillet, place into the oven for about 20 minutes, or until the top is a light golden brown, and then let cool for about 10 minutes before eating. What I love about using the cast-iron skillet for cornbread is that the edges all come out crispy, not doughy or chewy, and it cooks the cornbread so evenly. I have also added cinnamon and brown sugar to make a very sweet cornbread, which was really good too.
Summer Vegetable Stir-Fry
One thing that I love, especially during spring and summer, is a good cast-iron vegetable stir-fry. What I love about it is that you can add so many different vegetables, so you can make it to appease anyone in your house, and it is also healthy. You first want to gather your ingredients, which include two cups of corn, two cups green beans chopped, one cup zucchini chopped, one cup red bell pepper chopped, and two tablespoons of chopped shallots. For the seasoning, one tablespoon of chopped parsley, one-half teaspoon of salt, two tablespoons lemon juice, four teaspoons olive oil, one-half teaspoon of thyme, and one-quarter teaspoon of black pepper. All you need to do is heat up your cast-iron skillet to high, using a spray to coat the skillet, and then add all your vegetables to the skillet. You want to cook all your vegetables together and stir occasionally for about six minutes. Combine the shallots and dry ingredients into a bowl, use a fork to stir everything together, and then add that dry mixture to the cast-iron skillet. You don’t have to cook the ingredients anymore, just stir it around for about a minute, and then enjoy. I love this recipe because this is something my ex-stepmother made for cookouts and family functions, so it reminds me of a more calm and comforting time in my life. Plus, living with diabetics you get tired of just vegetables, so making a stir-fry was always a nice change.
Since my ex-stepmother and my dad were diabetics, potatoes weren’t something we had very often, but when we did, potato cakes were always one of the things I requested. I love potato cakes because they are so versatile you can do anything with them, and I often like them served over an egg or next to some sausage. For this recipe, you will need one-half cup of green onions chopped, two cups of mashed potatoes that have been chilled, two tablespoons of cheddar cheese, one-eighth teaspoon of salt, one-eighth teaspoon of black pepper, three-quarter cup of breadcrumbs, and one piece of bacon crumbled. Now, if you want to really modify this dish, you add Colby cheese or even Swiss cheese, or a combination of different cheeses. You first want to turn the cast-iron skillet onto a heat of about medium. You should add green onions to the cast-iron skillet, using some cooking spray or oil to coat if you want, and let the onions cook for about two minutes before removing. Take your bowl of mashed potatoes and stir in all of the ingredients, and make sure you are mixing everything together fairly well. Using your hands, ball up the mixture into portions about the size of your palm, and then coat with the breadcrumbs. Place those balls of potato into the cast-iron skillet over the medium heat, and let cook for 12 minutes on each side. Cool the potato cakes for about five minute before eating. Now, you can wash the cast-iron skillet in between the onions and potato cakes, but I like the left over onion residue because it makes a great oil, and adds even more flavor.
Hash with Zucchini
One of my favorite meals growing up was hash, because it was the perfect Sunday breakfast recipe, and it was just full of flavor. You can pretty much do anything with hash such as add ham or Spam, and can serve it with eggs, bacon, or sausage. All you need do is peel two potatoes, get one teaspoon of salt, two tablespoons of olive oil, one-quarter teaspoon of black pepper, three-and-a-half tablespoons of dill, and have one zucchini handy. You need to take your peeled potatoes and unpeeled zucchini and put them on a plate lined with paper towels, and just start patting them dry to remove the water. Add your dill in while the potatoes and zucchini are on the plate, and gently toss it all together. Take your cast-iron skillet and add the olive oil to it, and heat that up to about medium. Put your potatoes and zucchini into the skillet, use the salt and pepper to season, and cook it for about 15 minutes. You want to leave it alone while it’s in the skillet, so make sure you don’t start stirring everything together while it’s cooking. Let it cool for a few minutes before you enjoy. If you want to change it, you can add squash or cucumber to for a refreshing light meal, or just remove the zucchini and eat potato hash. What I always loved about this was that you can add as little or as much zucchini as you want, and play around with using paprika and other seasonings.