Recipes & tips for getting the most out of your cast-iron cookware
Several years ago I bought a cute cast-iron cookware set from I forget where. I say cute because the bottom is a beautiful shade of green enamel, which I adore. It came with a 4-quart dutch oven and two sizes of skillets. These beautiful pots came “preseasoned” and promised that I would not have to do one bit of work before I began using them.
Well, they were wrong.
After one batch of scrambled eggs, I knew that these skillets were not really non-stick and I would have to do my own seasoning. They’ve been sitting in my cabinet for a few years now… and I haven’t used them at all.
This week I’ve had the opportunity to take a look a new book by Rachael Narins call Cast-Iron Cooking. It’s inspired me to dig out my skillets and put them to work in my kitchen again.
I started by inspecting them for any rust and then applied a quick seasoning. It really is so simple to do, I don’t know what was holding me up from doing it before.
To season a cast-iron pan:
- lightly oil the pan with organic vegetable oil. Wipe out the excess oil, there shouldn’t be any pooling.
- Place foil or a baking pan on the bottom shelf of the oven. This will catch any drips and keep you from cleaning up oven messes.
- Place your oiled pans on the top rack and turn on the oven to 375. No preheating is necessary.
- Let the pan “bake” for one hour.
- Turn off the heat and leave the pan in the oven until it is completely cool.
- Repeat this process whenever food begins to stick to the pan.
Cast-Iron Cooking: Recipes & Tips for Getting the Most out of Your Cast-Iron Cookware (get it at Amazon)
A well-seasoned pan is naturally non-stick, will last for generations, and is ideal for baking, sauteing, frying, and slow cooking. What’s holding you up from using your pans to their full potential?
They turned out beautifully and I can’t wait to get started cooking in them!
Cast-Iron is for everyday
This is the point that is brought home to me the most with this book. You can use your cast-iron pans every day. In fact, the seasoning in a pan gets better with use and it’s not just for camping or cookouts.
The directions and recipes in Cast-Iron Cooking make this clear. There should be nothing holding us back from exceptional cooking in a cast-iron skillet.
Ms. Narins presents recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert that are mouthwatering and sure to please your family. Some of my favorites include:
- Pan Pizza
- Brick Chicken
- Baked Apples
- Hot & Spicy Gingerbread and
- Dutch Baby
As you can see, I have a lot of cooking to do with my newly seasoned pans!
Is this book a keeper?
I love reading and I frequently have the opportunity to review books. It’s one of the wonderful perks of being a blogger. Not all of the books I review actually earn a place on my shelves for the long haul. Sometimes I think they are good, but not exactly for me. These get donated to the local library, where there is certain to be someone that is looking for just this bit of information.
I’m keeping Cast-Iron Cooking book and I’m not going to share.
Not only has it inspired me to bring out my beautiful skillets and make them new again, it has given me a fresh take on the possibilities of cooking with cast-iron. You’ll just have to get your own copy!
Affiliate links: These are some of my favorite cast-iron things from Amazon. When you purchase from my affiliate links I receive a small commission and it doesn’t cost you extra. Not enough to purchase a new skillet mind you, but I might be able to afford a cast-iron pan scraper! Thanks for the support.
About the author:
Cast-Iron Cooking: Recipes & Tips for Getting the Most out of Your Cast-Iron Cookware
Rachael Narins is a chef, culinary educator, and food writer based in Santa Monica. She is a graduate of the California Culinary Academy and founder of Chicks with Knives, a culinary event company. Narins is a regular contributor to the L.A. Weekly food section and has written for the Los Angeles Times, Organic Gardening Magazine, Bust, Edible Westside, and more.
I was given a review copy of this book by the wonderful people at Storey Publishing. The views expressed in this post are completely my own.