So J and I are starting a new era in our cooking with the purchase of a 10-inch cast iron skillet at one of the kitchen outlets at Rehoboth. I have to give props to Spyrogyra for turning us on to cast iron and answering all of our questions about the care and feeding of our new pet. The pre-seasoned skillet was inaugurated at New Year's Day brunch where I made the lovely smoked salmon frittata (thanks Ina Garten!). It's certainly a freeing experience to use sharp-edged metal objects on cast iron as opposed to gingerly taking care not to scratch the teflon pan. Even in the store, I felt like I was Sipsey from Fried Green Tomatoes. I kept going around the outlets looking for an abusive husband to smack on the head.
I have been giddy about the new toy to the point where I seasoned it just to make sure it was REAAAAAALLLLY seasoned. Last night I made parmesan-breaded chicken cutlets in the cast iron and they turned out beautifully. The whole flour-egg-breadcrumb process simply cannot be denied. After the frying, I lovingly cleaned the cast iron with a paper towel and a generous coating of kosher salt with served as an abrasive to wipe off all the gunk and a odor absorber to suck off all of the flavors that were in the pan. In a final act of care, I anointed the cast iron with a good tablespoon of peanut oil to seal in the seasoning. I know that a good skillet cornbread is in the future for the cast iron. Probably not fried chicken because of the massive amounts of oil involved. For those of you who have cast iron, what are other things you make it yours?
Speaking of new eras, Rootbeer just got a stand mixer from her mother for Christmas. I just it changed my life as a cook. She was looking for uses for the new toy. Here's what I use it for:
Bread/brioche and pizza dough
Whipping egg whites
Whipping whipped cream
Mixing meatball mix
Any other ideas for the good ol' stand mixer?