Wednesday, January 03, 2007

A New Era

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

Cookie dough

Cake batter

Whipping egg whites

Whipping whipped cream

Mixing dips

Mixing meatball mix

Any other ideas for the good ol' stand mixer?


ScottE. said...

I have a giant cast iron dutch oven that is great for chilis and roasts.

We have a little skillet that I use for toasting nuts and making small things, a single chicken breast, an egg, grilled cheese.

Barbara (Biscuit Girl) said...

We've got three cast iron skillets and love them. One is a grill pan which we use all the time to grill with since out condo doesn't allow us to keep a grill outside (I sucks). We also have a regular skillet, great for getting a nice flat sear on a piece of meat. And then there's the little skillet. This one's about 6" across and good making cornbread for 2.

DC Food Blog said...

Biscuit girl, we HAVE a gas grill in our backyard that we have never used because we loveo ur grill pan so.

Dancer in DC said...

The fact that you mentioned Sipsey is why you are my twin 4evah.

ScottE. said...

Yes, cornbread! I love to make a my little skillet of corn bread! The same size as the ones at the District Chophouse.

rebecca 1.0 said...

hello my darlings. totally unrelated (ish) comment here. some friends of my friends have a sustainable food type video blog with some episodes with recipes. very cool fun stuff, enjoy!

Anonymous said...

Congrats on your conversion to the world of cast iron. As Scotte said, you really should get a nice big cast iron dutch oven. Excellent for soups, stews, and braises. You'll never go back to ... whatever it is you're using now for soups, stews, and braises.