FOOD FOR THOUGHT—Cast Iron Cooking

By on August 1, 2018
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By Lydia Bolen

Cast Iron Cooking

Cast iron cooking is very versatile. I use my cast iron skillet many times a week to sauté, make cornbread, sear meats, and cook fish. A well-seasoned skillet can go safely from the stove to the oven.

A good quality skillet can be purchased already seasoned—the lucky ones have inherited a well-seasoned one from their mother or grandmother!

Tips for cleaning or restoring can be found on the Internet.

Happy Healthy Cooking!

 

Skillet Cornbread

  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 2 tablespoons shortening

 

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

Combine cornmeal, flour, salt, and baking powder in a bowl.  Stir together.

Measure buttermilk and milk in a measuring cup and add egg. Stir together. Add baking soda and stir. Pour the milk mixture into the dry ingredients. Stir.

In a small bowl, melt 1/4 cup shortening. Add melted shortening to the batter.

In the iron skillet, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons shortening over medium heat; pour the batter into hot skillet and spread to even batter out.

Cook on stovetop for 1 minute, then move skillet to oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Serves 12.

 

 

Fish Fillets

  • 2  5-6 ounce fish fillets, like snapper or salmon, 1/2 to 1-inch thick.
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil or enough to make a light coating in skillet
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme, tarragon, chives or another herb
  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley, optional
  • Lemon wedges

 

Pat fish fillets dry with a paper towel. Season both sides with salt and pepper.

Add oil to cast iron skillet and heat over medium to high heat.

When skillet is hot, place the fillets skin side down. Lower heat to medium and cook fillets 5 to 6 minutes.

Carefully flip fillets and add butter and herb of choice to the skillet.

Use a spoon to baste the fish with the melted butter. Continue basting while fillets cook 5 to 6 minutes more.

Serve immediately with chopped parsley and lemon wedges.

 

 

Filet Mignon

  • 2 filet mignon steaks
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter

 

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Pat the steaks dry, then season all sides evenly with sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste.

Drizzle the olive oil into the bottom of a large cast iron skillet. Heat skillet over medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes, until smoking hot.

Place steaks down in skillet and cook for 2 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.

Place a pat of butter on the top of each steak and place the skillet into the oven to cook for 8 to 10 minutes for medium-rare.

Remove from oven and spoon the butter back over the steaks.

Let the meat cool 5 minutes before serving.