When we moved to KC, I found my long lost cast iron skillet. Is it just me, or does everything taste better when cooked in a well-seasoned cast iron skillet?
Some advantages of a cast iron skillet:
It can be used for absolutely EVERYTHING
When a pan is properly seasoned, it’s pretty much nonstick.
The cast iron conducts heat REALLY well, so everything will be heated evenly.
They’re not outrageously expensive.
It’s great for searing due to it’s ability to conduct heat.
A few important cast iron tips:
NEVER wash with soap.
Wipe out the pan with a paper towel, then apply a thin coat of lard or olive oil as needed
If something is really really stuck on there, use hot water and a non-abrasive scrubbie.
Dry right away. You don’t want the pan to soak for too long.
If you have two pans that are the same size (and you don’t have a lid), you can flip one pan upside down on top of the other. This allows for simple steaming.
My latest favorite thing is to cook all of my vegetables in bacon fat. I still have some bacon drippings leftover from the bacon that my brother brought from his farm. The flavor is unlike any other! I like it, husband likes it. Big win at our house. So, as you may have guessed, lately, I have been cooking EVERYTHING in my “new” cast iron skillet. Eggs, bacons, sausage, steak, vegetables, you name it…. I still had a few leftover rainbow carrots from my latest trip to the store that I wanted to use up, so I started by throwing a tablespoon or 2 of the bacon drippings into the pan. While the pan heated, I cleaned and chopped my carrots. Husband came into the kitchen as I was cooking and wondered what the heck I was making. I schooled him on rainbow carrots. These carrots are just fun. They don’t really taste any differently than regular carrots, but they’re sure a heckuva lot prettier. I really try to eat brightly colored foods. Blueberries, beets, eggplant, broccoli, etc. The vibrantly colored foods are full of so much good stuff, including antioxidants. So, rainbow carrots are on my list of the good stuff.
OK, we have the skillet heating, the bacon fat bubbling, finally, the carrots are added. Last but not least, a little real maple syrup. Maple glazed carrots are crazy good. As the carrots and the syrup cook, the sugars caramelize, giving the carrots a brown sugar sort of taste. I also add a pinch of salt just to make that sweet flavor pop a little more. Maple glazed bacony carrots?? I can’t even.
As the carrots cooked, my mouth was watering. The kitchen smelled AMAZING! Once the carrots were fork tender, I scooped those babies onto a plate, took a single picture, then pretty much devoured them. What does this taste like? Well, you have the saltiness and bacony deliciousness that we all know and LOVE. You have the sweet maple goodness. You have the subtle carrot flavor coming through. Everything about these carrots is amazing. Husband even liked them!
Try them out sometime. Sure to be a real crowd pleaser!