Category Archives: Cast Iron Love

Old Fashioned Cornbread.

Cornbread could be considered a southern classic.  It is an easy quick bread that can be paired with many crock pot meals on a busy day.  I recommend doing this in a cast iron. You will also need bacon grease for the pan (or vegetable oil if bacon grease isn’t available, I understand not everyone has a mason jar filled with it next to thier stove).

1.5 Cups of Cornmeal

1/2 Cup of flour

1 Tablespoon of Sugar

1 Teaspoon of Salt

1 teaspoon of baking soda

2 Teaspoons of Baking Powder

1/3 cup of bacon grease or vegetable oil

 

1.5 cups of buttermilk

 

2 eggs.

 

First thing, put grease in a cast iron, about three tablespoons and put it in the oven at 425 to preheat.

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Now…Grab a large bowl :beka iphone pics 753 - Copy

 

Mix dry ingredients with the grease…

Then take the buttermilk and mix with eggs, I forgot to take a pic with the eggs mixed.  So you have to use your imagination on this one.  beka iphone pics 754 - Copy

 

Now combine the buttermilk/egg with the dry mix.  Stir till just combined.

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Now, here comes the fun part. Take that hot cast iron and pour in the mixture (make sure the oven is fully preheated) It will sizzle, this is what gives it a good crust.

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You can see it is frying. Don’t worry about the grease.  It’s good for you.  Now bake for about 25-30 minutes at 425!

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Enjoy!

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Simple White Gravy

I don’t know many people who don’t like gravy, and it’s probably a good thing, because I don’t know if I could be friends with those people.  Is it healthy?  Absolutely not.  Is it amazing?  Absolutely.

Gravy can intimidate some people, I know this because why else would they have pre-made gravy powders at the grocery store?  The thing is, it isn’t hard. Not one bit, and I have step by step pictures to help you out!

First you need to obtain grease.  If you are making bacon, that’s perfect.  Sausage grease works well, but you may have to add a bit of butter to make enough.  Chicken Fried Steak for dinner??  Perfect, use the grease.  Keep a jar of bacon grease handy for when you just want gravy.  This morning I was going to cook bacon, so I just used that.

I fried up six pieces of bacon and left in the pan was about 1/3-1/2 cup of grease.  I just went with this, if you fry up a bunch of bacon you will want to pour some out till you have around 1/2  a cup.  Please don’t try to do to much measuring…this is going to be very hot, don’t burn yourself, this isn’t a recipe that has to be exact.

Next add flour, and keep it moving with a whisk. Your oven should be on a medium heat, I added just under 1/2 a cup, but do it in slow increments.  The flour/milk mixture should become pasty, if you add to much flour and it becomes flour balls you can add some butter to thin it out.   Keep whisking on medium heat for 2-3 minutes, add salt and pepper to taste (1-2 teaspoons each) Also, I add about 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne for kick, completely optional.

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When the Mixture resembles the picture SLOWLY add milk, while constantly stirring.  I usually start with adding enough to fill about 1/3 of the pan and then as that becomes thicker add more to reach desired consistency. This process will take 4-6 minutes.  Some people are more fond of a thinner gravy, and some want it so thick they can feel their arteries clog.  It’s up to you when you pull it from the stove, and how much milk to add.  Personally, I like it on the thicker side.

IMG_2281  If you think you added to much milk, just let it cook for a few more minutes, and it will also thicken as you remove it from the heat and it starts to cool.

 

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Gravy is pretty forgiving, just don’t let it get to hot, simmering is fine, but don’t let it boil.  Also, remember to add the milk very slowly, to fast will cause lumps.

Pour on your favorite dish! IMG_2287

Comment if you have any questions! This also goes great on dinner dishes, not just for breakfast!

This gravy is also amazing if you add a pound of cooked breakfast sausage to it and then pour it over the biscuits.

Cast Iron Chicken

I LOVE to bake.  But a soul cannot live off baked goods alone, at least not survive and manage to stay in the same pair of jeans for an extended period of time.

One of my favorite things in the kitchen is my Cast Iron.  I LOVE it.  Especially for Sunday morning biscuits and gravy….YUM!

Anyways, when treated right and loved correctly, a Cast Iron can be a girls (or guys) best friend in the kitchen. In today’s installment of Cast Iron Specials I present to you…THE CAST IRON CHICKEN!

You know when you see the weekly supermarket add for whole chickens and a fairly cheap price?  You think to yourself, “what would I do with that”?  Well.  I have the answer.  A very simple and delicious answer.

Take an EMPTY Cast Iron and put it in the oven, turn on oven.  Keep it there till your oven is at 450.

In a small bowl mix the followig
1 Tablespoon of salt
1.5 teaspoons basil
1.5 teaspoons rosemary
2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground thyme
1 teaspoon dried parsley
¼ teaspoon of Cayenne
2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard

 

Take a whole chicken, make it dance.  When you’re done playing with your food wash is off (clean out innards if there is anything hanging around in there), pat dry, coat with olive oil and seasonings.

Pull Out Pan, place chicken in pan, return to oven and let cook for 15 minutes at 450.  After 15 minutes turn oven down to 375 and let finish, will take around 45 minutes.  Let sit for about ten minutes in pan before carving.

This will be the hardest part of the whole process, because by this time your kitchen will smell like so much goodness.  Be wary, men and children will try to come and snack off of your beautiful chicken before it hits the dinner table. Serve with veggies, or potatoes, or really anything.  Keep the leftovers if there are any, they become versatile!

Chicken whole

 

 

 

Blueberry Cobbler and Facebook Reminders…

 

 

As some of you may have noticed Facebook has a nice little habit of reminding you what you were doing on the exact date, but past years.  This is usually sweet little reminders, good times with friends, work or being overwhelmed with school.  A nice little blast from the past.  Unfortunately these reminders can also remind us of a our goals and plans we once thought we would obtain.

This happened to me today.  I saw a post I made this time last year, it was a blueberry cobbler made in my cast iron that I made and posted, with every attempt to start a cooking blog.  I was almost five months pregnant and cooking on the reg.  Now I have a six month old baby boy, but I feel as not much more has been accomplished in the past year.  So here I sit today, finally making my blog, and posting the recipe I concocted One Year Ago.  Today.

I am also completely knew to this whole “blogging” thing, so cut me some slack if this isn’t the prettiest recipe out there, I took the pictures with my phone.  Here goes nothing!

In a Cast Iron add:

5 cups of blueberries
1/4 cup of butter
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon of cinnamon
heat to medium and let simmer 8-10 mins (till it becomes thick but not all the blueberry’s fall apart)

Blueberry Skillet 1

At this point it should look something like the basic picture I have above.

While the berries are getting their simmer on, grab a medium size bowl and mix the following together.

2 cups of sugar,
2 1/2 cups of flour
3 tsp baking powder
2 tablespoons of cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar
after all this is whisked add milk and mix until blended (do not beat excessively)
1 3/4 cups of milk.

At this point you remove the berries from the heat, and pour in HALF of the batter.  Make some fun lines, DON’T STIR!Blueberry Skillet 1.3

Pretty huh?

Once there are some lines swirled in, add the rest, or until pan is about 3/4 ways full, whatever comes first.

Blueberry Skillet 1.5Now, bake at 425 for 20-25 minutes!  If you want, dust with a bit of cinnamon sugar when it’s done.

I would recommend Ice Cream or Whipped Cream for this bad boy!

If you don’t have a Cast Iron, I would recommend getting one.  If that isn’t an option you can simmer the berries and then add to a baking dish…the edges wont be as crisp, but it will still be delicious!

Blueberry Skillet 2

 

Enjoy!

 

Beka.