Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Cast Iron Cooking: Don't Castaway Your Cast Iron!


 
Years ago cast iron skillets were all our Moms and Grandmoms had to use when frying chicken or some good ole catfish that taste the best when it was fresh out of the grease...haha!  Bring back memories?  It sure does for me. 
Today, because I eat so much healthier, I hardly ever fry foods.  I never thought I would ever be able to say that because of how much fried chicken I use to make for dinner. 

"Here's how I became acquainted with cast iron cooking again, while getting back in touch with my roots!!"

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Well, a few weekends ago, I was out and about locally and decided to make my normal stops, Home Goods, Marshalls and TJ Maxx!  Yes, those are my main stopping grounds on weekends when I want to do some fun shopping :-)!  Anyway, I found a good buy on some individual fajita frying pans and an even better buy on a deep dish cast iron pan for frying chicken!  Yes it was a no brainer, I purchased all of them!  They were all on clearance and anything that is paired (2 fajita grill pans), I usually buy!  They make serving dinner for two so special, when both of you have the same size and kind of serving dishes (that's just something I do...lol).

So, just when I thought I didn't have a reason to keep some good old cooking grease in my pantry, everything changed in the moment I started reminiscing about my childhood and how my Mom use to cook everything in cast iron pans.  I'll never forget my childhood days because this is one of the things that I remember well.  Life seem simpler then and I know that was partly because I was a kid and had no worries but to just be a kid and listen to my parents...LOL!!
There was no Farberware or MasterChef pots in our house!  My Mom cooked breakfast lunch and dinner in good old cast iron skillets, used so much that they were permanently seasoned.  What's that??  You don't know??? "Seasoned" as it relates to cast iron skillets is when the cooking oils and shortening have absorbed so well into the cast iron itself, that the iron literally begins to transform from what was once a dry, rough rusty surface, to a smooth black finish.  It's cooking at its best when your cast iron pot gets fully seasoned!!!!  (This could take a few times cooking in it..no worries...it will get there!)
In fact, the way to clean cast iron pots is by wiping them down after every use with a little warm, soapy water and a sponge.  It is not recommended that you soak a cast iron skillet or leave it immersed in water to soak it clean.  After sponge cleaning with some warm soapy water, rinse it, dry it and apply a thin coat of vegetable oil or melted shortening to both the inside and outside of the skillet. 
 
Did you learn something new?  Well, if you are a youngster or a millennial reading this, I'm sure you just heard something you never knew before!!  Cast iron cooking is more alive now than it has ever been.  Just watch the Cooking Channel or Food Network and see how many chefs use cast iron skillets when preparing some of the best meals in the world!
Brown Sugar Glazed Grilled Pork Chops
 
The next time you are out browsing through the stores and shopping around, be on alert for that something that you didn't plan to purchase but were pleasantly surprised to find! 
It may be a piece of cast iron cookware....LOL!!!   Go ahead, get it! 
You won't be disappointed  ;-).

 
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