- Virginia Johnson
Fried chicken. Cornbread. Sunday morning bacon. Apple Brown Betty. All of these delicious, home-cooked foods traditionally come out of a cast-iron skillet. At my house, we have three or four of them that have been passed down through generations. While Ellen Brown’s New Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook has takes on these basic things, it opens a wider range of flavors and techniques from around the country and around the world.
Searing is one of the things heat-holding cast iron does really well, and the author’s recipes for paella, Seared Chicken Hash, Muffuletta Quesadilla, and Pan-seared Steak with Shiitake Cognac Sauce take the humble cast iron’s offerings to a whole new level.
Vegetables get their savory treatments, too. Cauliflower with Garlic and Parmesan, Sweet Potato Hash (try it for a slightly less sweet Thanksgiving side dish), and Oven-roasted Ratatouille are simple yet flavorful ways to treat vegetables right.
As winter days roll in, breads and desserts become increasingly popular on cold nights. Beyond cornbread, rolls, and biscuits (though she has recipes for those, too!), Ellen Brown has devised ways for cooking Indian naan, Sesame Scallion Soda Bread, Swedish limpa (rye bread popular at Christmas), and Italian focaccia in cast iron.
Her desserts are comforting. They are mostly very homey (Strawberry-rhubarb Cobbler, Chocolate Almond Pudding Cake, and the aforementioned Apple Brown Betty) but there are a few with uptown twists, including Oven-roasted Pineapple with Vanilla Rum Caramel Sauce and Bananas Foster Bread Pudding.
So, grab your sound and solid traditional cookware and treat your family and friends to new and familiar tastes with The New Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook.