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Thursday, September 30, 2010

chicken potato bake

I made this in my cast iron lasagna pan, but a skillet would work just as well.

Slice an onion and some red potatoes. Lay them in the pan. Add cooked chicken.

Mix cream of chicken soup with milk, and pour over.

Into the oven at 350.

When done, sprinkle bacon bits on top.

Bread crumbs would have been good too.

This could also be made with cheese sauce: Melt cubed velveeta* in a skillet and add milk. Stir until combined, pour over.

*I actually prefer white american cheese to velveeta now. Use white american cheese.


Hummus repair, smoked oyster dip, crab dip

I make my own hummus, and found today that it was dry and grainy.

So I poured in some olive oil, and mixed it with my immersion mixer.

Now it's creamy, as hummus should be!

You can buy it in the store, but it's much cheaper to make your own.

All you need is chickpeas, olive oil, and tahini paste. Yes, tahini paste is important.

You can use canned chickpeas, or you can boil and drain dried chickpeas in a crock pot.

Put 2 parts chickpeas, 1 part tahini paste in a blender. Pour in olive oil until it's covered. Blend.

Then finish off with an immersion mixer, adding more olive oil if needed. That may not seem necessary, but it does improve consistency.

Hummus is usually served cold, but I've been known to warm it up on the stove.

Here's a recipe for smoked oyster dip: Canned smoked oysters, soft cream cheese, and worcestershire sauce in a blender.

And crab dip: Crab meat, parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, soft cream cheese, and worcestershire sauce in a blender.

Needless to say, none of the above are cooked in cast iron, because they are not "cooked" at all.




another one for the broiler - anchovy tomato spread

Blend anchovies, tomatoes, olive oil, and black olives.

Spread it on a cracker.

OR

Spread it on bread, top with mozzarella, and stick on a grill pan under the broiler!

Then add parmesan cheese.

You can make english muffin pizzas under the broiler too.

Fresh from scratch tomato sauce

Fresh tomato sauce from scratch, is not recommended in regular cast iron.

Stainless steel is best, or you can use enameled cast iron.

If you have the time and motivation to make fresh tomato sauce, it's well worth it.

Any tomato will work, as long as they're ripe, but beefsteak tomatoes are good.

First you have to peel the fresh tomatoes.

You do this by gently cutting an X in the skin of the tomato and lowering it into boiling water for 1 minute. Then lift it out, and transfer to ice water.

The skin should peel off. If it doesn't, try another 30 seconds.

Then cut them in half and take out the seeds.

Heat olive oil in a stainless steel pot on medium heat, and add the peeled and deseeded tomatoes.

Cook down the tomatoes, stirring as needed, then reduce the heat to low and simmer.

The simmering part takes hours, so I've been known to transfer to a crock pot after a while.

You don't want to start it out on a crock pot, because it needs to start out on medium heat, and a crock pot doesn't get hot enough.

Once your tomato sauce is done, you can season it however you like into spaghetti sauce.

I use oregano, basil, onion powder, garlic powder, and sometimes anchovy paste.

Then cook down ground beef in a cast iron skillet, with onions, garlic, and mushrooms or zucchini, and then add the sauce.

I've found that "already made" tomato sauce is fine for cast iron.

But actually cooking down the tomatoes to make the sauce, I would not do in cast iron.

Homemade tomato sauce is also wonderful for tomato gravy or tomato soup.

Boil and Mix pasta

This is called "Boil and Mix" pasta.

The only cooking required is to boil the pasta.

Boiling pasta isn't normally done in cast iron, but you certainly can if you want to.

For that matter, you can mix and serve this dish in cast iron too.

Boil and drain your choice of pasta. I used rotini.

Then mix the cooked pasta with canned tomatoes*, black olives, artichoke hearts, almonds, cubed provolone cheese, and pesto.**

*I prefer canned whole tomatoes that I cut up myself. It's more flavorful.

**I make my own pesto in a blender, using fresh basil, olive oil, parmesan cheese, almonds or pine nuts, and minced garlic. Lemon juice optional.

Top with parmesan cheese.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A different kind of lunch

Tired of sandwiches for lunch?

This is not something I'd normally come up with; I got it from a cookbook.

It's not cooked in cast iron because it's not "cooked" at all. But it does take some preparation.

Mix cream cheese with sour cream in a bowl. Spread it on pita bread.

Add sliced tomatoes, sliced black olives, sliced banana, and feta cheese.

You now have a greek pita.

My counterpart added some salsa and a slice of roast beef. You can add whatever you want.

How about mixing hard boiled eggs, olives, pickle relish, paprika mustard, olive oil mayo?*

*Also known as egg salad. You can use dill or sweet relish, green olives or black.

Or cream cheese mixed with pineapple?

Or peanut butter, honey and bananas?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Salmon prepared differently this time.

Salmon is very easy.

I normally season it with lemon pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and sometimes sage. Then spray with olive oil or butter flavored Pam.

This time I seasoned it with lemon pepper, dried dill, and white wine.

Into the oven at 350.

I got the seasoning idea from Cast Iron Cuisine: From Breakfast to Dessert.

That recipe calls for salmon seasoned as above, but poached in a skillet over cut vegetables.

Since I still have some salmon, I'm going to try the full recipe soon. Tonight I was short on time, so I just used the seasonings.

I actually liked it better than my usual way.

Salmon isn't my favorite thing, but it's very easy, and my counterpart loves it.

Here's a couple of things you can do with leftover salmon:

Put the salmon in a blender with cream cheese. Worcestershire sauce or liquid smoke is optional. Blend. Great on crackers or apples.

OR

Mix the salmon with pesto, grape tomatoes, chopped celery, and olive oil. Great on pitas or french bread.

OR

Salmon burgers. See my article, "much better way to make salmon burgers".

corn meal vs corn meal mix

I was planning to make cornbread from scratch for the first time, when I came across not only corn meal, but corn meal mix. What's that about?

Corn meal mix is corn meal that contains baking powder, salt, and some flour. It's specially formulated for baking, similar to self rising flour.

There were three kinds: white, yellow, and buttermilk.

I didn't know which one to get, so I got white AND yellow, intending to try them both.

Tonight I made my first scratch cornbread, with the yellow corn meal mix, following the included recipe.

I've always used and sworn by Jiffy mix. As a result, I'm used to a fluffy, sweet cornbread.

The cornbread from Cracker Barrel is grainy and not at all sweet. I don't like it.

This cornbread was fluffy, probably due to the flour, but not sweet enough.

Next time I'll use 1/2 cup sugar instead of the recommended 1/4 cup.

Here's the recipe:

2 large eggs
1 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil*
1 1/2 cups yellow corn meal mix**
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar***

*You could also use melted Crisco or melted butter.

**Since it's corn meal mix, you don't need baking powder or salt. If it was just regular cornmeal, you would need to add your own.

***Next time I'll try 1/2 cup sugar. Then it'll probably be perfect.

Mix all the ingredients, pour into a cast iron skillet, bake at 450.

The recipe on the white corn meal mix package is different. When I make that recipe, I'll post it.

Then again, that recipe calls for no sugar or flour, so I might not like it.

So I think I'll stick to this recipe, and experiment with substituting white corn meal mix for yellow, and buttermilk for milk.

Apparently, "Southern Cornbread" is made with no flour or sugar, while "Northern Cornbread" contains flour and sugar.

And some insist that only "southern cornbread" is real cornbread. To each his own.

Monday, September 27, 2010

My first experience using the broiler

The broiler setting on your oven is a very useful tool, available for practically free, that most of us forget about.

I had never used the broiler before today.

Be sure you move the oven rack to the highest setting, BEFORE you turn it on.

Here's a simple lunch recipe you can make, using the broiler:

Turn on the broiler by setting all oven's dials to BROIL.

Spread english muffins with olive oil mayonnaise.

I hate mayonnaise, but the kind with olive oil is good, and better for you.

Add thinly sliced ham, sliced tomato, and swiss cheese.

Place on a cast iron grill pan, and into the oven on the high rack.

You did remember to move the rack to the highest setting before you turned it on?

Broil for 5 to 10 minutes, until it's done.

I like using the broiler. I'll be using it again!

Some people leave the oven cracked open while broiling. I didn't this time, but I did check for doneness every minute or so.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

I made my first omelet




I had never made an actual omelet before, and decided to make one tonight.

Pictured above is the Lodge Chef Skillet.

It's similar to the Lodge Pro Logic skillet with sloped sides, but this one is wider and more shallow, and most conducive to making omelets.

Have all your ingredients prepared before you start. I used finely chopped ham and shredded cheese.

Break 3 eggs in a bowl, add 2 tbsp milk and black pepper, and whisk.

Heat butter in the chef skillet. When butter is melted, pour in the egg mixture.

Do not stir! Wait for the eggs to cook on the edge, then lift the edges and let the uncooked egg flow underneath.

When eggs are done, put your filling onto half the omelet and fold over. Cook for a couple more minutes.

As for what to put in your omelet... anything you want. I like ham and cheese.

Thoughts on rigging up a cast iron grill

I got an idea in the middle of the night, that unfortunately won't pan out as I'd hoped.

Pictured above is the dome lid for my ultimate turkey roaster, which doubles as a pot, as well as the bottom rack.

I was hoping to be able to use the rack and pot, as a makeshift charcoal grill. But as you can see, it's too small to fit on top.

The rack would fit on top of my 5 quart pot, but there would be very little cooking area, and hot charcoal would warp the seasoning.

I don't use this dome lid as a pot for cooking. It's too large for my stove, and I don't have a lid that fits*.

*I have since obtained a Lodge 13 inch lid, which doesn't fit perfectly, but it does fit.

But I'd really like to find more uses for it, than just a dome lid for my roaster.

The Lodge Sportsman's grill costs $100. Since the Sportsman's grill is, essentially, a large cast iron pot, with a cast iron rack on top, I could have saved some $$ if my idea would have worked.

Lodge does sell a cast iron grill grate, that's 15 x 11 inches. According to my measurements, that would work. It costs $40.

If you don't already have a large pot that you don't intend to cook in, and would have to buy one anyway, you might as well just get the grill.

I haven't decided yet, if I'm going to do it the cheap way (use this pot with a grill grate), or just bite the bullet and get the grill.

Someone made a very valid point, though: The grill is thicker than the average cast iron pot, for the purpose of lighting coals without cracking.

I'm not sure I want to risk cracking my pot!



Saturday, September 25, 2010

Braised Oxtail, that WAS oxtail

The cookbook Cast Iron Cuisine: From Breakfast to Dessert has a recipe for Braised Oxtail.

In an earlier post, I wrote about how I followed that recipe using chuck roast instead of oxtails.

Then I was told that, because oxtails contain collagen, they taste radically different.

So I decided to try the recipe using oxtails. And I have to say, it's not like anything I've tried before.

One package will only yield enough meat for one person; Oxtails are mostly bone and cartilage. The meat part is good, though.

Here's the recipe, which I modified slightly:

Remove excess fat from the oxtails, season with salt and pepper (I added onion powder and garlic powder) and age in the fridge for 3 to 5 days.

Brown the tails in butter in a cast iron skillet. Then transfer the tails to a cast iron pot.

Deglaze with skillet with red wine. Pour the liquid into the pot.

Pour in some beef stock. I added minced garlic.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, simmer on the stove. Or transfer to the oven at 325.

Slow cook until done. Check periodically and add liquid if needed.

Remove the tails from the liquid, transfer liquid to a container and place in the refrigerator. Remove the fat cap that forms.

Then put it all back together, add some chopped fresh cilantro, and reheat in the oven. I added some wondra flour to thicken the liquid.

The first time I made this recipe, I used chuck roast cut into cubes and served over rice. And it was awfully good beef tips over rice!

Since oxtail is mostly bone, you'll have some good bones to give the dog.


Tomato soup, potato soup, clam chowder

Here's how I make three different soups:

First melt 2 tbsp butter in a cast iron skillet. Whisk in 2 tbsp flour. Then add 2 cups of milk; Add more flour if you want to thicken.

You now have a basic white sauce which can be flavored into a wide variety of gravies.

You also have a base for making tomato soup, potato soup, or clam chowder.

First the tomato soup:

Take a can of whole tomatoes* and cut them up in a bowl. Pour the cut up tomatoes with the juice in the skillet. Add more flour to thicken.

*Or you can peel and cook down your own tomatoes, if you have the time and motivation.

Add onion powder and garlic powder. You now have a great tomato gravy to pour over biscuits.

But we're making tomato soup, so transfer this gravy to a cast iron pot. Add milk* until it's like a soup. Simmer until done.

*I prefer a combination of milk and cream.

Add chopped fresh basil while simmering if you like, or dried basil and oregano.

For potato soup OR clam chowder, cut up potatoes and boil them in a cast iron pot until soft. Drain.

Cook down some chopped onions or leeks in a skillet, and add to the potatoes.

Then add your base, and some milk or milk/cream. Add fresh cilantro if you have it.

Add onion powder, garlic powder and black pepper.

For potato soup, add chopped ham.

For clam chowder, add clams. If they're canned clams, drain the oil from the can before adding.

For that matter, you can add any seafood you want, and call it seafood chowder.

Then add some whole kernel corn; Now it's seafood and corn chowder.

Simmer until done.

For the clam/seafood chowder, you can combine milk and seafood stock, or clam juice.

You can also add old bay seasoning, cajun seasonings, or liquid crab boil.

Add Hormel real bacon bits to any of the above soups, for extra flavor.



mexican queso sauce

Don't you love the white cheese sauce they serve in mexican restaurants?

Here's a couple of ways to make your own:

1. Grate some monterey jack cheese. Heat up a small cast iron skillet. Add the grated cheese, and a little milk. Add more milk if you want thinner sauce, less for thicker. Sprinkle on some dried cilantro.

2. Same as #1 except use queso fresco.

3. Same as #1 except use white American cheese.

All of the above are great with tortilla chips! You can enjoy right from the skillet to keep it hot.

Thinking of rigging my own camp oven

***Here's an "after the fact" update: Now that I've tried out this setup a couple of times, I conclude that the "right tool for the job", which is an actual camp oven, makes the process a lot easier. So, I don't recommend doing this; Buy a camp oven.***

This is the Lodge camp oven lid stand. It's meant to be used as a place to put your camp oven lid, to keep it out of the dirt.

It's also used to invert your flat lid to use over coals as a griddle.

What I want to know is, is it sturdy enough to safely place a cast iron pot over coals? What size pot?

See, I don't own an outdoor camp oven, but would really like to learn the skill of cooking over coals. And the only way to learn, is by experience.

But my thought was, instead of buying a camp oven, why not use the pots I already have?

I just need something to set them on over the coals, since they don't have legs.

According to customer reviews, this lid stand can indeed be used to safely hold a pot over coals.

But that only solves the first problem.

Camp oven lids are flat, in order to keep coals on top. How do I keep coals from falling off the dome lid?

I've received several suggestions; My favorite is to buy a custom length heavy chain from a hardware store, and link it together at the ends to form a "ring" which will keep the hot coals on the lid.

My first idea was to use a skillet as a lid, but a skillet might not form a tight enough seal, which is essential for camp oven cooking.

The Lodge 12 inch camp oven lid does NOT fit on the 7 qt dutch oven.

If I can indeed get this to work, then I will have a few outdoor camp ovens, for almost FREE.

I would not be able to do "stack cooking" this way, in which you stack camp ovens on top of each other. But it's still a great start.

I would still need a cooking table, so as not to burn up the grass or pavement; The most economical choice is cinder blocks with patio stones on top.

And a lid lifter; I thought about just using a hammer, but a lid lifter is designed to keep the lid from wobbling, which is important if you don't want ashes in your food.

And of course, tongs for the coals, and welding gloves for my hands.

A charcoal chimney starter can be made with a large coffee can.

Mind you, I already have a propane burner for outdoor cooking. I'm rigging this up because I want to learn how to cook with coals.

***UPDATE: My lid stand came in today, and it does hold my 7 quart pot, with very minimal wobble.

However, I found this trivet which is said to be much more sturdy, and ordered one.

I can still use the lid stand, though, for its intended purpose-- keeping my lid out of the dirt.

***UPDATE part 2: My lid lifter came in, and I discovered it works fine for the regular pot lids, but NOT for the pro logic lids, due to the indentation under the handle.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Restaurant pad thai is best, BUT...

Pad Thai is my favorite dish at Thai restaurants. One day, I decided to make my own.

Boil rice noodles in water until they're tender.

Heat olive oil in a cast iron wok and scramble 2 eggs. Remove the eggs until later.

Add shrimp to the wok and cook until pink.

Add the boiled noodles and pad thai sauce, which is in the Asian section at the grocery store.

Stir fry for a few minutes until everything is mixed.

Add bean sprouts and the scrambled egg. Stir fry some more.

A friend suggested also using tofu, but I didn't have any this time.

Then add peanuts.

I was happy with how it turned out. If you don't have a wok, a cast iron skillet will do.

Now, what they serve at Thai restaurants is best, BUT this was pretty good!

If your new cast iron is not pre-seasoned

If you buy new cast iron that's not pre-seasoned, it will have a wax coating that needs to come off before you can season it.

The first time I bought this kind of pot, I thought I had been sold a pot that someone used and returned, without cleaning it.

The easiest way to get it off, is to burn it off. Otherwise, you'll be scrubbing for a long time.

You could do it in your oven, but it will smoke up the house. I do it on my BBQ grill outside.

Just let it heat up. Soon it will start to smoke; That means the wax is burning off.

When it's finished smoking, the wax has all burned off and you can turn off the heat. Then let it cool.

Apparently the wax is food grade, so if it doesn't all come off, it won't hurt you.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

slightly modified Noble Short Ribs of Beef

This recipe is modified from Cast Iron Cuisine: From Breakfast to Dessert.

This recipe is actually the same as for the Noble Pot Roast, which I tried already, and it's awfully good roast. I decided to try it for the beef short ribs.

The main secret is aged meat, so buy some short ribs nearing their "sell by" date.

Season with salt and pepper (I added onion powder and garlic powder as well), leave in the refrigerator for 5 days, turning once a day.

When you're ready to cook, dust lightly with flour.

The recipe calls for melting some beef fat in a cast iron pot; I used butter. Brown the ribs in the fat or butter, and remove.

Deglaze the pot with red wine, put the ribs back in, and add homemade beef stock.

If you don't have homemade beef stock, store bought will do, but it won't be the same. My suggestion would be to add some "better than bouillon" beef base to the store bought stock.

Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce heat and transfer to the oven to slow cook at 300.

To make this a lot less bad for you: After the ribs are done, remove them from the pot, transfer the liquid to a container, and refrigerate.

I was going to skip this step because the liquid didn't appear greasy. I was shocked to find that the fat cap was two inches thick.

Remove the fat cap that has formed. Return the liquid to the pot and cook on the stove to reduce. I like to add Wondra flour to thicken.

While refrigerating the liquid, you can keep the ribs in the oven so they don't get cold. But if they do, just reheat in the oven on low heat.

I've never made short ribs before. These were very good, but also very rich and I could only eat one.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The New "Lost Skillet"



If you're not a collector, this article will bore you.

I wrote a previous article about the Lodge 13 1/4 inch skillet, which I called "the lost skillet" because it was the only size I still did not have.

I finally bit the bullet and got one. It's the one pictured on the left.

The one on the right is the Lodge 12 inch skillet.

Decades ago, cast iron skillets were not sold by diameter, but by size number.

So the 13 1/4 inch skillet was called a #12, while the 12 inch was a #10.

The #11 skillet was approximately 12 1/2 inches. Those are no longer made.

A 1950's Lodge catalog did not include a #11, so they haven't been made in a while.

Due to the size of my stove burners, 12 inches is the maximum size I would use on my stovetop*. Anything larger than that is for oven or outdoor use.

*At the time, I had an electric stove. Gas stoves can handle larger skillets.

So I'm torn over whether or not I should hunt for a #11.

I absolutely don't need one, that's for sure.

Anything that could possibly be cooked in a #11, can be cooked in either of the two skillets pictured.

Eventually. For now, it shall remain the Lost Skillet.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

why not the microwave?

Why do I reheat my leftovers in the oven, on cast iron, instead of in the microwave?

Every time I use the microwave to save time, I'm reminded why.

Food spatters or spills in the microwave, leaving me a mess to clean.

It's too done in some places, still cold in other places.

Cast iron makes crispy foods good as new. Cheese melts properly.

I usually use a griddle in the oven, but liquids can be heated in a small pot on the stove.

Yes, it takes more time, but you don't have to stand there and watch it.

Just use low heat, and go do other things.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

modified version of Savory Tender Goat

This recipe is modified from Cast Iron Cuisine: From Breakfast to Dessert.

It calls for either goat, venison, or any other tough meat. I had some leftover lamb.

Cut the meat into cubes, and season with salt and pepper. I added onion powder and garlic powder.

In a cast iron skillet, heat a little oil and brown the meat. When it's browned, transfer to a cast iron pot.

In the same skillet, brown garlic cloves and chopped onion. Then transfer to the pot.

The recipe also calls for green pepper and sun dried tomatoes; I loathe green peppers, and didn't have sun dried tomatoes*, so I left them out.

*I've since learned that sun dried tomatoes are an essential ingredient for this recipe.

Deglaze the skillet with water, wine, or broth; I used chicken broth because that's what I had in the fridge. Pour the liquid in the pot.

Add peppercorns, bay leaf, and enough liquid (water, wine, or broth) to cover halfway.

Bring to boil, reduce heat, cover, simmer on low for a couple of hours until tender.

Strain the liquid into a separate container and skim off the fat.* Then cook on the stove until it's reduced. I added wondra flour to thicken.

*This is served over baby lima beans, so have some dried baby lima beans cooked in a crock pot ahead of time. You can add some of the bean water to the above liquid, for flavor.

The recipe said to remove the veggies (onions, garlic, etc) before serving, but I left them in.

I served with rice as well as the beans, because I'm from Louisiana and we eat stuff with rice.

I'm sure the sun dried tomatoes would have made a difference in the overall taste, but it was still good.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

recipe for Linda's Deer Liver

In the cookbook "Cast Iron Cuisine: From Breakfast to Dessert", there's a recipe called Linda's Deer Liver, which calls for freshly harvested deer liver.

Since I don't hunt, nor am I close to anybody who does, I don't foresee having access to freshly harvested deer liver in the next 40 years.

So I used calf liver for this recipe.

Salt and pepper the liver. I added onion powder and garlic powder. Dredge the liver in flour.*

*I have since learned that, for liver, salt and pepper only is best. And dust lightly with flour; Do not dredge.

Heat butter in a cast iron skillet until sizzling.

Saute the floured liver in the butter, turning regularly*, until done. Don't overcook.

*I have since learned that liver should be turned only once; About 1 minute each side.

In a separate skillet, saute some onion slices in butter and serve over the liver.

This was, basically, good old fashioned liver and onions. But if it had been freshly harvested deer liver, it would have been Linda's Deer Liver!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

modified Smoke alarm steak (or chops)

This recipe is modified from "Cast Iron Cuisine: From Breakfast to Dessert."

It's called "smoke alarm steak or chops", and it can be for beef steak or lamb chops.

Take your steak or chops, and age in the fridge for 3 to 5 days. Aged meat is "the secret" for many recipes in this book.

Season with black pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder.

Onion powder and garlic powder is "the dynamic duo" and that goes in almost everything I cook.

Preheat your skillet on high heat. Throw in some salt and pepper.

When the skillet smokes, put your steak in, and cook. The book said 2 minutes each side, but I like mine rare so I did one minute each side.

Remove meat, reduce heat, deglaze the skillet with homemade beef stock, or red wine, or both.

Add 1 tbsp butter and let it melt. Whisk in some wondra flour to thicken.

Pour gravy over the steaks.

If you'd like, saute some onions in butter to serve with the steak. But it was just as delicious without the onions.

Cast iron plett pan, part 2

A plett pan is a griddle with circle indentations, for making silver dollar pancakes.

When I first posted about the cast iron plett pan, I said that it must be awkward to flip the pancakes in their individual indentations.

Today I actually used one to make silver dollar pancakes.

Pictured above is a serving spatula, which is what I used to flip them.

A regular spatula would have been too big, and a pie server didn't work well at all.

Since I was out of bisquick, I used my recipe for scratch pancakes: 2 cups self rising flour*, 1 tbsp sugar, 1 egg, 4 tbsp melted butter**, 2 cups milk.

*Self rising flour, OR 2 cups all purpose, 3 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp salt.

**I wonder how pancakes would taste with olive oil instead of butter?

A plett pan is meant to make swedish pancakes or russian pancakes, but what I made was good old American pancakes.

I used a measuring tablespoon, and found that each circle took 2 tbsp of batter.

They cook quickly, so by the time all of your circles are filled, the first one will be about ready to flip.

It took a little practice, but wasn't as hard as it seemed.

What else can you do with a plett pan? Bake biscuits, use as a grill pan, reheat leftovers. Scramble eggs and cook them in the molds for breakfast sandwiches.

Here's a plett recipe I found: 2 eggs, 3 cups milk, 1 tbsp sugar, 1 tsp salt, 1 1/2 cups flour.

Apparently, pletts are thinner than American pancakes.

Here's 3 more authentic recipes:

3 eggs, 2 cups milk, 3/4 cups flour, 3 tbsp sugar, 3 tbsp melted butter

OR

6 eggs, 1 1/4 cups flour, 1 tsp salt, 1 qt milk

OR

1/4 cup cream, 1/2 cup milk, 1 egg, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/2 cup sifted flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tbsp sugar, 2 tbsp melted butter

Second recipe created by me: Lettuce free salad

This was the second recipe created by me, not cooked in cast iron, because it's not "cooked" at all.

Of course you can mix the ingredients in a cast iron skillet if you want to, and even serve it in cast iron.

I'm not a fan of lettuce. It doesn't do anything for me. It's rabbit food.

So I am frequently asked, "How do you eat salad without lettuce?"

Simple, you make a "lettuce free salad".

Ingredients include, but are not limited to: tomatoes, cucumbers, mushrooms, shredded cabbage, fresh spinach, sliced hard boiled eggs, bacon bits, croutons, shredded cheese.

Feel free to omit any of the above, or add anything you want except lettuce.

This can be made at any salad bar.