I am no recent convert to the joys of cast iron cooking as the pans pictured above have traveled the world with me for 30+ years. However, I was reminded of the detriments of aluminum while reading Clean last week and want an alternative to parchment paper and the large “roasting” pans in my kitchen cabinets.
In terms of sustainability, reasonably priced cast iron lasts forever and, with a bit of care, provides a stick-free surface for life. Use kosher salt and water to clean and your “seasoned” pan will thank you.
When I was pregnant with Zach, my doctor was shocked that my iron levels kept getting better and better as I had a tendency towards anemia… of course the answer was cast iron cooking.
I am planning a family outing to the Lodge Factory in South Pittsburg, Tennessee and have been dreaming of designing my own pans. Imagine “Alabama Chanin for Lodge”… mmmm.
Any great recipes for cast iron that I need to try over the holidays? Please comment!
1/2 cup rendered bacon fat, butter, vegetable shortening, or vegetable oil (or a combination)
2 cups yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup buttermilk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Preheat oven to 450° F. Distribute bacon fat or other grease among 12 individual cups of a cornstick pan or put in a 9″ cast-iron skillet, and place in the hot oven to melt and heat up – about 5 minutes.
While the pan is heating, in a large bowl, mix cornmeal and flour with baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Slowly add buttermilk, and mix just to combine. When grease is hot, carefully remove it from oven and pour all but about 2 teaspoons of it into flour mixture. Stir the grease into batter, add egg , and stir to combine. Do not mix this too vigorously, or the bread will be tough.
Pour the mixture into the prepared hot pan, and place in the oven to bake until golden brown, with a crispy crust along the sides – about 25 minutes for cornbread and 15 minutes for corn sticks. Remove from oven, flip bread or corn sticks out onto a plate, and serve warm with butter.
Maggie loves these hot from the oven with melted butter and topped with honey and they are also great for making stuffing and dressing!