Cast Iron Skillet Love

Today is the big day! (Unless something unforeseen has occurred, we are getting our things out of storage.) Among the things I miss the most are my Pampered Chef utensils, my stones of various sizes, and my bed. Among the things I don’t miss are my excess boxes of storage (clothes, ski gear… for real… we’re in the kiln also known as the sun…, and, well, actually, I don’t remember what all those boxes have in them).

In the meantime I’ve been so thankful that new friends in Texas have loaned me things to get by. We also brought some things with us, things we knew we’d need once we got here. Shower curtain rings, a laundry basket, and a few things the movers couldn’t pack…

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If you have the bright idea to bring your Yankee Candles with you as you drive across the states in June, be sure you pack it in a suit case that will go inside with you every night, or, at the very least, be sure it’s standing upright so that when it melts it does so in the base of the jar.

There is one item I have really really enjoyed learning how to use.

Let me back up a bit… the day we left South Carolina we drove through Tennessee and we saw a sign for the world’s largest knife store. My guys were all over that and asked to stop. Since that didn’t really appeal to me I went next door to the Lodge Cast Iron store. After doing some major research (shopping) I decided on one of the slightly-damaged-but-won’t-affect-cooking 12-inch deep skillet.

I’m. In. Love.

In the following picture I had cooked the meat in the skillet, and then placed it in the oven to stay warm while the potatoes finished baking.

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I’ve used it for dozens of meals but the boys’ favorite treat was the homemade tortilla chips.

I purchased a lot of tortillas from Bountiful Baskets and decided to make my own chips. They were so good!

First, I cut each round into fourths.

20130708-074319.jpg I heated the oil to the right temperature (this takes some tweaking the first time, but I took a picture of the setting so that the next time I made it I didn’t have to waste time getting the temperature right).

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In this skillet, at this temperature, on on this stove, the perfect length of time for them to cook is 2:15 per batch. When we get to our new house, I’m sure I’ll have to adjust some of this. (One trick I learned the second time I made them was to keep the oil deep enough that the chips don’t rest on the bottom of the skillet. If they do rest there, they darken a little too much.)20130708-074343.jpg I set the cooked chips on a paper towel to absorb the excess oil, salted them, and then served them. The boys ate them as fast as I could get them cooled! 20130708-074350.jpg

The cast iron skillet is likely going to become one of my favorite kitchen tools. I wish I had had one all these years!

About Jennifer

"Yes, they're all mine." The answer to the question I hear most often.
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2 Responses to Cast Iron Skillet Love

  1. Ellen says:

    I’d love to get some links to recipes that you start on the stovetop and finish in the oven. I just bought an ovenproof nonstick skillet to make frittata, and I want to get on a roll with other one skillet meals. 🙂 (I don’t like cast iron. Keeping it greased and not washing it aren’t my cup of tea. BUT, I really want something oven proof, so I’m excited about my new pan. 🙂

  2. Monica says:

    Cast iron is GREAT! I’ve had one for YEARS! Potatoes and onions come out the best in an iron skillet. Pork chops brown nicely, as well as a pork roast. I DO wash mine in hot water (no soap) and dry it on the stove. I use a plastic (Pampered Chef) scraper if I need to. I pour a dab of olive oil in the pan and rub it in with a paper towel or napkin. It’s good to go for the next use. My grandfather had one and cleaned it with a sprinkle of sea salt and a cloth.

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