Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Woohoo! A Cast Iron Skillet

Ok, so for some reason I’ve been having this almost primordial, iron-age craving to cook in a cast iron skillet. I’m not sure from whence this feeling derives.

I started researching and decided I wanted to jump right in with a pre-seasoned variety. I decided to go with the Lodge brand, which speaks of itself as “America’s Cast Iron.” That sounds strong, eh? I did some more research and learned that this skillet was sold by various vendors, including hardware stores. I really was excited about buying a cast iron pan at a hardware store. I felt like that would add this extra sort of ‘Iron Age’ dynamic to the experience. So, yesterday, I went to Ace Hardware after work and purchased it.

I followed my trip to the hardware store with a trip to the grocery store, to buy crackers. The bag felt heavy as I carried it around with me. I think it just added to the experience.

Today I used the pan for the first time, after following the cleaning instructions on the Lodge website. I made salmon with a miso sauce. It came out great. The sauce was made with red miso, sucanat, soy sauce, Asian cooking oil (pre-flavored), and scallions.

After searing the salmon for a few minutes, I flipped it and popped the entire pan into the oven to finish the process. There was something almost decadent about using the same pan for the stovetop and oven. I had never done this before. My stainless steel pans with non-stainless steel handles have not allowed this.

Here are some of the benefits of cast-iron, from what I’ve heard:
1. Even cooking.
2. Some iron goes into your food, good if you may need some more iron in your diet.
3. Can be nearly non-stick.

It’s important to follow the special care instructions, though – it needs to be treated differently than other types of cookware.

Have you used cast iron?

Mung Bean Mania

I recently defrosted a big batch of leftover mung beans and am now searching for ways to use them.

Today I whipped up a quick ‘sweet bean’ dish of mung beans simmered with sucanat & sliced ginger. (I had added extra water to the pan as well.) I had found a similar recipe online, which inspired this, but the online version called for a lot more sugar than I was willing to use in an entree dish.

These sweet gingered beans went well with the semi-homemade cornbread (it was from a mix).

This photo makes it look like there were barely any beans/bread on the dish. That’s due to the perspective of the photo, wherein the greens have apparent dominance. In real life, it looked less like greens 80% – other food – 20% and more like greens 60% – other food – 40%. This is a good example of why we can’t always trust photographs to tell the full story.

Back to the beans: do you by chance have a recipe or way for me to use up the rest of these mung beans?

New Year’s Day & Today

In my New Year’s Day menu planning, I tried to incorporate some “lucky” foods for the new year.

I had read that leafy green foods were supposed to encourage a prosperous year; after all, they’re thin and green, very much like $.

Enter this salad.

These kale chips were tasty; although next time I’ll be sure to use less EVOO and salt in their preparation. (The paprika and Spike seasoning were nice touches, though.)

This white acorn squash (it’s actually more yellow than white) was filled with a lentil/carrot/celery mixture. Lentils are supposed to be another lucky New Year’s food.

Today, I took advantage of the sunny day to let the light shine in as I ate my breakfast.

I made these poached eggs by boiling water + a splash of ac vinegar. The eggs formed themselves together into these little packages. I have used this method of making poached eggs quite a few times. Sometimes it works better than others. Today it worked well.