Cast Iron Cooking Kickss A** : Featuring Two “Paleo Comfort Foods” Recipes And More!!!

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COOKING WITH CAST IRON

Cast iron is used in cookware because it has great heat retention and distribution. Cast iron is great for searing 0r frying,and its a great option for long-cooking stews or braised dishes. Cast iron will develop a “non-stick” surface when seasoned properly and they are great when out camping because it can be placed directly on coals without damage. Eggs scrambled in bacon fat over an open fire you can’t go wrong on that!

            

Bare cast-iron vessels have been used for cooking for hundreds of years.[1] Before the introduction of the kitchen stove in the middle of the 19th century, meals were cooked in the hearth or fireplace, and cooking pots and pans were designed for use in the hearth and had to be able to cook food while withstanding the uneven heating of sitting on embers. while Cast iron can withstand the high heat of sitting on direct flames (unlike earthen cookware) it is a reactive metal and with high acidic foods such as tomatoes it will chemically react to the food. For people with iron diffeciancies this can be a good thing as the cast iron will actually leech small amounts of iron into your food. A commonly used cast iron pot called a Dutch oven is used for making hearty stews or casserols. It had a handle and three legs used to stand up in the coals and ashes of the fire and a slightly concave, rimmed lid so you can put coal above the food as well as below for a more even heating. Cast iron Skillets have been around for centuries, and because of the heat distrabution they will fry or sautee foods more evenly for a thinner given pan then other types of cookware.

SEASONING

One of the reasons why I love cast iron cookware is because with a little care, they can last an eternity, my grandmother owns a set of cast iron cookware that she inherited from her mom (they have been used almost daily for almost 100 years! ) and her secret for keeping them from rusting is by coating them every couple of weeks or so with bacon fat or lard. This ensures extra seasoning, better non-stick and a longer pan life.

CLEANING

Rinse your cast iron with hot water and wipe the excess of water and any traces of food with a paper towel. Never place in the dishwasher or wash with soap because it will take away the seasoning and the non-stick properties. After cleaning, apply a very thin layer of fat (lard or olive oil) and put away. If sticking is a problem in your cast iron it is likely not thouroughly seasoned.

Note: Remember, standard cast iron cookware needs to be seasoned regularly in order to be used properly, avoid rustines and a sticking surface.

 

COOKING WITH ENAMELED CAST IRON: HASSLE FREE!!

Enameled cast iron is the new revolutionary way (from the 1930’s…)of turning conventional cast iron pans in modern, chich and versatile piece for cooking. Unlike the conventional version, enameled performs as well with modern requirements for food preparation and cooking, is dishwasher friendly (awesomeness) and requires no seasoning (even more awesomeness) take a look. Whether you choose to stir-fry, slow-cook a casserole, sear a steak or bake LE CREUSET a well known brand of enameled cast iron cookware comes in all different shapes,sizes and colors.

The very talented cooks and authors of the newly recipe book “Paleo Comfort Foods” (which you can purchase here) have been recently blogging about how precious and paleo friendly it is to cook with them.

Here are just a few advantages from the couple’s own perspective about owning and cooking with LE CREUSET, in fact, they have been giving away some pretty fun stuff including a beautiful Le Creuset dutch oven and currently this week a lovely Le Creuset cherry cast iron square grill pan (value $125.00) WOW hurry and enter for a chance of winning it here.

 

This is what the couple is buzzing “about them”:

2.) You are the swiss army knife of cookware pieces. You function in the oven, on the stove, in the refrigerator, in the freezer, and do it all so well. I can braise a pot roast in you for 3, 4, sometimes even 5 hours, at a relatively low heat, come home knowing that you’ve done your job and done it well.

3.) You come with a lifetime warranty. They say that nothing in life is guaranteed, except you of course, and that’s just plain awesome.

If you’d like to read the original article from their blog check it out: “Why I love Le Creuset”

 

Cost- while some high-end cast iron can run a little high in price (although I’ve never heard of anyone having to replace them!) you can go to your local goodwill or Army Surpluss and usally find a very decent skillet or pot for below $20.00. I bought 1 of my skillets for $15.00 at a surpluss store, and was given a skillet and a pot by people looking to get ride of their “old” and “heavy” junk! so ask around even paying twice what I paid would be a steal for such a versitale peice of a well run kitchen.

SOME EASY AND YUMMY RECIPES

The first two recipes belong to Julie and Charles Mayfield (authors of the book) and they have already been featured at the Paleo Comfort Foods website, but today we have them exclusively for you in the English and the Spanish version for you to enjoy. I’ve recently tried their Pan Fried Mackerel and all I can say: ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS

Thank you guys for sharing this with us : D

The third  recipe is mine. The third is a simple helpful way to turn Pork fat (which you can buy fresh at your local market or store for very cheap. Just ask for the trimmings and scrapes off their pork roasts.) into lard using your cast iron pot at home. It requires no cooking skills and you get 2 things for the price of one, the lard and the porkrinds/chittlins.

And the fourth is AN EXTRA  from one of the best Certified Nutrition Consultant  in the Paleo Community Diane Sanfilippofrom Balanced Bites ,sharing with us a super easy and delicious guacamole recipe that I’ve personally tried and goes wonderfully as a dip for our homemade porkrinds (recipe below).

Enjoy! and don’t forget to click on the link at the bottom of the page to read this entire article in Spanish

Pan Fried Mackerel with Sautéed Cabbage

(Paleo Comfort Foods)

Ingredients

–Mackerel–
6-8 mackerel fillets (cut in halves)
1/2 cup almond flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
1 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. mustard powder
1 large egg (whisked in small bowl)
3 tbs. goat milk butter (you can use coconut/olive oil if you want)

–Cabbage–

1 tbs. coconut oil
6 cloves garlic (minced)
1 head green cabbage (sliced into thin strips)
1 1/2 cups broccoli florets
1 cup chicken broth

It just doesn’t get any better than fresh caught fish!

Directions

–Mackerel–
1. Preheat oven to 350F
2. Combine flours, pepper, salt and mustard well and place on empty plate
3. Heat butter in medium non-stick frying pan (medium heat)
4. Dip fillet side of fish in egg and dredge with flour mix (don’t put any on the skin side)
5. Place fillets in skillet (flour side down) and pan fry for about 90-120 seconds
6. Remove with slotted spatula and place skin side down on coated sheet pan
7. Repeat this process until all the fillets are fried and on sheet pan.
8. Place in oven for 7-10 minutes, remove and serve

–Cabbage–
1. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat
2. Saute garlic for 30-45 seconds
3. Add cabbage and saute for 2-3 minutes
4. Add broccoli florets and saute for 2-3 minutes more.
5. Pour over chicken stock and allow to simmer for 5-7 minutes (or until broccoli is cooked to your desired tenderness)

Lemon Garlic Shrimp

(Paleo Comfort Foods)

This recipe is fast, easy and super tasty. It also represents the inaugural Paleo Comfort Foods Video. Let us know what you think.

Ingredients

4 tsp. olive oil (separated)

Ingredients ready to go

2 red peppers, sliced into 1″ strips

2 pounds asparagus cut into 1″ lengths

2 tsp. lemon zest

5 cloves garlic, minced

1 pound raw shrimp, peeled and de-veined

1 cup chicken stock

2 T lemon juice

2 T freshly chopped Italian (flat leaf) parsley

1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes

salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions:

1. Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Add peppers, asparagus and lemon zest and cook until asparagus begins to soften (about 6-8 minutes).

2. Remove vegetables to a bowl and set aside, keeping warm.

3. Add remaining olive oil back to skillet and heat over medium heat. Add garlic and saute until fragrant (about 30 seconds)

4. Add shrimp, stir, and cook, for about 2-3 minutes. Pour in broth and continue cooking for another 2-3 minutes until shrimp are pink and cooked through.

5. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice and parsley. Pour shrimp and sauce over vegetables and serve.

 

 

LARD AND HOMEMADE PORK RINDS

INGREDIENTS:

4 pounds of pork fat, fresh or trimmings from roasts (which you can order at your local store like PCC or Whole Foods) Always shoot for Grass-fed!

Deep cast iron skillet

 

DIRECTIONS:

Place the fat trimmings inside the cast iron (cut in cubes for best results, this way the trimmings will shrink faster)

Cook in the oven at 3oo degrees until you see the chuncks crispy and sunked in fat liquid. Slow cooking  the lard will give you a cleaner taste of the lard. For this, place the cast iron over night at 200 degrees and check in the morning.

Strain out the pork rinds/chitlins and pour the liquid fat in a glass container. WARNING! let the lard cool down before transfering it to the glass container or it might shatter the glass if it’s too thin or cold.

Store in fridge for maximum freshness.

Place the pork rinds back in the cast iron pot and turn up the oven to 350 degrees (if you cooked the fat at 250) for 10-20 min or until they are extra crispy.

Let them cool down and sprinkle some salt and lime. Dip in some delicious Super-Fast 4 Ingredient Guacamole (recipe below).

The pork rinds are a great alternative for chips and an energy booster fatty- delicious snack. Kids love them!

         

Store in fridge for maximum freshness.

 

Super-Fast 4 Ingredient Guacamole (Balanced Bites)

(Use all organic ingredients when possible)
Ingredients
1 Avocado, mashed or cubed – whatever you prefer
1 Tbsp Shallot, finely diced
Fresh Cilantro, finely diced (roughly 1 Tbsp to taste)
1/2 Lime- Juice (more if you like)
Celtic/Sea Salt (Redmond’s Real Salt is my favorite!), to taste
Black Pepper

Mix it all together and serve over chicken, fish, beef or pork!

 

 VIEW THIS ARTICLE IN SPANISH

 

 

 

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  1. Adrian Lazo
    August 25, 2011 at 8:39 am

    Worth mentioning that if you’re going the regular cast-iron route, the old Griswold & Wagner skillets have a much smoother cooking surface than the stuff that Lodge produces today. This results in a lot less sticking, making it more of a viable alternative to Teflon, etc. They haven’t made them since ~60s, but you can get them for $20-$30 on eBay or cheaper at thrift stores, estate sales, etc. Well worth the extra trouble to hunt one down in my opinion.

    Also, cracklins, not chitlins, unless you’re cooking the intestines:)

    • Chelo
      August 25, 2011 at 10:39 am

      I was looking all over for the word cracklin to be clarified… we usually use chitlins where I’m from : ))).. good to know thanks!!

  2. becky yo
    August 25, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    Black Iron Dude is an excellent blog with lots of tips on seasoning your cast iron pans, fixing rusty pans etc and some delicious looking (non-paleo and paleo) food pics.

  3. seth
    August 25, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    regarding washing cast iron skillets….it is my understanding that it was always advised to avoid washing cast iron with soap way back in the day when soap contained lye. I don’t know that I have ever even seen soap containing lye.

    • Chelo
      August 26, 2011 at 9:42 am

      many organic or craft soup still use lye (watch the movie “fight club”) for detailed instructions of lye made soup…. as the bases because is the most common naturally occurring grease cutter. A lot of current doesn’t have lye but it has a modern chemical equivalent.

  4. Marissa
    August 26, 2011 at 6:48 am

    I always learned that you aren’t suppose to deep fry in cast iron because the iron will oxidize the oil = super delicious free radicals. Have I been misinformed?

    • Chelo
      August 26, 2011 at 9:46 am

      I’ve never had a problem making lard or deep frying in a cast iron. The problem with oxidation of the cast iron comes after you wash your pan because it turns very greasy and people wash away the excess of grease more than they should, to a point where you get rid off the seasoning needed.

  5. Graham
    September 2, 2011 at 5:38 am

    Great article, as always.

    So, it is with regret that I offer a spelling correction.

    In the first “yellow box” at the top of the article,
    it reads “distrabution” instead of distribution.

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