November 2021 Challenge: Cast Iron

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That's right folks. A different sort of theme, based on equipment. We do ingredients, we do techniques, we do locations. Now we are doing cast iron, in various forms. You can make anything you want, as long as the primary cooking vessel is cast iron. It could be fried chicken done is a skillet full of Crisco. It could be a burger done on a griddle. Make a batch of black eye pea in an enameled dutch oven, served with jalapeno cheese cornbread from an 8 inch skillet. Or cook outside in a dutch oven over a bed of coals, or grill up some steaks on a cast iron grate on your grill. Maybe you have a cast iron wok, and you are in the mood for some beef and gai lan stirfry. Or your Thanksgiving fowl in a large enameled roaster.

The sky is the limit, Have fun!

The Rules:
The challenge begins on the 1st of every month. The last entry must be made by the last day of the month.
You may post multiple entries.
All entries must be cooked during the month of the challenge.
If you use a documented recipe, please cite your source.
Entries should include the name of your dish and a picture of the final product. Sharing personal recipes and pictures of the process are not mandatory but extremely helpful.
The winner is chosen by the person who posted the challenge, and is announced after the last day of submissions. The decision is final and falls entirely at the discretion of the challenger.
Submitting an entry makes you eligible to win. If you do not wish to be considered for the win you may still participate in the challenge, but make your wishes known to the challenger.
The winner’s bounty includes praise, virtual high-fives, and the responsibility of posting the next month’s challenge. That entails choosing a theme, posting a Challenge thread that includes the guidelines, checking in on the submissions regularly during the month, and promptly choosing a winner at the end of the challenge.

mjb.
 
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Wagner Bacon and Egg Breakfast Skillet

My wife's dearly departed father left this to us. There is no evidence that he ever used it but it now has heirloom status so we occasionally use it in his memory. This challenge brings it out once again!

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In Pop's memory.
 
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I covet that breakfast skillet! We have a square skillet and square pan, but have never seen one of those!

We cook in cast iron almost every day, this is a good challenge :)
 
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Steak porn starts at 3 minutes, with rubbing your meat down with oil, salt and garlic before hitting the scorching hit cast iron griddle...


PS: I always feel guilty when I use pre ground powdered black pepper instead of freshly ground black pepper.
But I prefer the texture.
 
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I wish I was doing a video of blackened shrimp one time. I had all the spices on the shrimp, butter melted, dry cast iron skillet on high heat. It was definitely heated up when I started cooking. The first butter drenched shrimp I put in it burst into flames!

It was a good batch.

mjb.
 
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Tonight was Aglio e Olio. Large chunks of garlic in EVOO in my cast iron skillet. I chose to use cast because it's a much gentler heat as I wanted the garlic to slow cook to a nice golden brown. As the pasta was about half way I added 16-20 Argentine shrimp to the pan the removed when done and in went the pasta, parsley, and some Pecorino Romano and pasta water. It got nice and creamy and the garlic was like candy.

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It's Friday. Or more specifically, Buck a Shuck Friday at whole paycheck foods. Maybe I'll see what they have and get a few. And get some nice shrimp. I could see slurping down a few oysters before doing another batch of blackened shrimp. And perhaps boil up some fingerling potatoes with garlic and rosemary, serve them with a "wee knob of butter" that's been melted.

And I'll try to just cook the shrimp this time, not set them on fire.

mjb.
 
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Wrote a whole post (with pictures) and then internet went dodgy and everything is gone.
Well, tomorrow is another day....

Then saw some of the attachments, wrote it again. Lost it again.
Now going to loose the attachments and really leave it for tomorrow!
 
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Short ribs on my Raichlen cast iron grill.
It comes with legs, but those are a bit short and in a box somewhere, so I used it on the bottom section of the Weber Smokey Mountain - baby size ;)

It first needed a bit of cleaning/seasoning
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And it comes with a cast iron handle to move the grid. Leaning against one of those essential braai accessories when it is 40 + oC outside (daytime high of 46-47)
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Short rib was seasoned with left over seasoning from the American challenge and put on the screaming hot grid
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I kept moving and turning it and it turned into an awesome piece of meat!
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And now for my previous problem entry:

Mostly fresh ingredients from the garden with previously cooked caramalised onions (from a pissalidiere cook up)
And looking at whatever I had and felt like. I had a craving for capers.
Assembled the lot for a picture, still not knowing if this was going to be a SE Asian dish or a meditterean one ;)
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It turned into a mediterean dish and it should be a classic as I got blown away with the results!
I sort of sweated/fried the bacon with a bit of olive oil in this enamelled cast iron pot
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While cooking the bacon, I couldn't resist a little home made cider
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Then added the onions, garlic, and chili, followed by yellow pepper and eggplant
Capers and an egg got added at last minute, with the caper brine and it all got tossed with green pasta IMG_20211103_180049.jpg
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phatch

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Is that a termite mound in the background of the beer bottle pic?
 
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Enchiladas con queso

Although I believe the very essence of an enchilada is the cheese, they are often filled with meat too. These are the most basic, rustic, home-style enchilada imaginable... made even more tasty by cooking on a cast iron plancha.

Ingredients - leftover maize tortillas, leftover cheese (any Mexican cheese will work but best if a "melting type" - in this case it is an Italian variant known as provolone) - and leftover salsa rojo (a basic red chile sauce). See the trend? This is what one does with right leftovers!

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Process - Dip tortilla in salsa. Fry first side on cast iron plancha to warm.

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Flip and add cheese, fry other side until done. Then fold like an enchilada: in half and then in half again like a flacid tube.

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Product - Cheese enchiladas with pico de gallo and crema.

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Contrast those with these, which are more of the typical Southern California restaurant style. These, not leftovers but the initial round and baked rather than fried, are filled with Oaxaca cheese and fire-roasted poblano chile. Served with refried beans.

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Very nice. It is a cold, rainy night here in Salt Lake, some basic, warm comfort food is what is needed. Enchiladas would be nice, but I plan to eat the leftover shrimp puttanesca from yesterday.

mjb.
 
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