Tag Archives: cast iron

Sunday never tasted so good!

It’s been a while since we’ve had a proper Sunday supper… With snow on the ground and the perfect winter chill in the air, I thought something braised was the key!
Everything started by generously salting a bone-in pork butt and then browning it in some extra virgin. As soon as the pork was browned on all sides, I set it aside and in went sliced onions and celery until softened and fragrant. Once close to transparent, in went a good handful of minced garlic, bay leaves, fresh thyme, along with a big drink of Saba and homemade stock to let the pork swim in.
The lid to my cast iron pot went on and it was off to bake in the oven at 375 for two hours, which felt like days, as the scent of sweet, acidic goodness wafted throughout the entire.
To serve, slices of the pork were dazzled by the grape-like, onion syrup. Each bite was like cutting through butter and made it terribly difficult to not sop every morsel with some crusty bread! The few leftovers remaining are going to make a killer lunch sandwich tomorrow.

at a low simmer…
-R

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the cure for a deep freeze!

With a bleak and blustery day upon us, there was no question as to what to have for dinner. After raiding both the pantry and crisper a menagerie of elements were strewn across my island.
After a quick dice of two onions, a fine mincing of some garlic cloves and a rough chop of a carrot they were banished to my cast iron pot to begin to sweat down. While my veg was cooking away, some leftover ham was sliced up to join everyone in the pot, along with some luxurious organic split peas.
Once everything was thoroughly combined, some homemade chicken stock, water and salt was swirled in and the entire ‘soon to be’ soup was set to simmer away until thick and creamy!
As soon as the soup was ready, it was ladled lovingly into bowls, drizzled with some chili oil and topped with crispy noodles rather than croutons.
This meaty, slightly spicy and satisfying meal hit the spot and warmed us right up!

at a low simmer…
-R

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a raving roast!!

With the warmer weather quickly approaching, I decided it best to get my oven related cooking out of the way since soon enough I will be doing less of it…
So to satisfy this method, I thought a succulent roast beef served on top of creamy, garlicky yukon gold mash! This luxurious dish began with a heavy salt of the roast and a quick roll in some flour. A light spanking of my meat to remove the excess flour and it was into a searing hot cast iron pot with some olive oil to brown!
Once browned, my hunk of meat was set aside while I tossed in sliced onions and baby portobello mushrooms to sweat down and gather all of that salty, meaty flavor…
The meat was returned to the pot and was given a heavy drink of pinot noir, along with a quart of chicken stock, a bundle of thyme and two bay leaves… As soon as everything came to a boil, the lid was popped on and the pot shot into a 325 degree oven for a long nap [three hours to be precise]… The end result… a buttery, fork tender roast in a seductive sauce!
Who knows perhaps this will be made again during the summer months; it’s just that good!

at a low simmer…
-R

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it’s still a bit brisk[it] outside…

So for a weekly Sunday supper, the dish started with a beautiful beef brisket that I seasoned with salt and dusted lightly with flour. This hunk of meat went into my cast iron pot to get a beautiful crunchy crust!
Once the brisket was browned, I pulled it out and placed it to the side while two Spanish onions got their own workout in the same pot and sweated it out… as soon as the onions were ready to ‘hit the showers’, the brisket went back into the pot and joined them, along with a bottle of root beer and some homemade BBQ sauce.
With the brisket partially submerged, on went the lid and it was time for a long relaxation period until the meat was tender and fall-off-the-bone[less]!
The brisket was shredded up, tossed back into the pot and mixed with the onions and sauce…
To go along with our shredded brisket ‘burritos’, a side of arroz con crema! Such a simple rice dish to prepare, but the flavor is out of this world… you combine four-five cups of prepared rice, diced poblano peppers [I roast mine on the grill], panfried corn [grilled during the summer months] and one cup of heavy cream. This all is stirred until it starts to ‘thicken’, then in goes shredded monterey jack and cojita cheeses. Lastly chopped cilantro is quickly incorporated and it’s on to eating! [I tend to not add salt… I know I know, but the cheese I feel offers enough]…
Piled high into the center of a light tortilla, dolloped with a hefty helping of homemade coleslaw and then a final tight roll! It was time to bite into this fragrant and tangy ‘burrito’. The flavors burst in our mouths and the coleslaw balanced out the slight heaviness of the brisket; this was just a wonderful Sunday evening dining experience!

at a low simmer…
-R

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under the sea and onto our plates!

After a trip to the specialty food market this AM for some dinner inspiration, I happened upon the fish counter… While looking around at what were some real beauties, I noticed that there were gorgeous handmade lump crabmeat, crab cakes being prepared! I have always made crab cakes in the past, but they weren’t even making it into the casing [people were buying them like they were gold] so I knew they must be a hot commodity and a must try…
To cook these thick, circular lovelies, a touch of olive oil in a cast iron pan and into the oven until browned and golden on each side!
Once cooked, these gorgeous ‘coins’ were rested on top a bed of baby spinach that I sautéed with some rendered pancetta…
The crab cakes were incredibly light, but full of intense flavor! They were definitely the right choice… Now I grasp why those people were intent on getting their hands on them!

at a low simmer…
-R

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latke love…

So to join in on the holiday festivities of some friends, I decided to create a light meal of latkes and homemade applesauce.
The latkes were a combination of potatoes [grated in the food processor], salt, freshly ground pepper, eggs and flour. These needed to be seasoned appropriately to make sure they didn’t taste like cardboard. Everything was combined by hand and then spooned into a hot, non-stick pan with butter. Each latke was cooked until browned and then flipped until the other side was also browned. Total cooking time was roughly five minutes per side… Once browned, the latkes were placed into the oven on a low temp to keep warm.
For the applesauce, I used four Honeycrisp apples that I peeled and cored. Into a cast iron pot they went, along with four tablespoons of butter, 1/4 cup of brown sugar, a pinch of salt, some freshly squeezed lemon juice and orange juice, a secret spice [sorry can’t tell you that, but you can add some cinnamon] and a teaspoon of vanilla… The pot went into the oven covered for about an hour and a half until the apples were softened and could be easily mashed…
After everything was said and done, it was time to sit down and enjoy! This special meal was well received…

at a low simmer…
-R

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not your usual ‘pie’…

Tonight we took a trip across the pond… a hearty shepherds pie was on the menu!
A gorgeous, meaty boneless leg of lamb was cubed up, salted and dusted in some flour… Into a hot cast iron pot coated with olive oil went the lamb! Cooked until all sides were beautifully browned and then put to the side while some carrots, celery and leeks were tossed in to soften up. Once softened, in went some garlic, tomato paste and then a hefty bottle of Guinness to start up this party! After the beer reduced down, the lamb went back into the pot, along with some fresh herbage and homemade stock. Then on went the lid and it was time to simmer everything for an hour until slightly thickened…
While the ‘stew’ was cooking away, it was time to prep the potatoes… yukon golds got a peel, dice and bath… after cooked, they took a ride through the food mill and then some mash was born!!
Once the stew was done thickening, the lid came off and in went a bag of frozen peas… cooked just until the peas were warmed thorough, it was then time to assemble this ‘pie’…
The ‘stew’ was layered in the bottom of a baking dish, while being tucked in by a fluffy blanket of the mash. Under the broiler until browned and bubbly, then it was time to eat!!
Piping hot and full of tummy-warming goodness… this is definitely a winning dish and perfect for a hungry crowd!

at a low simmer…
-R

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you say tomato… I say soup!

So yesterday was the weekly CSA basket pick-up… once I got mine and saw the abundance of tomatoes in it the decision was simple… roasted garlic tomato soup!
First I chopped the tomatoes up and smashed a few garlic cloves… everything then was tossed with olive oil, fresh pepper and some salt. Into the oven for a little over an hour on a low temp helped extract the sweetness of the tomatoes and provide a toasty element, while turning the garlic into something, well magical!
Once roasted, it was into the food processor and pulsed, pulsed, pulsed… then into a cast iron pot, along with some homemade stock to help thin out this story, a thyme bundle and then set to simmer for a bit.
After its bath, it was into a bowl, garnished with some rich finishing oil and a sultry dollop of creme fraiche… ahhh heavenly!!
Even though the temps were warm and the humidity up, there was no better way to enjoy those gorgeous, tasty and colorful gems! Now to wonder what next weeks basket will offer…

at a low simmer…

-R

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