Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Loving cast iron cooking!

Last night, to go with the Ugandan slaw, I did filet mignon in the cast iron frying pan. Oh how I love my cast iron! I actually like steak done that way more than grilled, as it just sears in the flavors and becomes a big pile of deliciousness. (recipe below) I also sear seafood in the cast iron... I have 2 large frying pans for Seafood Saturdays (yummy tuna in Beaufort in the photo above, although it's a bit harder on the electric cooktop than my gas at home), as well as a cast iron dutch oven and an 8" flat, almost-griddle type pan for eggs and frying toast. If they went in the dishwasher, I might never use another type of pan! OK, they would also pull my pot rack out of the ceiling...

Seared Filet Mignon

* Don't do more than 2 or 3 at a time, as you don't want to crowd them!

thick filet mignon steaks
Lawry's season salt
mix of half extra virgin olive oil and half canola (I keep a jar of this handy all the time!)

Let the steaks sit out, seasoned, for an hour. Put a couple of tablespoons of oil into the cast iron and heat it on high until oil is very liquid and pan is hot. (This oil doesn't smoke much, so I don't wait for that.) Put the steaks in the pan. After about a minute of searing, turn and let the other side sear, reducing heat to medium or medium high (depending on thickness - lower for fatter!). Cook, turning once or twice, until cooked to desired doneness. If you want it done more than rare, you might need to cover to increase the heat - but leave a crack for steam to escape so you don't ruin the delicious caramelization on the meat!

And yes, Lawry's. I realize there are all kinds of steak rubs, but I prefer a more subtle approach. Sometimes I just use kosher salt and cracked pepper. If you get a good quality, thick steak, you want to taste the steak, not all the spices. A bit of Lawry's is subtle but brings out great flavor. And of course, don't forget the horseradish!

I made pancakes this morning. After being in Uganda for 3 weeks and hardly cooking at all, I am feeling the need to be in the kitchen! (Don't worry, it'll wear off!) I like plain pancakes, and my Boy Child and Mr Bob like chocolate chip, so I made both. I always try to make enough to freeze (separate with wax paper and put in a freezer bag), but I'm not sure we'll have any today!

1 comment:

Tanya Turner said...

You are making me drool!!! I inherited my grandmothers iron pan and would not take a pretty for it! I use it for everything. Love steaks seared in there! Have you tried a butter sauce over beef? Half a stick of butter with a clove of fresh garlic and some parsley mashed together in a morter pestel? Oh dear....Julia Child would toast to that! Love your blog!