Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Weekend of the Cast Iron Frying Pan

This has been The Weekend of the Cast Iron Frying Pan. Why, you ask? Well, my dear husband took it upon himself to throw away my other frying pan because he "didn't like the looks of the Teflon." I am not a reactionist-newest-medical-theory nut and have no fear of Teflon in the least; he was raised in a house that takes each health news bite as Gospel. I was not happy. But the cooking has to go on, does it not? So I decided that my beloved cast iron pan, seasoned to perfection, previously reserved for use as a chicken fryer, must be put to the test.

Meal #1 was Fried Chicken Tenderloin with homefries and corn. Okay, so not so inventive - after all, this is what I'd used it for in the past. But the chicken sure was good. I used a cornflake crust (flour, cornflakes, garlic powder, salt, pepper, a little sugar, parsley), which I had never done, and they turned out yummy!

Next I made sauted onion and ham omelets with Monterey Jack cheese. The omelets cooked up well, not too thick, not too thin. With my previous pan, the omelets always were too thick - it just wasn't big enough. My husband was duly impressed.

Next came the hamburgers - Collin and Kendall had friends over all weekend which made for 8 people in the house. You can't lose with a hamburger, even when your son's buddy is picky. No big surprise here, the hamburgers were a success.

I should note that I was not missing the Teflon. I have had my iron pan for close to ten years and am a little obsessive about the care of it. No one cleans it but me. If it isn't too dirty, it just gets a good wiping out. Really dirty gets water and a sponge then straight to a 450 degree oven for drying. Nothing sticks to it even though it doesn't feel slick to the touch. Please, I beg you: never, ever, ever put your iron fryer into the dishwasher. You might as well just get it a coffin and bury it in the backyard. A dishwasher is tantamount to iron pan death.

Are those clams in Jamie Oliver's (Teflon coated) frying pan?

The last meal that I made was fried rice. I have never made fried rice that I was happy with. It either was too bland or too sticky or the flavors weren't distributed well. So I went online to read recipes and see if I could improve my fried rice technique. Success! One thing that I spent time on was frying the rice without all of the seasonings in it. I had already sauted an onion with some ham, garlic, and ginger. Then I added the rice and stirred it around over medium high heat for at least 10 minutes. When I was happy with the consistancy of the rice, I added garlic powder and A LOT of soy sauce. I lost count after 4 TBSP. It just wasn't enough. Oh, and I added more ginger, around 2 tsp in total of dried ginger (didn't have any fresh). I finally added some scrambled egg that I had made ahead of time and chopped up. It actually looked like something from a Chinese resteraunt, but tasted better.

So my husband is off eating left over fried rice. Before he disappeared, he made the comment that my frying pan was looking old and I needed a new one. It was, after all, black, and all the ones in the store are grey. I told him that if I even sensed that he was thinking about throwing away my pan, I would go get it and beat him to death with it. Then I told him to go eat the delicious fried rice and rejoice over the miracle of the iron frying pan. I think he got the message.



Leslie said...

I broke out my cast iron skillet over the weekend too! I thought it needed some attention! When I use it I remember why I love it!!! Great site!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Thta's hilarious. I adore my
fryer(s) too. They cook things to perfection and NO one touches it but me either!

Greg said...

Oh yeah!

Cast iron is the true and righteous way to cook.

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