Ten Sweet Desserts Made Sweeter By Cast Iron

If your Easter weekend was anything like mine, it involved a lot of food.

And like many holidays it also happened to involve a lot of sweet desserts. Here’s hoping you got your fill of flavourful delights this year. And for next time, here is some inspiration for how to get you holiday sugar rush with help from your cast iron pans.

1. Cobbler. Almost any fruit will do, but peach or apple slices baked with a crumbly sweet streusel topping can be scooped right from the oven to waiting dessert dishes.

2. Apple Pie. With a flaky pastry crust, a cast iron pan makes for a natural pie pan.

3. Dutch Baby. Call it popover or German pancake, or maybe even a Bismarck, this puffed pastry dish in a cast iron pan is delicate and tasty.

4. Ollie Bolen. My Oma’s recipe for these small, sweet apple fritters was passed down through the generations and we deep fry in our Dutch Oven for New Years every year.

5. Funnel Cakes. Fried in a few centimeters of oil, swirly sweet funnel cakes topped with powdered sugar remind me of being a kid at the summer carnival.

6. Coffee Cake. A standard cake doesn’t do great in cast iron, but the dense, crumbly consistency of a traditional coffee cake works just great.

7. Brownies. Thick and chewy bars of chocolate baked right in a big old skillet. No excuse required.

8. Cinnamon Rolls. Sweeten your sourdough bread recipe and then roll it with butter, cinnamon and sugar. Baked up golden and caramelized are great plain or drizzled with cream cheese frosting.

9. S’mores. No campfire required, a graham cracker, chocolate and marshmallow open faced sandwich toasted under the broiler on a cast iron skillet is a close second to the camping version.

10. Skillet Cookie. A big lump of cookie dough smashed into a small 6 or 7 inch cast iron pan, served hot from the oven and topped with whipped cream and drizzled with chocolate syrup and sprinkles is a sharable hit for kids of any age.

People like lists. I like people. So I’m giving the people what they like. I ran a blog for 16 years and one of the most popular posts ever on that blog was a list of “100 things” that I’d compiled and posted. I’m trying to recreate something similar over the next couple months for the cast iron guy blog. This post will eventually form part of that mega list.

Ten Hunks of Meat for Any Occasion That Cook Great on Cast Iron

Apologies to my vegetarian friends out there, but this one is for the omnivores in my audience. Never was I so convinced of the superiority of cast iron as part of my cooking contraptions than after I’ve plated some perfectly seared meat.

Hopefully these ten classics will inspire you to oil up a pan.

1. Beef Steaks. The pride of my homeland, a thick cut of Alberta grain-fed beef, peppered and grilled on a scorching hot pan to seal in the juices, cooked medium rare and sauced with a warm and sweet hickory glaze.

2. Hamburgers. In the summer I revert to the barbecue, but on those winter days a searing hot pan is a worthy replacement to grill up a patty or three, slipped into a bun and stacked high with all the fixings.

3. Lamb Chops. Seasoned simply and then pan seared in a bit of olive oil until a mouthwatering crust forms.

4. Fried Chicken. Buttermilk soaked and breaded, dropped into a bath of hot oil and fried up golden, and then served with biscuits (also cooked in cast iron!)

5. Salmon Steaks. Pink and thick, fried flaky on the outside, soft and tender under a butter fried crust, dashed with fresh lemon juice then sprinkled with dill from the garden.

6. Chicken Parmesan. The crisp cheesy breading browned to a crunchy finish around a chicken breast is almost good enough to eat without the sauce and pasta, but why would you.

7. Wings. Whether you like them spicy, crispy or saucy, properly deep frying a batch of chicken wings in a cast iron pot of oil can’t be matched by takeout.

8. Braised Roast. A hot cast iron pan can sear the sides to a gorgeous and delicious brown then finished in the same pan for a tender meal.

9. Schnitzel. Pounded thin chops, breaded and spiced, then shallow pan fried to a crispy finish with homemade potato salad on the side.

10. Fresh Caught Fish. Those lakes and rivers are calling, and over a campfire or just a kitchen stove, a fresh fish in a scorching hot cast iron pan is almost iconic as a fried egg.

People like lists. I like people. So I’m giving the people what they like. I ran a blog for 16 years and one of the most popular posts ever on that blog was a list of “100 things” that I’d compiled and posted. I’m trying to recreate something similar over the next couple months for the cast iron guy blog. This post will eventually form part of that mega list.

Ten Bread Creations Worth Warming Up Your Cast Iron

An idea that often blows my mind is that a handful of ingredients like flour, water, salt and sugars can be blended together to form some of the tastiest food staples.

Bread is one of those few universal foods, and cast iron turns out to be a great way to cook it …in a whole variety of ways. Here are 10 Friday ideas for adding some gluten to your day.

1. Sourdough. Baked big and bold in a Dutch oven and crackling as it cools waiting for a dab of butter, slice of fresh cheese, or dipped in oils and vinegars.

2. Cornbread. Served on the side or to swipe up the leftover sauce from your plate, a hearty bread hot from the oven.

3. Biscuits. Buttery and buttermilk, light and fluffy and served with a hot stew or a big bowl of fresh homemade soup.

4. Banana Loaf. Browned bananas blended into a batter and baked in a cast iron loaf pan into a warm, sliceable serving, then toasted and topped with butter.

5. Rolls. Simple bread sides to make a handy sandwich or accompany a big meal.

6. Corn Tortillas. Squeezed thin and round in a cast iron press.

7. Doughnuts. Deep fried in a Dutch oven full of hot oil and sprinkled with sugar or drizzled with sweet glazes.

8. Naan. A little spicy and charred, washed with a bit of ghee and dipped in a delicious curry.

9. Yorkshire Pudding. Added to a rich roast meal, puffed and golden brown.

10. Discard Fry. A hot pan and a bit of sourdough discard destined for the bin, instead sprinkled with spices, or sugar & cinnamon and fried into a tasty treat.

People like lists. I like people. So I’m giving the people what they like. I ran a blog for 16 years and one of the most popular posts ever on that blog was a list of “100 things” that I’d compiled and posted. I’m trying to recreate something similar over the next couple months for the cast iron guy blog. This post will eventually form part of that mega list.

Ten Deliciously Bready Ideas for Using Your Cast Iron

I love sandwiches, wraps, and more. Putting almost anything between, atop, or inside bread …and toasting it up on a cast iron pan (of course!) makes for a great meal… or just a quick snack. Here are 10 Friday ideas for putting that iron to work for a hot treat.

1. Grilled Cheese Sandwich. Simple: bread, butter and cheese grilled on a hot pan and served with your choice of sauce, or just as is.

2. Inside Out Cheese Toasty. Hot iron meets an outer coat of shredded cheddar and the fried cheese goodness wraps the toasty bready middle.

3. Quesadilla. A hot pan fries up your fillings, then fold a tortilla in half, add some cheese and salsa, and toast to a crunchy finish.

4. Burrito. Fry your veggies. Fry your meat. Wrap tight and toast into a warm, toasty one-hand meal for home on on the go.

5. Panini. A specialty hot press or just an extra pan heated up, the pressed sandwich is great with all variety of fillings.

6. Meatball Sandwich. Orbs of pan-fried meat coated in a warm tomato sauce fill up a toasted bun and leave a delicious mess.

7. Egg Muffin. A fried egg. Some grilled ham. Stacked together and melted with cheese and served on a toasted English muffin is better than the drive thru version.

8. Spicy Chicken Sandwich. Fry up a bit of breaded chicken, smother in hot sauce, and squeeze it into a bun with some crisp lettuce for a worthwhile weekend lunch.

9. Calzone. Pizza dough, filled and folded, crimped around the edges into a sealed sandwich and finished in the oven.

10. Campfire Pie. A couple slices of white buttered bread pinch-seal a bit of hot fruity filling to warm you up around the evening fire.

People like lists. I like people. So I’m giving the people what they like. I ran a blog for 16 years and one of the most popular posts ever on that blog was a list of “100 things” that I’d compiled and posted. I’m trying to recreate something similar over the next couple months for the cast iron guy blog. This post will eventually form part of that mega list.