Cast-Iron Cooking: Recipes & Tips for Getting the Most out of Your Cast-Iron Cookware

Cast-Iron Cooking: Recipes & Tips for Getting the Most out of Your Cast-Iron Cookware

by Rachael Narins


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Get the most from your cast-iron cookware with 40 fabulous recipes especially designed for cast iron, from a full English breakfast to chilaquiles, pan pizza, cheesy beer fondue, Korean fried chicken, vegetarian chili, mango curry, party nuts, two kinds of cornbread, baked apples, gingerbread — and the perfect grilled cheese sandwich! You’ll also learn how to buy the cast-iron pots and pans that are right for you and how to care for them successfully.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781612126760
Publisher: Storey Books
Publication date: 08/09/2016
Pages: 96
Sales rank: 514,231
Product dimensions: 7.10(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Rachael Narins, author of Cast-Iron Cooking, is a chef, culinary educator, and food writer based in Santa Monica. She is a graduate of the California Culinary Academy,  a regular contributor to the L.A. Weekly food section, and has written about food preservation for the Los Angeles Times. Her work has also appeared in Organic Gardening Magazine, Bust, Edible Westside and more. In 2008, Narins founded Chicks with Knives, a culinary event company. During the summer of 2014, she served as the VIP culinary judge on an episode of Kitchen Kickstarter on NBC, and is currently the Cast Iron Expert on Feed Feed.

Read an Excerpt



Dutch Baby

With Blueberry Sauce

Serves 4–6

BEHOLD THE DUTCH BABY. It's a delectable American version of a German popover that's ideal for an elegant breakfast. No bowls needed; just a blender, a pan, and a sieve for the powdered sugar. The lemon it is served with adds a welcome touch of acidity.



* 4 tablespoons (½ stick) butter, cut into pieces

* 3 eggs, lightly beaten

* 1 cup whole milk

* cup all-purpose flour

* 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

* Pinch of ground nutmeg

* Pinch of salt

* 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar

* Lemon wedges and blueberry sauce, for serving


* 2 pints blueberries, fresh or frozen

* ¼ cup granulated sugar

* 1 tablespoon lemon juice


1. Scatter the butter into a 10-inch cast-iron skillet. Place on the middle rack of the oven and preheat to 450°F/230°C.

2. Meanwhile, pour the eggs into a blender and blend on high until light and foamy. Remove the lid and add the milk, flour, granulated sugar, vanilla, nutmeg, and salt. Blend again until all the ingredients are completely incorporated.

3. Remove the pan from the oven, pour in the batter, and return to the oven immediately. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden and puffy.

4. While the Dutch baby cooks, make the blueberry sauce. In a nonreactive saucepan, stir together the blueberries, granulated sugar, and lemon juice. Simmer until the blueberries begin to pop, about 15 minutes. Mash lightly to release more juice. Let cool.

5. When the Dutch baby is done, remove from the oven and use an offset spatula to lift it onto a cutting board. Cut into wedges. Sift confectioners' sugar over each piece and serve with lemon wedges and blueberry sauce.

Full English

with Bacon and Sausages

Serves 4

THE FULL ENGLISH is a classic weekend breakfast in England. It seems as if it has a lot of components, but they come together quickly and are mostly cooked in the same pan, and the bacon fat ties all the flavors together. For it to be spot on (and most classic), seek out English pork sausages called bangers or use pork and leek sausages.


* 8 strips bacon

* 4 pork sausages, preferably bangers

* 1 (16-ounce) can baked beans

* 1 cup halved button mushrooms

* 2 large tomatoes, cut into thick slices, or 4 Roma tomatoes, halved

* 2 tablespoons butter

* 8 slices bread

* 4 eggs

* Ketchup for serving (optional)


1. Put a platter in the oven, set to 200°F/90°C, or turned off if it is normally warm.

2. Add the bacon, in a single layer, to a 12-inch cast-iron skillet. Cook over medium heat, turning a few times until crispy, about 8 minutes. Remove and blot with paper towels. Remove the platter from the oven, put the bacon on the platter, cover with foil, and return the platter to the oven.

3. Cook the sausages in the bacon fat, turning frequently. This may take up to 10 minutes. When they're ready, remove and add to the platter in the oven.

4. While the sausages cook, heat the baked beans in a small saucepan over low heat.

5. Cook the mushrooms in the remaining fat, until browned, about 4 minutes. Transfer to the platter.

6. Add the tomatoes to the pan, cook until browned, about 2 minutes, then add to the platter in the oven.

7. In another 12-inch cast-iron skillet, over medium heat, melt the butter and fry the bread, cooking 3 minutes per side, adding more butter if needed. The bread should be quite browned and saturated.

8. Meanwhile, crack the eggs directly into the pan that held the tomatoes and cook until the yolks are set to your preference.

9. Divide all the components between four warmed plates. Serve with ketchup, if desired.


with Ranchero Sauce

Serves 4–6

CHILAQUILES is a bit of a "throw everything but the kitchen sink into the pan" sort of a meal, but it's a snap if your fridge is stocked with basic Latin ingredients. Think of it as breakfast nachos. This is also a great way to use up leftover grilled chicken or chorizo; add them as a garnish when serving.



* 3 medium tomatoes, cored and halved

* 3 red jalapeño chiles, stemmed and seeded

* 1 red serrano chile, stemmed and seeded

* 2 garlic cloves, peeled

* 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

* Juice from 1 lime

* Salt


* ¼ cup plus 2 teaspoons corn oil

* 1 cup water

* ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

* 3 cups tortilla chips

* 4 eggs

* Salt

* 1 red onion, chopped fine

* 6 radishes, sliced thin

* 1 avocado, sliced

* ½ cup Mexican crema or sour cream

* ¼ cup crumbled Cotija cheese

* Lime wedges and hot sauce, for serving


1. To make the ranchero sauce, place a 12-inch cast-iron skillet over high heat. Add the tomatoes, jalapeños, serrano, and garlic, and char until slightly blackened, about 3 minutes. Scoop the vegetables into a blender, add the vegetable oil and lime juice, and purée until smooth. Pour into a bowl and season with salt. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Set aside. The sauce can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.

2. For the chilaquiles, add ¼ cup of the corn oil to a 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Carefully add the ranchero sauce and water to the pan and bring to a simmer. Stir in the cilantro, remove from the heat, toss in 2 cups of the tortilla chips, cover, and let rest. You want the tortilla chips to absorb the sauce.

3. In another skillet, heat the remaining 2 teaspoons corn oil over medium heat. Crack the eggs directly into the pan and cook until the whites are set, about 3 minutes. Using a spatula, transfer the eggs to a plate, making sure not to break the yolks.

4. Uncover the tortilla chip mixture and return to the stove, over low heat. Simmer and season to taste with salt if necessary.

5. Divide the chip mixture among four shallow bowls and top with a fried egg.

6. Top with the red onion, radishes, avocado, crema, and cheese. Serve with the remaining 1 cup tortilla chips, lime wedges, and hot sauce.

Breakfast Potatoes

the Classic Favorite

Serves 4–6

THESE BREAKFAST POTATOES are the undressed version of the classic breakfast dish. They go with everything from pancakes to scrambled eggs. Additions could include diced red onion, celery, and bell pepper. You can make these ahead of time and even freeze them for up to 2 months; just defrost, if needed, and reheat in a well-oiled pan.


* 4 baking potatoes, cut into bitesize pieces

* Salt

* 3 tablespoons vegetable oil

* 1 tablespoon ground sweet or smoked paprika

* Large pinch of ground cayenne pepper

* Freshly ground black pepper


1. Preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C.

2. Place the potatoes and a generous pinch of salt in a large pot and add enough water to cover. Bring to a boil and let cook for 5 minutes, until the potatoes are just parcooked, then drain them.

3. Place the potatoes in a bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons of the oil, along with the paprika, cayenne, and salt and pepper to taste.

4. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat for 1 minute. Add the potatoes to the pan in a single layer. Let brown for 5 to 6 minutes, without stirring. Then turn the potatoes.

5. Place the pan in the oven and roast for 20 to 30 minutes, until the potatoes are golden brown and crisp, turning once.



Grilled Cheese

Extra-Golden and Delicious

Makes 4 sandwiches

GRILLED CHEESE, with its two slices of bread binding ooey-gooey cheese, is perfectly suited to the dark black surface of a cast-iron pan. The light coating of mayo on the outside of the bread makes the sandwiches extra-golden. Serve with tomato soup.


* 8 slices cheese, preferably American or a combination of American and cheddar

* 8 slices top-quality white sandwich bread

* Mayonnaise

* 8 teaspoons butter, softened (plus more as needed)

* Salt


1. Heat a 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat (or, if cooking outdoors, over a low campfire or on the cooler side of a grill).

2. Meanwhile, build the four sandwiches. Arrange two slices of cheese on each bottom slice of bread and top with the other slice of bread. Carefully spread mayonnaise on the top slice.

3. When the pan is hot, add 2 teaspoons of the butter and a nice sprinkle of salt and lower the heat to medium.

4. Add the first sandwich, mayo-covered slice down. Press down with a spatula and let cook for 3 minutes, or until golden.

5. Remove the sandwich from the pan and carefully spread more mayo on the top of the uncooked slice of bread. Flip and return the sandwich to the pan. Press and cook until golden brown, adding more butter as needed.

6. Remove the sandwich from the pan and set aside while you cook the remaining sandwiches, adding 2 teaspoons of the butter and salt to the pan each time. Cut each sandwich on the diagonal and serve immediately.

French Tomato Soup

with Fennel and Orange

Makes four 1-cup servings

FRENCH TOMATO SOUP, with its acidic tomatoes, can pick up a metallic taste when cooked in seasoned cast iron. To avoid that, this soup is started in a cast-iron pan, then transferred to a blender (or, use an enameled cast-iron pan and skip the blender).


* 3 tablespoons unsalted butter

* 1 small baguette, torn into bite-size pieces

* Salt

* 1 onion, peeled and quartered

* 1 fennel bulb, cored and roughly chopped, fronds reserved for garnish

* 2 carrots, peeled and chopped

* 2 garlic cloves, peeled

* 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme

* 3 cups vegetable broth

* 2 tablespoons butter

* Juice and zest of 1 small orange

* 4 small tomatoes, cored and roughly chopped

* 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes

* Freshly ground black pepper


1. Arrange a wire rack over a baking sheet.

2. Melt the unsalted butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the torn bread and cook until browned, turning frequently. Remove with a slotted spoon and season immediately with salt. Reserve until the soup is ready.

3. Wipe out the Dutch oven, leaving a bit of oil behind, and set aside.

4. In a food processor, coarsely chop the onion, fennel, carrots, and garlic.

5. Heat the Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add the onion mixture and thyme, and cook until soft, about 6 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the broth and butter and bring to a simmer.

6. Wipe out the work bowl of the food processor and carefully ladle the mixture back into it. Add the orange juice and half of the orange zest, rough-chopped tomatoes, and crushed tomatoes. Process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

7. Serve garnished with a few croutons, fennel fronds, and the remaining orange zest.

Cheesy Fondue

with Beer

Serves 4–6

CHEESY FONDUE is perfect for cheese lovers. Melted cheese is great in any form: pizza, grilled cheese, quesadillas — you name it. This fondue simply enables you to take that love to a new level. If you're like me, this is the recipe for you. This also works great over a low campfire, but use a Dutch oven and double the ingredients.


* 1 garlic clove

* 2 cups grated cheese, (try a mix of Swiss, cheddar, Monterey Jack, and Havarti)

* 2 teaspoons cornstarch

* 1 teaspoon Colman's mustard powder

* 2 cups pale ale

* Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

* Bread cubes and assorted vegetables, for serving


1. Rub the bottom of a 10-inch cast-iron skillet with the garlic clove and set aside.

2. In a bowl, toss the grated cheese with the cornstarch and mustard powder to coat.

3. Heat the garlic-rubbed skillet over low heat, add the beer, and bring to a simmer. Whisk in the cheese in four parts, letting the cheese melt completely before adding more.

4. Serve while still warm and bubbling, garnished with parsley and with a plate of bread and assorted vegetables on the side.

Pan Pizza

Choose Your Toppings

Makes two 12-inch pizzas

PAN PIZZA is everything good about the toppings on a regular pie, with the addition of lots and lots of baked crust. The recipe makes enough dough for two pies. If you're only making one pie, store the extra dough in a covered bowl or container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature before using.


* cups plus 2 tablespoons warm water

* 1 teaspoon molasses

* 1 packet (2¼ teaspoons) active dry yeast

* 5 cups all-purpose flour

* ¼ cup olive oil, plus 2 teaspoons to drizzle on top

* 2 tablespoons yellow cornmeal

* 1 cup tomato sauce (or pizza sauce)

* cups assorted grated cheese, including mozzarella and provolone

* ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

* Assorted pizza toppings


1. Whisk together 2 tablespoons of the warm water and the molasses in a medium bowl. Sprinkle the yeast on top and let rest for 2 minutes, until it becomes foamy.

2. Meanwhile, add the flour to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. With the mixer running at low speed, slowly add the yeasted water and one-third of the remaining 2½ cups warm water. Add ¼ cup of the oil, then add another third of the water. Continue adding water until the dough comes together and is a smooth ball. This will take about 8 minutes.

3. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a clean cloth, and let rise for 1 hour.

4. Preheat the oven to 450°F/230°C. Oil the bottom and sides of a 12-inch cast-iron skillet.

5. Punch down the dough and divide it in half. Stretch one half of the dough into a wide circle. Sprinkle a 12-inch cast-iron skillet with 1 tablespoon of the cornmeal and place the dough in the skillet, cover, and let rise for 15 minutes. Do the same with the remaining dough in a second skillet, or reserve that dough for later.

6. Shape the dough in the skillet again, making sure it is thicker on the edges, by pressing the center.

7. Parbake the crust for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Add the sauce, cheeses, and toppings, then drizzle with the remaining 2 teaspoons oil and return to the oven.

8. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and the toppings are golden brown.


Excerpted from "Cast-Iron Cooking"
by .
Copyright © 2016 Rachael Narins.
Excerpted by permission of Storey Publishing.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Why and How to Buy Cast Iron
Shapes & Sizes
How to Season Cast Iron
How to Care for Cast Iron
Reviving a Cast-Iron Pan
Lunch & Dinner
Sides & Snacks

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Cast-Iron Cooking: Recipes & Tips for Getting the Most out of Your Cast-Iron Cookware 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
InspirationalAngel531 More than 1 year ago
Title: Cast-Iron Cooking - Recipes & Tips for Getting the Most out of Your Cast-Iron Cookware Author: Rachel Narins Publisher: Storey Publishing Published: 8-9-2016 Pages: 96 Genre: Cooking, Food & Wine Sub-Genre: Cookbooks; Home; Special Appliances; Cast iron ISBN: 9781612126760 ASIN: B015X2PG7G Reviewed For NetGalley and Stiorey Publishing Reviewer: DelAnne Rating: 4.75 Starts Most cooks have one or more pieces of cast iron in their kitchen. Cast-Iron Cooking tells if the uses and the history of cast-iron cookery and how to prep, clean and care for tor cast-iron.. Included are 40 different recipes for cooking in cast-iron such as pizza, dessert, rice and main dishes. Information you need to know what before using your cast-iron for the first time. Even how to choose which pieces and sizes. My rating of "Cast-Iron Cooking" is 4.75 out of 5 stars.
nfmgirl More than 1 year ago
I bought a cast-iron skillet years ago, but I have barely used it. I've never been sure just what to do with it. I mean, you can't cook without non-stick coating, right? So I was eager to learn from this book how to use my cast-iron skillet; how to care for it. This cookbook is slightly different from most cookbooks, as there isn’t an extensive introduction. Usually a cookbook has fairly detailed intro that gives a glimpse into the thought that went into the cookbook, history, cooking equipment, cooking techniques, etc. This book does that, but in much briefer style, and after a dozen pages you are diving into the recipes. I liked this! They got to the point, told you what you needed to know, and moved on to the meat of it! You learn about the different types of cast-iron. Not only the traditional skillet, but also griddles and pots and specialty pans. You learn how to best "season" the pan (so you have no need for that non-stick coating I mentioned earlier), and a "seasoned" pan vs. enameled cast iron, and what not to do with cast iron. It's broken into chapters for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner, Sides and Snacks, and Dessert. All recipes are cooked in a cast-iron pan, whether on the stovetop, in the oven, or over an outdoor fire. Classic recipes like Fried Chicken or Steaks with Red Wine Sauce, something a little more unexpected like Baked Crab & Shrimp or Charred Eggplant Dip, or a dessert of Cranberry Upside-Down Cake. Each recipe is showcased with a full page picture and the recipe title boldly stretched across it. Bright and colorful and yummy photography, simple and easy-to-read ingredient list, and numbered recipe steps. I decided to make the Korean Short Ribs (galbi). The recipe called for "flanken-cut beef short ribs", and I had no clue what "flanken-cut" was. It would have been nice if it had explained this. Regardless I just used what I had on hand. The ribs were marinated for 24 hours in a soy sauce/rice marinade with scallions, pears, onion, garlic and ginger. Then they were cooked in a hot cast iron skillet. Yum! The trouble is that my skillet is now coated in cooked-on marinade, and it does not want to come clean. Which leads me to my only real complaint: This book didn't give me explicit instructions for how to clean off cooked-on food and grime, nor what type of scrubbing pads I could use (rather than what I can't use). But that's really my only complaint. The book is concise at under 100 pages, beautifully done, with tantalizing recipes. It's informative and inspirational, and I love it!