Sunday, September 28, 2008

Favorite #8

This is one pretty skillet (inside and out).

If you don't think cast iron is pretty then get the hell off my website! Punk!

Favorite cast iron cookware was produced in Piqua Ohio by the Favorite Stove and Range Co. from 1916 to 1934. You can see a shot of the interior here.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Spicy Catfish Po' Boys with Cajun Cole Slaw

~The Cole Slaw recipe is Chef John Folse's~
Ingredients for Slaw:

2 cups shredded purple cabbage

2 cups shredded green cabbage
1/4 cup golden raisins

1 small onion, peeled and grated

1 carrot, peeled and grated
1 tbsp minced parsley

1/4 cup vegetable oil

3 TBsps cider vinegar

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sugar

1/4 tsp dry mustard

1/4 tsp granulated garlic

1/2 tsp celery seed

salt and cayenne pepper to taste

Method: Toss cabbage, raisins, onion, carrot and parsley until well mixed then set aside. In a small bowl, combine oil, vinegar, mayonnaise, sugar and seasonings. Pour dressing over cabbage mixture and gently toss. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours while frying catfish.

Ingredients for Catfish:
6 x 6-8oz. catfish fillets
peanut oil for frying

1 cup buttermilk + 
Louisiana hot sauce to taste (marinade for catfish)
marinate catfish for at least 2 hours prior to frying.

2 cups seasoned corn flour (I use masa harina, 1 TBsp cayenne, 1 tsp. paprika, salt&pepper to taste, and a pinch of garlic and onion powders)

6 x 6-inch sliced sections of a good baguette
red onion, thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. For the bread

In a large black iron skillet pour peanut oil to a depth that will cover fish by 1/2 inch. Preheat oil to 365°F. I like to do my frying outside.

Remove fish from marinade and dredge in seasoned corn flour, shaking off excess. Fry until fish pieces are golden brown. Do not overcook. Remove from skillet and drain on a cooling rack. Toast bread lightly in oven. Place 1 catfish fillet on bottom piece of the baguette. Top with sliced red onions and a big ol' portion of coleslaw and hotsauce. Add the top piece of bread and get ready for the neighbors to stop by to see what you've made.
She prefers my aspen trees.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Super Electrolysis Tank - Winter is coming

While my old electrolysis tank got the job done it was quite slow. I think the main problem was the anode (a small bbq grill) getting corroded badly. No amount of wire brushing seemed to restore the performance of the tank.

After reading about some of the hotrod setups the guys on the Wagner and Griswold Society page built I decided I'd follow suit and take the plunge on a serious charger and surround my cast iron with an anode with some real surface area. I can now set the new charger on a 40 amp continuous current which completely thrashes my old setup. (6 amps)

I have a lot of iron yet to be cleaned. (A little known fact about old black iron cookware is it multiplies like rabbits so keep your iron separated) Since the snow flies early at nearly 8000 feet (and Black Iron Chick wants her side of the garage back) I figured I needed to get the cleaning done before winter so a serious performance boost was in order.

Original article found >HERE

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Farmer's Market Skillet

I needed something tonight to go with the rest of the beef from last night. Fortunately Wednesday is Farmer's Market day in Park City. Everything you see in that old Lodge #9 (notice the raised 9 on the handle) was bought there.

I've almost had enough corn for the year but the stuff now is amazing. Rather than grill or boil it I used it to counter the bitterness of the greens.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

What cast iron would I buy if just getting started?

A reader emailed to ask what black iron I would buy if I was just getting started.
I tried to imagine a scenario where I would find all my iron had vanished. Perhaps a UFO with a magnetic tractor beam had horked all my iron in an attempt to improve the food on Planet Claire?

What would I start with? I'd most likely begin with a few skillets. I would probably keep my eye on Ebay and look to snag a couple of older Wagner Ware skillets in 8" and 10.25". The older Wagner Wares are very nice skillets and for some reason collectors don't get all goofy for them so you can buy them for very little money. The Wagner Wares with model numbers (like 1056 or 1058) are older and smoother than the newer pieces. You could also search for a number 6 and a number 8. I think it would be reasonable to expect to buy both the 8" and 10.25" for less than thirty dollars total. If you like shopping around look at flea markets or yard sales (forget antique stores $) or auctions.

Next I would buy a new Lodge pro-logic L10SK3 12" skillet. Lodge is the last cast iron foundry in the USA making cookware and it will be a sad day if they close their doors. Fortunately, for both Lodge and us consumers, their iron cookware is way better than the Chinese made junk that is polluting the shelves of too many stores.

The Lodge L10SK3 is a big, heavy, well made pan that I like a lot (I own 2, or I did before that freaking UFO came around). It is just the thing for high heat cooking and it is roomy enough to cook lots of food in one pan. You will probably save money if you buy one in a hardware store rather than a kitchen shop. I saw them for $18.99 in a local Ace Hardware. Quite a bargain considering it'll probably last forever.

Skillets are very versatile. They make great roasting pans in addition to the stovetop uses. Lids can be picked up in thrift stores. Look for some with a domed shape and the skillet can function as a shallow dutch oven.

Down the road I'd add a 5 quart dutch oven and a griddle.

By starting with these choices one can count on cookware that gets better with age unlike teflon coated pans. They don't emit gasses or flake toxic particles into your food and they aren't made of mystery metals that have voids, inclusions, and other unknown surprises.