Chocolate Salted Caramel Muddy Buddies

Chocolate Salted Caramel Muddy Buddies

Ingredients

7 cups Chocolate Chex cereal

¼ cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter

1 bag (8.5 ounces) Dove Promises Sea Salt Caramel and Dark Chocolate candies

1 cup powdered sugar

Directions

Place cereal pieces in a large bowl and set aside.

Unwrap chocolate candies and place them in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Add butter to saucepan, and melt over low heat, stirring constantly.

Once the chocolate is completely melted, remove from heat and pour it over your cereal, folding gently to evenly coat. Sprinkle with powdered sugar to coat cereal pieces, stirring and folding until all pieces are covered.

Pumpkin Magic Bars

Pumpkin Magic Bars 

Ingredients

1 Package (11 ounces) vanilla wafers

1/2 Cup butter, melted

3 Ounces cream cheese, softened

1 Can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk

1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1 Can solid-pack pumpkin

1-1/2 cups flake coconut

1 Cup white baking chips

1 Cup dried cranberries

1 Cup chopped pecans

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°. Place wafers in a food processor; pulse until coarse crumbs form. Drizzle with melted butter; pulse until blended. Press into bottom of a greased 13×9-in. baking pan.

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, milk and pie spice until smooth; beat in pumpkin. Pour over crust. Layer with coconut, baking chips, cranberries and pecans

Bake 45-55 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 minutes.

Loosen sides from pan with a knife; cool completely. Cut into bars. Refrigerate leftovers.

Cast Iron Deep Dish Pizza

Cast Iron Deep Dish Pizza

Ingredients

2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast

1/2 teaspoon brown sugar

1 1/4 cups warm water (110 degrees F)

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons garlic salt

1/4 cup butter

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Cooking spray

1/3 cup bulk pork sausage

1 (3.5 ounce) link bulk Italian sausage

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/2 cup pizza sauce

1/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

24 slices pepperoni

1/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1 tablespoon butter, softened (optional)

1/8 teaspoon Italian seasoning (optional)

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder (optional)

Directions

Sprinkle yeast and brown sugar over warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes until the yeast softens and begins to form a foam.

Turn mixer to the lowest setting and slowly add 2 cups flour 1/2 cup at a time. Add garlic salt and 1/4 cup butter. Integrate remaining 2 cups flour and knead until dough is smooth and elastic, 5 to 7 minutes.

Coat a large glass bowl with 1 tablespoon vegetable oil. Shape dough into a ball and place in bowl, turning to coat all sides with oil. Spray a piece of plastic wrap with cooking spray and loosely cover bowl. Cover bowl with a towel and let rise in a warm area until dough has doubled in size, about 45 minutes. Punch down dough and allow to rest for 20 minutes.

While dough is resting, heat a skillet over medium heat; cook and stir bulk sausage until browned and crumbly, about 5 minutes. Transfer cooked sausage to a bowl with a slotted spoon, retaining drippings in the skillet. Fry Italian sausage link in drippings until browned and no longer pink in the center, about 10 minutes. Slice sausage.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a 12-inch cast iron skillet using 2 tablespoons vegetable oil.

Press dough into and up the sides of the prepared skillet. Poke holes in dough with a fork to prevent air bubbles. Spread pizza sauce around the base of the crust. Sprinkle 1/3 cup mozzarella cheese over sauce; layer half the bulk sausage, half the sliced sausage, and half the pepperoni over cheese. Repeat the layers of meat. Top with remaining 1/3 cup mozzarella cheese.

Bake in preheated oven on the bottom rack until crust is golden brown. Brush crust with 1 tablespoon butter; season with Italian seasoning and garlic powder. Remove pizza from skillet and let rest for 3 to 5 minutes before slicing.

Grandma’s Iron Skillet Apple Pie

 

 Iron Skillet Apple Pie

 

Ingredients

1/2 cup butter

1 cup brown sugar

5 Granny Smith apples — peeled, cored, quartered, and thinly sliced

3 (9 inch) refrigerated pre-rolled pie crusts

1 cup white sugar, divided

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided

1/4 cup white sugar

1 tablespoon butter, cut into small chunks

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Place 1/2 cup butter into a heavy cast iron skillet, and melt butter in the oven. Remove skillet and sprinkle with brown sugar; return to oven to heat while you prepare the apples.

Remove skillet, and place 1 refrigerated pie crust on top of the brown sugar. Top the pie crust with half the sliced apples. Sprinkle apples with 1/2 cup of sugar and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon; place a second pie crust over the apples; top the second crust with the remaining apples, and sprinkle with 1/2 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Top with the third crust; sprinkle the top crust with 1/4 cup sugar and dot with 1 tablespoon of butter. Cut 4 slits into the top crust for steam.

Bake in the preheated oven until the apples are tender and the crust is golden brown, about 45 minutes. Serve warm.

Five Myths About Cast Iron Cooking

Myth #1: “Cast iron is difficult to maintain.”

The Theory: Cast iron is a material that can rust, chip, or crack easily. Buying a cast iron skillet is like adopting a newborn baby and a puppy at the same time. You’re going to have to pamper it through the early stages of its life, and be gentle when you store it—that seasoning can chip off!

The Reality: Cast iron is tough as nails! There’s a reason why there are 75-year-old cast iron pans kicking around at yard sales and antique shops. The stuff is built to last and it’s very difficult to completely ruin it. Most new pans even come pre-seasoned, which means that the hard part is already done for you and you’re ready to start cooking right away.

And as for storing it? If your seasoning is built up in a nice thin, even layer like it should be, then don’t worry. It ain’t gonna chip off. I store my cast iron pans nested directly in each other. Guess how many times I’ve chipped their seasoning? Try doing that to your non-stick skillet without damaging the surface.

Myth #2: “Cast iron heats really evenly.”

The Theory: Searing steaks and frying potatoes requires high, even heat. Cast iron is great at searing steaks, so it must be great at heating evenly, right?

The Reality: Actually, cast iron is terrible at heating evenly. The thermal conductivity—the measure of a material’s ability to transfer heat from one part to another—is around a third to a quarter that of a material like aluminum. What does this mean? Throw a cast iron skillet on a burner and you end up forming very clear hot spots right on top of where the flames are, while the rest of the pan remains relatively cool.

The main advantage of cast iron is that it has very high volumetric heat capacity, which means that once it’s hot, it stays hot. This is vitally important when searing meat. To really heat cast iron evenly, place it over a burner and let it preheat for at least 10 minutes or so, rotating it every once in a while. Alternatively, heat it up in a hot oven for 20 to 30 minutes (but remember to use a potholder or dish towel!)

The other advantage is its high emissivity—that is, its tendency to expel a lot of heat energy from its surface in the form of radiation. Stainless steel has an emissivity of around .07. Even when it’s extremely hot, you can put your hand close to it and not feel a thing. Only the food directly in contact with it is heating up in any way. Cast iron, on the other hand, has a whopping .64 emissivity rating, which means that when you’re cooking in it, you’re not just cooking the surface in contact with the metal, but you’re cooking a good deal of food above it as well. This makes it ideal for things like making hash or pan roasting chicken and vegetables.

Myth #3: “My well-seasoned cast iron pan is as non-stick as any non-stick pan out there.”

The Theory: The better you season your cast iron, the more non-stick it becomes. Perfectly well-seasoned cast iron should be perfectly non-stick.

The Reality: Your cast iron pan (and mine) may be really really really non-stick—non-stick enough that you can make an omelet in it or fry an egg with no problem—but let’s get serious here. It’s not anywhere near as non-stick as, say, Teflon, a material so non-stick that we had to develop new technologies just to get it to bond to the bottom of a pan. Can you dump a load of cold eggs into your cast iron pan, slowly heat it up with no oil, then slide those cooked eggs right back out without a spot left behind? Because you can do that in Teflon.

That said, macho posturing aside, so long as your cast iron pan is well seasoned and you make sure to pre-heat it well before adding any food, you should have no problems whatsoever with sticking.

Myth #4: “You should NEVER wash your cast iron pan with soap.”

The Theory: Seasoning is a thin layer of oil that coats the inside of your skillet. Soap is designed to remove oil, therefore soap will damage your seasoning.

The Reality: Seasoning is actually not a thin layer of oil, it’s a thin layer of polymerized oil, a key distinction. In a properly seasoned cast iron pan, one that has been rubbed with oil and heated repeatedly, the oil has already broken down into a plastic-like substance that has bonded to the surface of the metal. This is what gives well-seasoned cast iron its non-stick properties, and as the material is no longer actually an oil, the surfactants in dish soap should not affect it. Go ahead and soap it up and scrub it out.

The one thing you shouldn’t do? Let it soak in the sink. Try to minimize the time it takes from when you start cleaning to when you dry and re-season your pan. If that means letting it sit on the stovetop until dinner is done, so be it.

Myth #5: “Don’t use metal utensils on your cast iron pan!”

The Theory: The seasoning in cast iron pans is delicate and can easily flake out or chip if you use metal. Stick to wood or nylon utensils.

The Reality: The seasoning in cast iron is actually remarkably resilient. It’s not just stuck to the surface like tape, it’s actually chemically bonded to the metal. Scrape away with a metal spatula and unless you’re actually gouging out the surface of the metal, you should be able to continue cooking in it with no issue.

So you occasionally see flakes of black stuff chip out of the pan as you cook in it? It’s possible that’s seasoning, but unlikely. In order to get my cast iron pan’s seasoning to flake off, I had to store it in the oven for a month’s-worth of heating and drying cycles without re-seasoning it before I started to see some scaling.

More likely, those flakes of black stuff are probably carbonized bits of food that were stuck to the surface of the pan because you refused to scrub them out with soap last time you cooked.

Myth #6: “Modern cast iron is just as good as old cast iron. It’s all the same material, after all.”

The Theory: Metal is metal, cast iron is cast iron, the new stuff is no different than the old Wagner and Griswold pans from early 20th century that people fetishize.

The Reality: The material may be the same, but the production methods have changed. In the old days, cast iron pans were produced by casting in sand-based molds, then polishing the resulting pebbly surfaces until smooth. Vintage cast iron tends to have a satiny smooth finish. By the 1950s, as production scaled up and was streamlined, this final polishing step was dropped from the process. The result? Modern cast iron retains that bumpy, pebbly surface.

The difference is more minor than you may think. So long as you’ve seasoned your pan properly, both vintage and modern cast iron should take on a nice non-stick surface, but your modern cast iron will never be quite as non-stick as the vintage stuff.

Myth #7: “Never cook acidic foods in cast iron.”

The Theory: Acidic food can react with the metal, causing it to leech into your food, giving you an off-flavor and potentially killing you slowly.

The Reality: In a well-seasoned cast iron pan, the food in the pan should only be coming in contact with the layer of polymerized oil in the pan, not the metal itself. So in a perfect world, this should not be a problem. But none of us are perfect and neither are our pans. No matter how well you season, there’s still a good chance that there are spots of bare metal and these can indeed interact with acidic ingredients in your food.

For this reason, it’s a good idea to avoid long-simmered acidic things, particularly tomato sauce. On the other hand, a little acid is not going to hurt it. I deglaze my pan with wine after pan-roasting chicken all the time. A short simmer won’t harm your food, your pan, or your health in any way.

What you SHOULD do

These are the only rules you need to know to have a successful lifelong relationship with your cast iron.

  • Season it when you get it. Even pre-seasoned cast iron can do with some extra protection. To season your pan, heat it up on the stovetop until its smoking hot, then rub a little oil into it and let it cool. Repeat this process a few times and you’re good to go.
  • Clean it after each use. Clean your pan thoroughly after each use by washing it with soap and water and scrubbing out any gunk or debris from the bottom. I use the scrubby side of a sponge for this.
  • Re-season it. Rinse out any excess soap with water, then place the skillet over a burner set to high heat. When most of the water inside the skillet has dried out, add a half teaspoon of vegetable, canola, flaxseed, or shortening. Rub it around with a paper towel. Continue heating the pan until it just starts to smoke then give it one more good rub. Let it cool and you’re done.
  • Fry and Sear in it. The best way to keep your seasoning maintained? Just use your pan a lot! The more you fry, sear, or bake in it, the better that seasoning will become.
  • Don’t let it stay wet. Water is the natural enemy of iron and letting even a drop of water sit in your pan when you put it away can lead to a rust spot. Not the end of the world, but rust will require a little scrubbing and re-seasoning. I always dry out my pan with a paper towel and coat it with a tiny amount of oil before storage.

Cast Iron Mac & Cheese

castironmacandcheese

Ingredients

12oz macaroni

3Tbs butter

3Tbs flour

2cups milk

4oz grated Emmental Cheese

4oz grated Gruyere Cheese

1Tbs Dijon Mustard

1Tbs Worcestershire Sauce

1/2tsp dried Thyme

Black Pepper to taste

3oz grated Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese

Directions

Boil pasta in a cast iron skillet. Melt the butter and whisk in flour until well combined. Whisk milk into the flour mixture. Whisk constantly until thickened 1 to 2 minutes.

Add Emmental Cheese, Gruyere, mustard, Worcestershire, and thyme. Whisk until melted and smooth, about 2 minutes. Stir in pasta and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Sprinkle Parmigiano-Reggiano on top and broil until browned.

 

Cast Iron Cornbread

castironcornbread1castironcornbread2

Ingredients

¼ cup butter

1 cup white or yellow cornmeal

1 cup all purpose flour

¼ cup sugar

4 tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

1 cup milk or buttermilk

1 egg

¼ cup vegetable oil

Directions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Place the butter into a 10-inch heavy bottom ovenproof frying pan or cast iron skillet and heat in the oven until butter is melted.

Note-Heating the butter in the skillet until it’s hot and melted before adding the batter guarantees a desirable crispness on the outer edges of the bread.

While the pan is heating and the butter is melting, prepare your cornbread batter.

In a large bowl, stir together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, buttermilk and egg until well blended. Use a wire whisk to blend. Add the oil and whisk until blended in.

Pour batter into the HOT and buttery skillet (batter will sizzle), return to the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until bread is golden brown and a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center will come out clean.

Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for approximately 5 minutes.

Invert cornbread onto a large plate and cut into wedges or squares.

Cast Iron important tips to remember

Always preheat your cast-iron pan before adding the food you want to cook.

With a cast iron pan, you can begin your recipe on the stovetop, and then move it to the oven to finish.

Do not use a cast-iron pan in your microwave. If you do, you will ruin your pan and also your microwave oven. The fireworks display that will result will not be worth the cleanup and replacement cost.

The first most common mistake of why people do not like cast iron is that they say everything sticks. If food sticks to your cast-iron pan, your pan is NOT seasoned right and you need to re-season it. Cast iron is a natural non-stick surface and if your pan is seasoned correctly it WILL NOT stick!

Cast Iron Pans and Skillets  Choose the size most comfortable for you. I recommend the 10-inch cast iron frying pan as it’s the best tradeoff of size and weight.

CastIron2

Iron Griddles Do you want to make the greatest pancakes you’ve ever eaten? Want your French toast to have that crispy edge so prized at breakfast time? You need to get a cast-iron griddle pan and get it good and hot on the stovetop.

Griddle2

Cast Iron Dutch Ovens Before anyone ever thought of a crock pot, there was the cast-iron Dutch oven. Dutch ovens have been used for hundreds of years. Nothing will hold a good, even temperature better than the heavy metal of this monster pot, and it can go from stovetop to oven to campfire without missing a beat.

CampDutchOven

Cast Iron Blistered Brussels

cast-iron-blistered-brussel-sprouts-x

 

Ingredients

1 pound fresh Brussels sprouts

3 tablespoons canola oil

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon hot water

1 tablespoon minced garlic (about 2 cloves)

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper

1/2 cup torn fresh mint leaves

Directions

Heat a 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat 5 minutes. Trim Brussels sprouts, and cut in half lengthwise. Add canola oil to skillet, and tilt skillet to evenly coat bottom. Place Brussels sprouts, cut side down, in a single layer in skillet. Cook, without stirring, 4 minutes or until browned. Sprinkle with kosher salt; stir and cook 2 more minutes. Stir together honey and hot water. Stir minced garlic, soy sauce, dried crushed red pepper, and honey mixture into Brussels sprouts. Stir in mint leaves, and serve immediately.

Cast Iron Cowboy Steak

Cast Iron Cowboy Steak

 

Ingredients

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 (1 1/2- to 2-lb.) bone-in rib-eye or porterhouse steak (about 2 inches thick)

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

3 tablespoons butter

8 fresh herb sprigs (such as thyme, rosemary, and oregano)

3 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed

Directions

Preheat grill to 400° to 450° (high) heat. Heat a 12-inch cast-iron skillet on grill, covered with grill lid, 15 minutes. Sprinkle salt and pepper generously over steak.

Add oil to skillet. (Oil should smoke.) Using tongs, place steak in skillet, and cook on grill, without grill lid, 10 minutes or until dark brown and crusty. Turn steak on fatty edge in skillet, holding upright with tongs, and cook 2 minutes. Place steak, uncooked side down, in skillet. Cook on grill, covered with grill lid, 8 to 10 minutes or to desired degree of doneness.

Add butter, herbs, and garlic to side of skillet, and cook 2 to 3 minutes or until butter foams. Tilt skillet slightly, and spoon butter mixture over steak 20 times (being careful not to splatter). Transfer steak, herbs, and garlic to a platter; let stand for 5 to 10 minutes. Slice against the grain.