Using Cast Iron in the Oven


#21

Okay, I’m brainstorming here, but I’m sure this will work.

Preheat your oven to 375F with the cast iron in. I assume this is something like a large Lodge skillet.

Six portobello mushrooms, remove the gills and stem. lightly oil and salt them, then place them cap side down in the hot pan.

They will take 20 minutes. As they are cooking assemble… Let’s say a cup of bread crumbs, a quarter cup shredded asiago cheese, quarter stick of butter (softened), and fuckit some fresh rosemary.

Combine all those ingredients.

After the mushrooms look pliable and giving, spoon the misture evenly on each mushroom. Turn the heat up to 475f and bake until golden brown–probably ten minutes.

Serve with knife, fork, and… A young tempernillo.


The reason I have the mushrooms baked alone first is so they can sweat out moisture and become pliable. It always amazes me how long you can cook a mushroom, and how much better they taste when given time to cook.

The 475F section is to ensure a good,rapid maillard reaction. This should give three layers of texture–a ‘forgiving’ yet concentrated mushroom, a crunchy crust, and a slightly gooey center.


#22

That recipe sounds great, @awjt.

I got the impression though from the OP that the cast iron won’t work on the ceramic cooktop, hence the request for oven-use recipes…is that right, @monkeyoh? (I’m not at all familiar with ceramic cooktops myself.)


#23

I think you are hungry. I know I am now.


#24

You are correct!


#25

Iron can scratch and break those types of cooktops. That said I have (had?) a similar cooktop and never had a problem, even with my huge ass pans.


#26

post pics!


#27

Gah!!!

I’m tempted to just buy everyone a copy of Pepin so I can just say, “page 313, that’s the technique, and this is the variation”.

Cabbage stuffed with soysage, braised in veg stock. I’m sure given the idea, many here can back into (@renke i gots my eyes on you :D) a recipe.

Here is a pic the shaping technique, ignore that it uses meat.


#28

Yorkshire Pudding comes to mind. Though I know you (@monkeyoh) wouldn’t be using beef drippings, so wouldn’t be making Yorkshire Pudding…but using butter instead, you’d have basically One Big Popover.

(You do eat dairy and eggs, or no?)


#29

Yes to dairy and eggs, though I try not to eat too much (gotta mind my cholesterol and so forth).


#30

People go crazy about cast iron. Seasoned cast iron has a hardened polymerized protective layer created via heat and yet simultaneously it is presumed to be so delicate that you can’t cook anything with tomatoes in it. Poppycock! A well-seasoned cast iron pan can do anything. Just clean it and then DRY IT WELL afterward.


#31

Yeah, they are not delicate flowers. Honestly i think stainless is more finicky.


#32

I also have a ceramic cooktop and use cast iron pans all the time. I’m just a little extra careful about setting the pans down and sliding them around. I will second the recommendation for pizza, though; it comes out great!


#33

I’ve no idea what my cooktop is. Always thought it was glass. Ceramic, you say? Maybe. I’ve cooked on at least 3 such stoves with my 10" griswold and 8" yard-sale find. I’m not gentle.

What do I cook with them? Everything I can. Stove-top, oven, everything. Granted, I have to use special pots for boiling water or steaming vegetables, or special pans for roasting duck, but 1st option is always the cast iron.


#34

Pannekoeken Pannekoeken Pannekoeken!:grinning:

Or here, have “Finnish Oven Pancake (Pannukakku)

Or “German Apple Pancake
A lot of the recipes I see online for German Apple Pancake start on the stovetop then go to the oven, but some do all in the oven :slightly_smiling:


#35

I think they’re the same thing (glass/ceramic)?

Anyway, I’d think you could use a cast iron skillet to bake anything you’d use a shallow baking dish for, and it would stay hot for a good while after it came out of the oven (which could backfire if it’s something that can be overcooked).


#36

Holy hell that looks good! I overdosed so much on ratatouille as a student 40 (yikes!) years ago living in a vegetarian communal house that I’ve not had it more than 3 or 4 times since, but this might just bring me back into the ratty fold.


#37

There is no kitchen implement I despise more than a stainless steel frying pan. It’s only good for hitting people with, in order to dissuade them from buying stainless steel frying pans.


#38

I have one of these:

It’s a Wagner Ware 12" skillet. When my grandmother died in the late 90’s, my family asked me what I wanted from her house and I said, “Her cast iron frying pan.” She used to make me scrambled eggs in it. It’s perfectly seasoned, smooth-bottomed and a joy to cook in.

Compare it to your typical Lodge 12" skillet:

I used to own a Lodge skillet. I hated the knobbly surface on the bottom of the pan. It traps more gunk and isn’t as non-stick as the smooth Wagner Ware. I tried for years to season it to get it to behave, but no luck so I ended up giving it away.

The thought has crossed my mind to get another one and sand the bottom and insides smooth. Then season it and see if it behaves like it should.

So that’s my feelings about Lodge cookware. It’s not bad stuff. It’s just not great either.

My favorite piece of cookware is this big thing:

It’s a 7.5 quart Le Creuset Bouillabaise pot that was given to me one Christmas. These things run in the hundreds of dollars. WORTH EVERY PENNY! If I hadn’t received it as a gift, I would have bought one anyways. It is cast iron, but has an enameled coating that is reasonably non-stick.

The thing about non-stick is that non-stick is useful but generally overrated. Sure, you need non-stick for certain applications, such as potatoes or sunny side up eggs or things that need to retain their shape after frying or sautéeing. For making braises, you WANT some of the stuff to stick to the bottom, because that’s where the browning occurs. You want that fond to be there when you pour in your deglazing liquid, so that the deglaze boils, picks up those sugars and dissolves the flavors into the base of your braise. So, many times, you need things to stick at first so they can be used for flavor later in the process.

Browning is the common term for the Maillard reaction. If you are not familiar, please look it up and read about it because it is fascinating. The Maillard reaction is something that we humans respond strongly to in terms of the sense of gustation. Without the Maillard reaction, there would be no maple syrup. Maple sap has to be boiled to acquire its signature flavor. Many other recipes and ingredients rely on at least some Maillard reaction, or early browning, to infuse the final product with a richer, deeper flavor.

Gumbos, for example, have the Maillard early by browning the roux. All fried things have the Maillard as the principal outer flavor component. Breads taste bland if their crust has not been browned at least a little bit. Cheese toppings, roasts, casseroles, other baked and bbq’d goods, etc., all benefit from the Maillard.

Caramelization is the Maillard taken further, as the components are actively saccharifying starches into sugars. Blackening, as in blackening fish, is taking it even further to a limited amount of pyrolysis, to give it a signature flavor.

So, back to the matter at hand. I’m writing this to give a finer point to the concept of stick vs/ non-stick surfaces. They each have their uses. But they also each need to come under the cook’s control, via the surfaces inside the cookware and the techniques used. So choose wisely, and find out what works for you.


#39

I can confirm this, though I one of these is far better (it’s easier to use something without a lip, especially when you want to transfer the pizza from a peel):


#40

Sounds good to me! Of course, I can simply hear him speaking about food and I get hungry. My copy of “The Joy of Cooking” gets a fair bit of use, but the realization that I don’t have anything by Pepin in my kitchen is a bit of a shock as well as a French-ish kick in the butt to visit the bookstore.

RE: Lodge 12" skillet:

Considering that myself even though mine is moderately well seasoned by now.

My mom had the larger, oval shaped and enameled dutch oven (mine’s a delightful blue), but found she never used it. Gave it to me and I use it as often as I can. I LOVE that cookpot.