Tuesday, January 22, 2013

How to season a cast iron pan

Love my cast iron cookware :) I have quite a collection going with several sizes of skillets , a flat plate , and a even a few enamelled ones.  I was recently given 3 more skillets , small medium and large sizes ...  all brand new , and need of seasoning .

Its a very easy skill to learn , and comes in very handy , as its the same method to re-season an old pan , or one that was forgotten and rusted up  .

All that is required , other than the cast iron pans them selves is :

- Steel or Copper Scrub
- Dish Soap ( the only time your cast should ever see it ! )
- Hot Water
- Towel
- Hot Oven

Start by giving your pans a good wash, with hot soapy water , and a metal scrub - This is to remove the oil it was shipped in , and /or  to remove a rusty spot.

After washing , dry the pan well... you can pop it in the oven , or just give it a good towel dry ,  add a good splash of  high temp oil , or lard ,  I used sunflower .  

Rub the oil , all around the pan ,  including the handle and the bottom...  try not to have any puddles of oil . 

Pop it into a 350F oven for at least 1 hour , two is best ... longer is just fine ...  make sure to turn on your fan , and maybe open a window:) It will smoke !   After the cook time ,  I simply left them in the oven to cool on their own .    

That is it!! Its that easy :) Your cast iron pan is now ready for use,  just remember to rub a little oil into after each use... eventually , you will have a glossy black pan , that will rival the best non stick pan .

Good luck, and enjoy !  Well taken care of cast iron pans can last for generations !

Friday, January 18, 2013

7 Pepper Birthday Chili

Whats your favourite Birthday meal ??   Mine is a nice juicy steak, with a jacket potato ... but this year for the first time in ages , birthday dinner with Mum ( We share the same Bday ) was a few days early ...  leaving me with a big question ... What to have on my Birthday !!   It didnt take long to realize Id been craving chili all month .. so Chili it was !!    Simple, Good Food !

Basic Ingredients ( I dont cook with a recipe , or even write anything down hahaha )

2 lbs of Ground Beef from local butcher
2 large mexican sausages from local butcher
1 lb of braising steak , Crossrib - Flour for dusting
4 tins of Beans ( Unico , 3 Red Kidney , 1 Romano ) - I prefer dried , but am using up old stock
2 large sweet red peppers
2 large chili peppers
2 cayenne chili peppers
6 long green chili peppers
3 small dried red chili peppers ( Very hot ! )
8 medium onions
1 head of garlic
1/2 tin of chipolte peppers
2 green bell peppers
1 pint of dark ale
1 pint roasted tomato sauce ( Homemade )
1 quart of stewed tomatoes ( homemade )

Chili Powder, L&P, Sea Salt & Black Pepper

Start by sauteing the onions ...  transfer to slow cooker when done 

Next step, the beef , best to add flavour here , chili powder, S&P, L&P, and half the can of beer 
 In the meantime,  I rinsed and boiled the tinned beans ... rinsed again and added to the slow cooker

While the beef is browning ... add in the beans, stewed tomatoes , and roasted tomato sauce 

Once the ground beef has finished, add the sausages , and cubed and flour dusted steak ..   just need to brown these , then add to the slow cooker 

Once done with frying ...  use the other half of the beer to deglaze the pan , add to the slow cooker, this is some amazing flavour here !  

Its starting to look like chili :))   Let simmer for 2 hours 

Once the base chili has simmered , its time to add the peppers in for the last 1 to 2 hours of cooking 

All sliced and diced, and ready for the pot!! 

Five hours after slicing the onions ...  CHILI!    Mmmm its time to eat ! 

The leftovers....  usually i portion this out and freeze it up for easy meals later , this time I decided to pressure can it ...   a future post maybe ??

MmmmMmmm  I do hope you enjoy my spicy chili , this one was quite the sweat inducing bowl of goodness !!  I wouldnt change a thing .. but if your not a big fan of spicy, i would cut back considerable of the hot peppers and add more sweet :)

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Peace, Love and Good Food to everyone !