Archive for the ‘Cooking’ Category


I have never been much of an omelette girl and have gone through my entire life without having ever made one. A while back, however, I came across an article and video from Bon Appetit that gave directions for making the perfect French omelette, and I was intrigued.

What also intrigued me is that I have two cast iron chef’s skillets in stock (one to be listed soon – one has gone into my rotation), so the opportunity was ripe for me to give omelette making a try.

Bon Appetit’s recipe calls for butter, butter, and more butter. I watch my caloric intake, so I used just a small amount; less than a tablespoon. I filled mine with about 2T chopped scallions.

While, according to Bon Appetit an omelette should not be brown in any area, mine was a bit just on one part. Not bad for a first try! And a great use for the chef’s skillet!

Bon Appetit recommends a non-stick pan, saying  “[n]othing is more important to achieving the perfect roll than using a nonstick pan.” Really, Bon Appetit? What’s up with that? My Griswold chef’s skillet worked just great, even though it has just one layer of seasoning on it!

Enough said. On to the recipe!

I did make a video of my effort. It’s not the best video I’ve ever made or seen by a long shot (sorry about my hair hanging into the shot!), but it does demonstrate the process. The video is below the recipe.

Omelette in Cast Iron Chef’s Pan


3 fresh large eggs 1 chopped scallion (about 2 T) 1 pat butter Pinch of seasoned salt (because I really like my Lawry’s seasoned salt!)


Crack the eggs into a bowl, and briskly whisk Add your seasoning to the eggs (I added a dash of seasoned salt) and whisk it in to the eggs Heat cast iron skillet over medium heat Melt pat of butter in the skillet Once skillet is hot and butter is melted, pour the eggs into the chef’s skillet Using a spatula, move the egg mixture around the skillet (explained better in my video, below), covering all areas of the cooking surface as evenly as you can When the eggs start to set, lift and move the skillet, tilting in each direction to have the eggs cover all areas of the cooking surface Sprinkle the scallions onto the middle of the omelette While the eggs are still slightly runny, begin rolling the eggs onto itself into a tube shape Roll the eggs right out of the skillet and onto your plate and then into your mouth!

My omelette was delicious! I have been making them just about every day now; I have added the Griswold chef’s skillet to my personal collection.

Cleaning the Pan

Even though my pan had just one layer of seasoning on it, there was just a small amount of egg that stuck to the skillet. To clean, I took the pan while it was still warm (not hot), and poured a small amount of warm water into it. I used a plastic bristle brush to lightly scrub the pan. I removed the remainder of the stuck on bits using my chain mail scrubber. I dried the pan with paper towel, gave a light spray of Pam and rubbed it around with another paper towel. Viola! Done and ready for the next use!

Here’s a vid of me cleaning the pan after making the omelette.


I mentioned that I have been trying Blue Apron for a few months; I have really been enjoying it (and no, I am not a paid spokesperson but I am starting to think I should be!)

For New Year’s Eve, I made their simply delicious ribeye steak with mushroom potato hash. It was fabulous! I am especially a fan of the potato hash. The rosemary really kicked it up a notch; I could have eaten the entire pan of potatoes.

Blue Apron keeps recommending non-stick skillets for some reason; I keep adapting the recipes to use my cast iron pans.

Here’s how I made it; the recipe is only slightly adapted from the Blue Apron version.

Ribeye Steak with Mushroom Potato Hash

 Makes 2 large servings, or 3-4 moderately-sized servings (my dinner companion and I each ate 1/4 of the meal and that was plenty, and left us some fabulous leftovers for the next day) About 700 calories per serving. Prep Time: 10 min | Cook Time: 30 to 40 min


1 thick-cut ribeye steak 3 oz oyster mushrooms (you may use any mushroom you choose, of course) 2 oz cremini mushrooms 3?4 lb. russet potato (1 large) 1 bunch rosemary 1 shallot

Shallot, mushrooms, and rosemary prepped and ready to go!


Preheat the oven to 475°F. Remove steak from refrigerator, pat dry, and salt and pepper both sides. Set aside.

Wash and dry the fresh produce. Medium dice the potato. Cut the cremini and oyster mushrooms (or other mushrooms of your choice) into bite-sized pieces. Peel and thinly slice the shallot. Pick the rosemary leaves off the stems; discard the stems and finely chop the leaves. Place the chopped potato on a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper; toss to thoroughly coat. Arrange in a single, even layer and roast, stirring halfway through, 24 to 26 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and set aside in a warm place. In a large pan (my handy-dandy wonderful ERIE 11 cracked cast iron skillet), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium until hot. Add the seasoned steak. Cook 3 to 5 minutes per side for medium, or until browned and cooked to your desired degree of doneness. Transfer to a cutting board, leaving any browned bits (or fond) in the pan. Loosely cover the cooked steak with aluminum foil and set aside to rest for at least 5 minutes.

Add 2 teaspoons of olive oil to the pan of reserved fond; heat on medium until hot. Add the cremini and oyster mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally, 4 to 6 minutes, or until browned and crispy. Season with salt and pepper. Add the shallot, roasted potato and all but a pinch of the rosemary to the pan of mushrooms; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until thoroughly combined and the shallot has softened. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Thinly slice ribeye against the grain. Transfer to a serving plate with the potato hash. Garnish the potato with the remaining rosemary.

Savor and enjoy! We served alongside a wonderful cabernet; it was perfection.

…made in my cracked #11 ERIE cast iron skillet with heat ring, on my glass cooktop. That skillet is quickly becoming my new favorite pan.

This was a delicious, hearty, and healthful vegetarian meal. The lemon added at the end really added a nice finish.

Recipe slightly adapted from Blue Apron. I modified only to cut down on the butter and cheese, to save a bit on calories.

Beet & Barley Risotto w Swiss Chard & Goat Cheese

Serves 2.

Ingredients 2 T olive oil Salt and pepper to taste 3/4 c. pearled barley 3 c. water 2 green onions, thinly sliced 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced 1 red beet 1 lemon 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and diced 1/2 bunch Swiss chard, stems removed & coarsely chopped 3 T vegetable demi-glace 2 T butter 1/2 c. crumbled goat cheese Directions Cover the beet with aluminum foil and place in a preheated 400 degree oven. Cook until fork tender; about 60 minutes. Remove from oven, plunge into ice-cold water, and remove skin by peeling it off with your hands. Chop beet on a cutting board you have covered with paper towels, so as to keep the beet from staining your cutting board. Use a zester to remove the yellow rind of the lemon. You want 2 t rind. You may also use a vegetable peeler to peel the lemon – avoiding the white pith which is bitter – then mince. Cut the lemon into quarters and remove the seeds. Heat 2 t olive oil over medium heat in a large cast iron skillet (I used my #11, and it worked great. I imagine any size from 8 on up would be just fine). Add the onion and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté until softened and fragrant; about 3-4 minutes. Add the barley, chopped beet, and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper. Cook 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently, until the barley is toasted and fragrant. Add the demi-glace and 3 c water to the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Increase heat to high. Once it boils, reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, stirring frequently, for 16-18 minutes until the barley and beet are tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed. You may add up to 1/4 c water if you wish, to achieve your desired consistency. Add the chopped chard and butter to the pot and again season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until the chard has wilted. Remove from heat. Add the white parts of the sliced scallions, half of the goat cheese, and the juice of two of the lemon wedges to the pan. Stir until thoroughly combined. Divide the risotto between two dishes. Garnish with the green tops from the onions and the remaining goat cheese. Serve with the remaining lemon wedges; add lemon juice as desired.

After adding water and demi-glace; before liquid is absorbed.

I think this may have been the first time I cooked with Swiss chard.

Shepherd's Pie09

The weather is chilly here in the frosty North, which calls for comfort food. I saw a recipe on the Food & Wine website which looked intriguing, so I decided to give it a try. And I know this is hard to believe, but this is the first time I have ever made Shepherd’s Pie! I did modify the recipe a bit (I didn’t want to use the wine, and I tried to take out a bit of the fat – watching calories, don’tchaknow).

Shepherd’s Pie: Braised Beef with Potato / Celery Root Topping INGREDIENTS 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 1-1/2 pounds beef chuck roast, trimmed, cut into 4 pieces Freshly ground salt and pepper 4 long skinny carrots, cut into 1/4-inch dice 2 medium onions, diced (I like onions, so I left them pretty chunky) 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 3-1/2 cups Swanson’s beef broth 1 pound white potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch dice 1-pound piece celery root, peeled and cut into 1-inch dice 3/4 cup skim milk, warmed (admittedly, the potatoes would be tastier with whole milk or cream, but like I said, I try to cut out excess calories when I can) 2 T unsalted butter 1/2 cup coarse, fresh bread crumbs (I did not have coarse fresh bread crumbs, so I used canned fine bread crumbs. Panko bread crumbs would also work great in this recipe). INSTRUCTIONS Heat the olive oil in your Griswold Iron Mountain cast iron chicken pan (you can use a different cast iron pan if you insist). Season the meat with salt and pepper and add to the pan. Cook over medium heat until browned on 2 sides, about 3 minutes per side. Add the carrots and onions and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes.  Sprinkle the flour over the meat and vegetables and stir until dissolved. Add the broth and bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Cover and simmer over low heat, turning the meat once or twice, until very tender, about 2 hours. About 1/2 hour before the meat is done, boil the potatoes and celery root in water until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain. Return them to the saucepan and shake over moderately high heat to dry them out, about 1 minute.  Using a potato masher, ricer, or hand-held mixer (which is what I used), mash the potatoes and celery root until creamy. Gradually mash in the milk. Stir in the butter and season with salt and pepper. Preheat the oven to 400°. Remove the meat from the pan and coarsely shred or chop. Boil the juices in the pan until thickened, about 8 minutes. Return the meat to the pan and season with salt and pepper. Spread the mashed potatoes and celery root over the stew in your cast iron pan and sprinkle with the bread crumbs. Bake for about 15 minutes, until the stew is bubbling, the topping is hot and the crumbs are crisp. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Eat and ENJOY!
Served at table on cork trivet, with holiday red panhandler.

I want to serve food in cast iron pieces at the table more often. This was my first skillet | table service breakfast effort; made and served in two #3 vintage cast iron skillets.

This recipe is slightly adapted from Bon Appetit recipe so as to make it lower-calorie. Makes two servings.


2/3 cup plain fat-free Greek-style yogurt 1 garlic clove, halved

Kosher salt to taste 1 T unsalted butter, divided 1 T olive oil 3 T chopped leek (white and pale-green parts only) 2 T chopped scallion (white and pale-green parts only) 10 cups fresh spinach (10 ounces) 1 t fresh lemon juice 4 large eggs ¼ t crushed red pepper flakes and a pinch of paprika 1 t chopped fresh oregano


Mix yogurt, garlic, and a pinch of salt in a small bowl. Set aside. Preheat oven to 300°. Melt ½ T butter and olive oil in a #8 cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add leek and scallion; reduce heat to low. Cook until soft, about 10 minutes. Add spinach and lemon juice; season with salt. Increase heat to medium-high; cook, turning frequently, until wilted, 4–5 minutes.


Divide spinach mixture equally between two #3 cast iron skillets. Make 2 deep indentations in center of each small skillet. Carefully break 1 egg into each hollow, taking care to keep yolks intact.

Bake until egg whites are set, 10–15 minutes.

Making the chili oil.

Melt remaining ½ butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add crushed red pepper flakes and a pinch of paprika and salt, and cook until butter starts to foam and browned bits form at bottom of pan, 1–2 minutes. Add oregano and cook for 30 seconds longer. Remove garlic halves from yogurt; discard. Spoon yogurt over spinach and eggs. Drizzle with spiced butter.

Served at table on cork trivet, with panhandler.

To serve at table: cover handle of pan with panhandler to protect from heat. Serve in pan at table atop cork trivet.

Eat and enjoy!