10 Facts About Cast Iron Cookware

Cast Iron Skillet

Personal Chef and Catering Austin Texas

Cooks seeking alternatives to toxic non-stick cookware often find themselves in a bind. Stainless steel, which seems to be the healthiest alternative, is expensive, and it does not lend itself well to cooking eggs, pancakes and other dishes that non-stick cookware typically excels at. If you have not yet discovered the benefits of cast iron cooking, here are 10 reasons to buy and use a cast iron skillet.

1. Avoid Toxic Fumes– Replacing a non-stick skillet with a cast iron one allows you to avoid the toxic fumes that accompany most non-stick cookware. Cast iron can also replace aluminum cookware, which may also pose health hazards.
2. Use in oven – Besides the stove, you can use a cast iron skillet in the oven, at any temperature. This comes in handy for making corn bread, frittatas, and flat bread.
3. Nonstick – Surprisingly, a preheated cast iron skillet rivals the qualities of non-stick cookware, as long as it is properly seasoned and cared for. You can quickly move up this short learning curve by talking with employees at your local cookware store or by reading a book or Internet article about cast iron care.
4. Easy Clean up– Cast iron is easy to clean up. Not only does food easily lift off from cast iron cookware, soap is not needed or recommended, since it erodes the seasoning.
5. Health Benefits- You can actually boost your iron intake from eating food cooked in cast iron cookware. This vital mineral is crucial for maintaining energy levels, and it helps strengthen immune systems.
6. Inexpensive- Cooks looking to replace non-stick cookware often investigate stainless steel. However, a high-end, 12-inch stainless skillet runs well over $100, while a similar-sized cast iron one costs less than $30.
7. Food Cooks Beautifully– Using a cast iron skillet you can create restaurant-quality, homemade fish sticks, potato pancakes and French toast, complete with golden brown, crispy exteriors. Contrast this with non-stick cookware, which makes browning nearly impossible.
8. Sturdy/Wears well- Since it does not scratch, there is no need to use plastic utensils, and there is no fear of using your silverware to stir or scoop. It lasts for so long that many people still use cast iron cookware inherited from their parents and grandparents.
9. Any heat source can be used– In an emergency, cast iron cookware can be used over any heat source. As such, many disaster planning lists include cast iron as the survival cookware of choice.
10. Proven over years – It has been used for thousands of years. Natural News readers already understand how new technologies are often the least healthy, while those used by earlier generations are often more beneficial and more in line with how we are designed. Our cookware choice is no exception.
The Drawbacks of Cast Iron…Although there are many benefits to cast iron cooking, make sure to understand the drawbacks before you start: cast iron pans are very heavy; they require intentional maintenance in order to keep them rust-free and non-stick; and care is needed if you have a glass-top stove.
With that in mind, they’re still a great choice. Once you take the plunge, you will wonder why it took you so long to start!

Looking for a recipe for cast iron steak? Easy Cast Iron Beef Tenderloin

Central Texas Slow Cooker Rosemary Pot Roast

Personal Chef Austin Texas

Rosemary Pot Roast
Anyone from the Central Texas or The Hill Country area knows that there is rosemary in abundance. I love fresh rosemary and I have it growing everywhere and I have propagated plants to make even more plants. That is how much I love rosemary! They say that rosemary has many healing qualities as well as it helps keep bugs away too anyone here knows about those killer Texas Mosquitoes.

Pot Roast however is one of the all time favorite comfort foods and most people in the US absolutely love it. It has been a staple for many and also ways for moms to hide a few vegetables into their children’s diets. I really love the flavor of a good pot roast and vegetables medley with a hint of rosemary. Here is my pot roast recipe that I find is a really easy one to prepare and if you prefer not to have the red wine in it you can omit it from the recipe. The alcohol cooks off but it gives it a more rounded flavor if you do add it to the recipe.

Ingredients:

2 pounds boneless beef chuck roast, trimmed of excess fat cut into 2 inch size pieces
3-4 cans of beef broth
4 small gold or red potatoes, cut into 2-inch pieces
1-2 cups water
1-2 cups of baby carrots, rinsed
1 medium sweet onion, cut into 1-1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup of red wine
2 tablespoons tomato paste
4 sprigs of fresh rosemary, rinsed and patted dry
2 sprig fresh thyme rinsed and patted dry
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Directions:

Use about 2 Tablespoons of butter and rub the inside of your crock pot to ease the cleanup and to add some extra flavor. Add all of the veggies starting with the carrots and onions first then the potatoes. Add the meat and add the garlic powder, salt and pepper, then pour in the beef broth and wine. Add the tomato paste to the water and stir a bit to incorporate the paste in to a soluble and then pour on top of the already added items. Add the fresh rosemary and thyme and cover.

Cook on HIGH 4 hours or on LOW 8 hours or until beef is tender. If you are using the higher setting you will need to monitor so you do not run it out of water/broth. You do not want to burn. When meat is tender turn off the crock pot and let rest for about 10- 20 minutes and then serve. Enjoy.

Gourmet Beef Pot Roast Recipe

Beef Stew The Texas Food Network

You can make pot roast in a slow cooker if you wish but I like to make mine in a dutch oven. I am not saying that slow cooker pot roast is bad in anyway but I prefer to take the extra time to make it a little more special in my opinion. When you use the flour dredge you seem to get a more velvety sauce them using cornstarch thicken and it just gives it a better mouth feel. In my line of work I have definitely used both flour and cornstarch slurries and I can tell the difference, some people can and some will not notice.

I will sometimes add peas to this recipe to give it something a little different, the peas add a little sweetness to the recipe. If I am running low on potatoes or carrots I will use whatever I have in my pantry to make up the difference. I suggest you experience this for yourself, recipes are all about preference and using what you have as long as it makes sense and you like the ingredients you are using. I have added corn, tomatoes, poblanos, cilantro and peppers too to make more of a Mexican Beef Stew.

When cooking or developing new recipes I always have to play with the recipe to see if I can improve upon it, there have been many failures as well as many great new recipes 🙂 Have fun and enjoy the cooking process!

Ingredients:
3 pounds cubed beef stew meat
6 cups water
3 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
6 carrots, cut into 1 inch pieces
6 stalks celery, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 cup large sweet onion, chopped
1/2 cup of red wine
1/2 cup of all purpose flour
1/3 cup of olive oil
1 can of tomato paste
1 tablespoon of fresh minced garlic
1-2 teaspoons fresh rosemary (preference – I love rosemary so I use 2)
1 teaspoon fresh parsley
1 teaspoon of fresh thyme
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of salt and pepper (for flour bag)
1 large Ziploc bag

Directions:
1. Take your flour, salt and pepper and add to Ziploc bag and add stew meat and give it a good shake to coat the stew meat.
2. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat your oil add your garlic and onion and cook for about 3-5 minutes until onion and garlic bloom, then add the beef and cook until brown.
3. Add your wine and tomato paste to deglaze the pan and cook for about another 5 minutes or so and then add your water, rosemary and thyme and additional flour left from Ziploc bag. Cook for about 45 minutes to an hour and a half or so until the meat is getting tender. This is creating your beef stock so you don’t have to add a bullion.
4. Add the potatoes, carrots, celery, and onion into the pot. Cover and simmer until done. Add salt and pepper to taste garnish with fresh parsley or additional fresh thyme. Serve with dinner rolls or cornbread, enjoy!

Next Stop Pinterests:

Quick Marinated Citrus-Ginger Flank Steak

Ingredients you will need:

2 pounds of flank steak about an inch thick

3 Tablespoons of fresh lime juice, and 1/8 tsp lime zest

3 Tablespoons of an Asian style hot mustard

1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce

1 Tablespoon of soy sauce you can use the light if you prefer

1 Tablespoon if hoisin sauce

2 teaspoons of fresh garlic

2 teaspoons of fresh ginger

1 teaspoon of brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon of coarse black pepper

1/8 tsp of Chinese 5 spice if you have it.

just a pinch of salt, I know that there is soy in here and
Worcestershire but just a little pinch of salt is needed. It will
enhance all other flavors trust me.

** You can omit the Chinese 5 spice if you choose too. Some people do
not like this powder. I love it, this spice will give it a nice
aromatic flavor. So, if you have not tried it you might want to give it a
go, if you are unfamiliar with this powder it is used in a lot of
different Asian dishes, You have probably had it before, and not knowing
that it is an ingredient in one of your favorite dishes.

Instructions:

Add all ingredients to a bowl whisk until the marinade is smooth and
looks like a marinade/salad dressing consistency. You will then make
sure you flank steak is clean, and dry. You will add the flank steak to a
pan you can fit in your fridge and will hold the steak and all of the
marinade without over flowing. Add half of the marinade to one side turn
it over and pour the rest on the other. Make sure that all of the flank
steak is covered. Cover and chill for an hour st minimum. If you have a
lot going on that afternoon, and leave it longer that is okay, but
remember there is citrus in the marinade.

If you are going to want to eat your flank steak as a meal or with
guest and are on a time schedule? I recommend that about 45 minutes into
the marinating process of your flank steak starting your grill. I
prefer charcoal but you can use gas too. If you are cooking on a gas
grill you will cook covered. If you are using a charcoal grill you will
not close the lid.

In my opinion the only way yo cook flank steak is Medium Rare: Cook
for about 10 minutes turning 1 time at 5 minutes and then cooking the
rest of the way, pull let rest for 5 minutes or so uncovered, cut into
thin slices across the grain and serve.

If you have any questions feel free to contact me at chefshelleypogue.com if you want to be added to my blog go to blog.shelleypogue.com. If you want to be added to our Facebook page and you like to add or swap recipes please join us here The Texas Food Network 

Thank you,

Chef Shelley Pogue, C.C. 

If you are needing a Personal Chef, Caterer or Private Dinner Party Chef in Austin or surrounding areas please contact me @chefshelleypogue@yahoo.com or on

Facebook Chef Shelley Pogue Catering

Quick Marinated Citrus Ginger Flank Steak, by Chef Shelley Pogue

I love to grill and it seems I am always trying to find some form
of beef, or chicken to cook for myself or friends. I like to add a rub,
or a quick marinade to give it some added flavor. This is a marinade that is easy breezy and will pack a nice punch and almost no hassle tooThis Asian style
marinade will give this flank steak something to wake up your taste
buds, and in my opinion is really easy to make. The thing that will take
you the most time is the marinade and that is only an hour. Hence the
name Quick Marinade.

Ingredients you will need:                                                   

2 pounds of flank steak about an inch thick

3 Tablespoons of fresh lime juice, and 1/8 tsp lime zest

3 Tablespoons of an Asian style hot mustard

1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce

1 Tablespoon of soy sauce you can use the light if you prefer

1 Tablespoon if hoisin sauce

2 teaspoons of fresh garlic

2 teaspoons of fresh ginger

1 teaspoon of brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon of coarse black pepper

1/8 tsp of Chinese 5 spice if you have it.

just a pinch of salt, I know that there is soy in here and
Worcestershire but just a little pinch of salt is needed. It will
enhance all other flavors trust me.

** You can omit the Chinese 5 spice if you choose too. Some people do
not like this powder. I love it, this spice will give it a nice
aromatic flavor. So, if you have not tried it you might want to give it a
go, if you are unfamiliar with this powder it is used in a lot of
different Asian dishes, You have probably had it before, and not knowing
that it is an ingredient in one of your favorite dishes.

Instructions:

Add all ingredients to a bowl whisk until the marinade is smooth and
looks like a marinade/salad dressing consistency. You will then make
sure you flank steak is clean, and dry. You will add the flank steak to a
pan you can fit in your fridge and will hold the steak and all of the
marinade without over flowing. Add half of the marinade to one side turn
it over and pour the rest on the other. Make sure that all of the flank
steak is covered. Cover and chill for an hour st minimum. If you have a
lot going on that afternoon, and leave it longer that is okay, but
remember there is citrus in the marinade.

If you are going to want to eat your flank steak as a meal or with
guest and are on a time schedule? I recommend that about 45 minutes into
the marinating process of your flank steak starting your grill. I
prefer charcoal but you can use gas too. If you are cooking on a gas
grill you will cook covered. If you are using a charcoal grill you will
not close the lid.

In my opinion the only way yo cook flank steak is Medium Rare: Cook
for about 10 minutes turning 1 time at 5 minutes and then cooking the
rest of the way, pull let rest for 5 minutes or so uncovered, cut into
thin slices across the grain and serve.

Image

 https://thetexasfoodnetwork.wordpress.com/2012/11/01/quick-marinated-citrus-ginger-flank-steak/

If you have any questions feel free to contact me at chefshelleypogue.com if you want to be added to my blog go to blog.shelleypogue.com. If you want to be added to our Facebook page and you like to add or swap recipes please join us here The Texas Food Network

Thank you,

Chef Shelley Pogue, C.C.