In honor of the National Cornbread Festival, and April (National Cornbread Month) we thought we would put together a little get to know your cast iron and cornbread discover post. For those who may not know, cooking with cast iron can add so much wonderfulness to your life. And well, cornbread is just dang delicious. So we are going to help you discover the glory that is cast iron and cornbread. First, why all the fuss about cast iron, and then onto the good stuff, tasty recipes to make your mouth water.
Cast iron pans, skillets and dutch ovens have been around for ages. You probably thought, well that is what my Grandma used to make “insert special family dish here” in every Sunday. Maybe you thought it was an outdated way of cooking. Well we are here to tell you, no no no no, it never went away, and there is a reason. Also a reason why a good skillet won’t come cheap, but you can find a second hand one, or get one passed down through your family and just re-season it. Tips on seasoning and refurbishing here. So why use cast iron?
3 Reasons to Cook with Cast Iron
From How to Clean and Season a Cast Iron Skillet
By: Katherine C. Parker on Eating Well
1. Use Less Oil
That lovely sheen on cast-iron cookware is the sign of a well-seasoned pan, which renders it virtually nonstick. The health bonus, of course, is that you won’t need to use gads of oil to brown crispy potatoes or sear chicken when cooking in cast iron.
2. Chemical-Free Alternative to Nonstick Pans
The repellent coating that keeps food from sticking to nonstick pots and pans contains PFCs (perfluorocarbons), a chemical that’s linked to liver damage, cancer and developmental problems. PFCs get released—and inhaled—from nonstick pans in the form of fumes when pans are heated on high heat. Likewise, we can ingest them when the surface of the pan gets scratched. Both regular and ceramic-coated cast-iron pans are great alternatives to nonstick pans for this reason.
3. Fortify Your Food with Iron
While cast iron doesn’t leach chemicals, it can leach some iron into your food… and that’s a good thing. Iron deficiency is fairly common worldwide. In fact, 10% of American women are iron-deficient. Cooking food, especially something acidic like tomato sauce, in cast iron can increase iron content by as much as 20 times. Try these Charred Tomato & Chicken Tacos.
A cast-iron recipe has an additional bonus: keeping the food in its cooking vessel will keep the recipe warm. It’s also a Pinterest-worthy photo opportunity! For serving, be sure you place a hot pad underneath the skillet and have an oven mitt or hot pad to manage the handle.
Cornbread & Cast Iron Inspiration
We have been big fans of real cornbread in our house ever since that grade 3 trip to the National Historic Village, where we were shown how First Nations people used mais (corn) to make this amazing bread, with next to nothing.
Cornbread and cast iron have come a long way since our original settlers and peoples came to this nation. Now we enjoy it in fancy ways, like Cornbread Avocado Toast. Yes, just when you thought this wasn’t one of those uber trendy posts, I throw in a shout-out to an avocado toast, which is all the rage right now. We love this recipe we found on Lodge Cast Iron site, click the image to take you there directly. Don’t worry it will open a new tab so you can keep on reading and check it out later.
Looking for some inspiration to break out Grandma’s skillet, or have a Lodge Cast Iron of your very own (you lucky duck) we have some recipes here for you from a little gem of a site, recommendedthings.com, if you click on the image below it will take you away from our site and over to theirs.
Get out there!
So now you are hungry for delicious skillet food, but you still don’t want to make it yourself. Well, if you are looking for a road-trip next weekend or you happen to live in South Pittsburg Tennessee, stop by the National Cornbread Festival. This major dose of sweet southern charm is being held April 28th and 29th, the 22nd annual event is sponsored by Lodge® Cast Iron, Cracker Barrel®, Dollywood®, and Martha White®. For just $7 a day (preschool kids are free!) you’ll enjoy live entertainment, cook-offs, live cooking demos, fun for the kids, and lots of cornbread (may be additional cost). My mouth is watering just thinking about it, really should avoid writing food related posts at lunch time. Happy eating North America and the World!